TRON Evolution for PS3: Multiplayer Report, 3D Details, PlayStation Move Update

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TRON: Evolution is formally considered the second entry in the TRON trilogy, bridging the fiction between the 1982 film and the upcoming film TRON: Legacy. But in addition to its new single-player story, TRON: Evolution will also serve up a comprehensive multiplayer mode complete with a player progression system, upgradeable weapons, and driveable vehicles. The new video below will give you a taste of what’s in store.

I spoke with TRON: Evolution’s design director, Chris Whiteside, to learn more about the scope of multiplayer and how stereoscopic 3D support will add to the experience (and possibly improve your aim). And though details on PlayStation Move support are still scarce — sadly, it wasn’t playable at the event — I was able to tease out a few details about how it will work when the final game ships this December.

Sid Shuman: Visually, TRON: Evolution looks to be showing many new visual effects since its last appearance. What have you done to enhance the visuals?

Chris Whiteside, Design Director, Propaganda Games: Prior to E3, we didn’t have proper reflection maps. The lighting passes weren’t complete, the visual effects were revamped after E3, and the camera was completely redone after E3 based on feedback that it was too fast and wasn’t framing the action well enough. We’re very receptive to criticism and commentary, so we spent a lot of time getting it up to scratch. We’re making this game for the fans of TRON, so we want to make sure it’s tip-top.

TRON: Evolution for PS3

SS: Why is stereoscopic 3D a good fit for TRON: Evolution?

CW: From a technical standpoint, the reason 3D works so well is the contrast of the colors in the environment, and the lines in the environment and the architecture style we use. It’s not a messy world, you know? There are no trees with leaves on them, that kind of thing. The environments are very angular, which creates an advantage with depth of field and super-advanced parallax effects when we render in 3D. We had to mess with the art style a bit. We went mental with the lighting to bring out the definition of the buildings, for instance.

SS: Will 3D be supported in both single-player and multiplayer?

CW: It totally does, yeah. 3D is awesome for combat because you get a sense of depth with the characters. The normal targeting system is based on the angle of the analog stick, and very minute aiming adjustments, so the 3D helps with targeting. We invested a lot of money in the 3D technology and we’re hoping that TRON: Evolution is the pinnacle 3D gaming experience this year.

SS: We’re seeing TRON: Evolution’s multiplayer for the first time today. What’s the scale of the multiplayer experience?

CW: For me, the multiplayer mode is the jewel in the crown. We’ve got four modes in all: Disintegration is a Deathmatch-style mode, we have Team Deathmatch, Power Monger in which you can take over sections and control them, and Bit Runner is our take on Capture the Flag. The difference is you don’t take the “flag” back to the base, you have to hold onto it while everyone else tries to de-rez (kill) you.

We’re also launching new modes and maps in DLC. You’ll see new free maps at launch, and you’ll get new modes in DLC. You’ll also get upgrades to the player progression systems: new level caps, new vehicles, and so on.

TRON: Evolution for PS3

TRON: Evolution for PS3TRON: Evolution for PS3

SS: How do the lightcycles and tanks fit into the multiplayer ecosystem?

CW: We wanted to create this sort of sandbox cybersport, which meant that we needed players needed to be able to “rez” in and out of vehicles almost at will. The lightcycles are very fast and are a primary way for players to move around quickly. The tanks bring the heavy firepower, and on-foot provides protection for the tanks. It’s rock-paper-scissors design. The perception is that the tanks are the most powerful, but the reality is that you’re most powerful when you’re on foot.

SS: TRON’s characters are unusually maneuverable. How do you maintain balance in a multiplayer setting with characters that can run on walls and make these huge jumps?

CW: Awesome question. We knew this game was about mobility. We basically set rules for how we build the environments — the distance between jumps and so forth. We created basic, grey-textured blocks that were kind of like LEGO pieces. We knew that the distance between them was just right, so if we kept using the same blocks when we built multiplayer levels. This is a traditional tactic in this kind of game, but the difference is we have online multiplayer so it was even more important.

TRON: Evolution for PS3

SS: How can players evolve and enhance their multiplayer characters?

CW: For starters, you can play the single-player game, level up, get vehicles and enhancements, specialize your character. Then you can take those upgrades with you when you go into online multiplayer, or vice-versa. Our player progression system allows you to customize a character to your own strengths, so when you start teaming up with people playing online, you’ll essentially be forming a party.

There are a huge number of upgrades — upgrades that increase your damage greatly but make you slower or weaker, upgrades that make you stealthy and scout-like, or other enhancements that will buff the team as a whole. There’s a ton of stuff in multiplayer: you can buy new bikes, augments for the different weapons, and more. But you can’t buy everything, and that’s really the secret. You have to specialize in what works for you.

SS: How will TRON: Evolution support PlayStation Move?

CW: PlayStation Move is used in vehicle segments, particularly the lightcycle segments. It gives players a more nuanced control over the lightcycle, and it’s fun to be able to hold it like it’s the actual control panel of the lightcycle. And yes, PlayStation Move support is included on the disc!

SS: Do you use one PlayStation Move controller to control vehicles, or two?

CW: You use one, though we experimented with using two. You hold it on its side and tilt it up or down to accelerate or slow down. Watch this space — I think PlayStation Move is something we’ll be doing a little more with going forward. We’ll see what happens with that.

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6 Author Replies

  • Awesome – can’t wait!! How about a demo and date?

  • Will this baby have HOME rewards?

    You know, I remember back in the day when I saw a Disney made game I turned my head. I have to admit, when they make stuff like this, it makes one change their minds in a hurry

  • That actually looks like a lot of fun, I’ll be keeping an eye on this one for sure.

  • Maybe it’s just edits in the film you chose, but multi-player seems overly frenetic & twitchy. Still picking it up for the campaign though anyway, and will try it out. Thanks.

  • Looks like a pointless cluster fest, no thanks.

  • I have no idea why this IP is still being used. The first movie was awful, and the second is bound to be even worse. That being said, the game looks pretty slick, particularly the light cycle portions… even if it’s just a modified version of Snake.

  • You’ve been Derezzed by Disney. This looks amazing. I’m not even a huge Tron fan myself. The light cycles alone, though… man.

  • @6 WHAT? The first movie was the pinnacle of the 80s’ for me and it remains as one of my favorite movies ever. Maybe if you weren’t around back then, it really doesn’t look that impressive nowadays (just like the old SW movies).

    The multiplayer looks very frenetic. But is it strategic? I’m under the impression that people will just play randomly and hope they hit something.

    Either way, I’m excited about the improvements as I read the E3 previews and saw the complaints regarding the camera.

    Are we getting a demo? I think it would be wise!

    • I got a little hands-on time with multiplayer and found I could keep up. One of the cool things is the emphasis on platform mechanics: running on walls to escape, running UP walls to escape. So it’s fast-paced, but you have a lot of options to work with. Meanwhile, you can customize your character’s abilities via XP, so there’s a metagame there too.

  • So no Move support for throwing and blocking discs? That seems like a lost opportunity.

  • That sounds pretty awesome.

    I wish the move support was a little deeper than just vehicle segments though.

  • Is there any chance we can expect to see TRON:Evolution come to Playstation Home? That would be really epic!

  • Never thought I’d see crap games advertised on the blog….. this sucks.

  • Nice interview. When I read the last question, I said “WOW”, this is going to be a great experience with two Playstation Moves. It going to look like I’m driving a lightcycle myself but there’s no move support for the “Disc Wars”. :(

    • Yeah, single Move is supported for the lightcycle segments — which are quite extensive in the single-player campaign

  • Got a chance to play this at the holiday preview event in Toronto.

    Overall it isn’t bad and seems to borrow some platforming elements from PoP. The lightcycle gameplay was nice, but was a little bit tricky.

    I’m looking forward to seeing more on this. It doesn’t look like some of the other movie cash ins.

  • I was excited for a new tron game, but the footage shown at E3 looked pretty lame… so I’m skeptical about this one

  • Just put the lightbikes on the psn and i’ll buy it. Definitely not buying this game although the lightbike part looks interesting

  • cant wait 4 the game

  • I like the look of this!

    Is it that on the Things that leave a trail you can’t ht an opponent’s trail?

  • Look like every other movie games that came out or is going to come out….meh.

  • it looks pretty cool but i dont know if it will go that far

  • I don’t care what anyone says about Tron… It’s all about the Lightcycles. Looks really good.

  • Glad it’s coming along, and glad they put the fiction between the movies. Giving a movie-game its own story increases my confidence 400%. Much easier to get it right… or less wrong as the case may be. ;)

    Tron 2.0! Never forget! /sniffle
    (Though the ending was total bollocks.)

  • Just the light-cycle parts? Seriously? So, I play with it for that section, then put it down or turn it off, pick up a DS3 and play on until I hit another section?

    Granted, I didn’t expect to think much of this at all- kudos to Disney- but I’m going to have to file this away as a “Move-enabled title like the Sly Cooper Collection is a Move-enabled title.” The way it works, it sounds like a hassle, not an advantage.

  • Thanks for the reply Sid. Indeed, reading the previews and learning more about the possible upgrades, I can see the whole metagame possibilities building up. Anyways, I’m glad it isn’t just another cheap movie tie-in. I love Tron

    Looking forward to this.

  • Crossing my fingers that Evolution will do the Tron mythos justice.

  • Oh and Sid, did you notice any improvement on the speed of the Lightcycles? That’s something some previewers complained about on the E3 build

  • this game iz just turnin out 2 be fab on da PC and PS3!

  • I was completely not interested in this game… then I watched that multiplayer trailer. I thought Assasins Creed was refreshing, but this just looks that much better. Tons of platforming, what looks like mostly melee and of couse the lightcycles look like loads of fun! I will buy this game.

  • Played the entire portion of the game they had on display at the playstation meet-up… looks pretty good for a movie title… was told by the disney interactive guy that it will be out on december 7th… he told me about the 10 player multiplayer but had no idea that it would be in 3D!!!

  • Wait, so they expect you to swap controllers with DS3 while playing if you have and want to play with Move? Did they not even think about it? I don’t understand.

  • SOLD!!! 8)

  • Will the shipping version do an MSAA pass and/or 1080p when not rendering in 3D? There’s a LOT of aliasing artifacts in these screenshots in the original resolution.

    My husband and I love the Prince of Persia games, and this sounds great. Too bad about the one-Move-only controls limited to just one place in the game. Does this mean I’ll have to pick up and put down the Move during gameplay?

  • I got to play this in Toronto, like Mr. Signal, and I liked what I got to play (mostly the light cycle section).

    After playing Motorstorm in 3-D and seeing it really work, I can see the potential for this game in 3-D.

    I’m looking forward to it.

  • A bit odd, you go so far as 3D & Move support. Automatically I guess you would not stop there, I thought there would be Avatars, Home support, and Themes (Also with Xbox 360 Avatars and Kinect support). Nevertheless nothings been confirm or denied.

    Although you’ve said theres DLC coming in the future so any and all of these things can be added. I look forward to the game & movie and I hope it goes as you’ve planed.

  • So in the multiplayer we can switch between foot and the lightcycle on the fly? That sounds cool and could lead to some awesome “whoa” moments. And I like how they made it so the players on foot can take down the tank, I can see this element leading a lot of players to their doom. Also, in team DM using lightcycles, will our team mates’ light trails de-rez us?

  • this game look just as good as the movie coming out in a coupe weeks.

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