Taking age-old fictional universes in new directions is an idea we should all support. Too often, licensed games cut too close to already existing characters or scenarios, and those beloved fictional frameworks never get a chance to develop. With Tron: Identity, Bithell Games takes on the venerable Tron franchise and tries something completely different – a visual novel with light puzzle gameplay. Novelty alone is enthusiastic value. However, despite a brave effort on a new product, this moderate-sized release has yet to achieve success in several key areas.
Tron: Identity is comparable to a classic detective story, assuming your investigator lives in a computer, wears a disk containing his memories, and is always surrounded by colored lights. flicker. The whole story unfolds in a rich trove of information about “Grid”, and you must solve the mystery of a strange explosion and possible theft there. Along the way, you meet a number of other characters, or “Programs” in the local language, and make choices that will affect each person’s perception of you and how receptive they are to you. your question. The whole thing unfolds through written text placed beneath the art of characters and languages in the Archives.
I like the limited scope and tight narrative constraints provided. But I can’t say I’ve ever felt like I was solving a mystery. New pieces of information fell into my lap at regular intervals, but I never really felt like a detective putting all the pieces together. When the big picture reveals itself, it’s more of a surprising plot twist than a satisfying click away of everything finally making sense.
Even so, the descriptions and written dialogue paint an atmospheric story and help create nuance around mostly still images. I enjoyed Bithell’s distinct approach to the world of Tron and the places the developers found to add new twists to that already existing fictional story. I also like the branching decision trees, which allow each player to create their own story, maybe even with different characters living or dying at the end.
Along the way, my character has a special ability to help unravel and unravel her memories, which recent events have inexplicably damaged. These fixes take the form of an unusual puzzle game of numbers and cards that fit together in specific patterns. Players repeat variations of this puzzle structure many times over several hours to complete a turn. While not aggravating, I’ve never had a crush on a mechanic and often find that trial and error is the best way to deal with them. During my next playthrough to explore different narratives, I’m happy to pause and skip the puzzles entirely – a wise option to include, based on my experience.
Tron: Identity flirts with some pretty heavy topics during its brief playtime. Issues of fate, the meaning of memory, and purpose in the face of extinction – all of these issues and more are explored, primarily in relation to the game’s sub-title: identity. Ultimately, regardless of your choices, the game does not seek to make any specific conclusive statements about those topics. But seeing diverse characters brood over these issues during a crisis is exciting.
While I applaud the unique structure of Tron: Identity, I have never found myself so caught up in and absorbed in the unfolding story. Everything feels authentic to the Tron universe, and fans like me should appreciate the new wrinkles in the scene. But even with some interesting ideas, I ended up being a User unable to garner much interest in these Programs and their problems.