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Tron 2.0 Killer App

The idea behind the (initially overwhelming) wealth of weaponry and subroutines on offer is that you can tune your character to suit exactly how you want to play the game. It's the sort of spiel that every developer comes out with these days - but it really does seem to be the case in Killer App, such is the range of options available to players. Indeed, there's an entire subroutine menu that allows you to manage your plethora of kit. It's also where RPG elements come into play, such as having to 'disinfect' your system when it's attacked by viruses which, if not treated, will decrease your subroutines' effectiveness and eventually destroy them altogether.

It's possible to carry a total of up to 16 weapons at once (you begin with a 'mere' eight) although the single-player game limits your capacity by virtue of how many memory slots you possess, which are largely determined by which level you're on. But it's the new Xbox Live multiplayer aspect that's the real selling point. While the single-player aspect of the game is largely similar to that of the PC outing, the multiplayer component has been coded specifically for the Xbox version by Climax's Santa Monica studio.

While last year's PC original featured just Disc Arena and the round-robin Disc Tournament online modes (plus a fairly basic lightcycle racing mode), Killer App features an additional five online functions, for up to 16 players, across 25 maps (with additional ones available to download). Stats, we got 'em.

The key new online multiplayer offerings are Override and Team Override which, in short, are yer basic deathmatches with the addition of lightcycles. You're free to transform into the ridiculously speedy virtual bikes at any time and they're particularly useful for quickly making it across the sizeable maps and, yes, running people over. As per the film though, don't ride into your own trail as it'll kill you dead (unless you've got the shield-break power-up). Also, crucially, you can't go up inclines. We've seen the future and the future is flat.

Derez and Team Derez offer a lightcycle-free deathmatch experience while Data Capture provides a more strategic slant and is a class-based team objective mode. Players select from a variety of classes and capabilities and must capture and hold objective points around the maps. So, for instance, you could leave one player defending while you run around the map trying to hit the various checkpoints. The mode will also be supported by Xbox Live leaderboards.

Which is all good. The fundamental question remains, though: over 20 years after Tron was first released, is it still relevant? On the evidence of Killer App, the answer is a resounding yes.

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