One of the most anticipated titles for the PSVR is Marvel’s Iron Man VR, an adventure in the shoes of Tony Stark; the thought makes me go weak at the knees. That in itself is enough to peak more than my interest. Who does not want to have chance at being Iron Man, arguably the best Avenger?
Tony Stark’s advanced armour operates like VR, with a virtual screen seen inside his helmet. So it seems that Iron Man is made for the virtual reality game genre.
The game starts with your private jet being attacked by your war drones which are now under the command of the antagonist, Ghost. This attack defeats Tony, so he tries to find out why he was attacked and how to stop Ghost with the help of his two holographic companions: Friday and Gunsmith.
Iron Man VR lets you play as Iron Man or Tony Stark in different sections of the game. While Iron Man obviously deals with all of the combat scenes, Tony can walk around his mansion, improve his gear, or choose the next objective. Unfortunately, you do not have free roam of Starks residence, which may not be an issue as there are a lack of interactable objects in the building, so wandering around seems somewhat pointless. This may explain why Iron Man VR is only allowed to teleport to certain interaction points. There is a minigame and training equipment, but other than that, there isn’t much to do apart from upgrading your suite and picking up a few random books.
The game’s control system demands you use two PlayStation Move controllers; there’s no option for the DualShock at all. You have all seen how Iron Man flies in the films? Imagine yourself holding the controllers down by your side and jet yourself around simply by titling your wrist and directing yourself with the thruster coming out of the palm of each hand. Pure genius!
This does however mean that you have to remain standing the whole time, which for me is OK as you burn more calories standing rather than sitting! Want to use your weapons? Easy. All you need to do is raise your hands and aim. You’ve got repulsor blasts in your hands, a unibeam in your chest, and a variety of unlockable secondary weapons on your wrist, that range from an armour-piercing missile to what is essentially a shotgun.
Iron Man is more than a shoot ’em-up” super hero, there are some sequences where you’re not fighting at all but just talking or solving simple puzzles and saving people.
The bigger reported issue though is that the only other things you ever fight are mindless drones. Some charge at you or have shields that need to be avoided, while others provide shields to other drones or have dangerous attacks. Each has strengths and weaknesses, and exploiting those is usually key to winning any fight. While the enemy variety is definitely a problem I like the way the game embraces the Iron Man ethos, and it really makes you feel like Tony Stark himself.
Technically, Iron Man VR looks good. It is without doubt a PS VR title as it looks very smart indeed. The characters, the environments, the close proximity look very sharp and detailed, but that naturally fades the further away it gets. Arguably the biggest technical gripe is the load times, which are horrendous.
In summary: From the gameplay reports that I have read and seen this game appears impressive, ambitious, and enjoyable, and it embraces all aspects of the Iron Man character and is only let down by technical limitations of the Playstaion and headset, the repetitive drone combat encouters and the appalling load times.
That said, who would does not want to jump at the opportunity to walk in Tony Stark’s shoes and save the world one more time. “I am Iron Man!”
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