Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a superhero? With the power of VR, we finally have the closest replica of what it would be like to wield powers beyond human capabilities. There were many questions that I had going into this. How would it play? Will the flying feel good? Is it going to make me motion sick? Will I be invested in the story? Am I going to feel like Iron Man? My quick answers are good, yes, nope, for the most part, and absolutely!
Let’s start off with how Marvel’s Iron Man VR plays. Using the two move controllers, the player has control over Iron Man’s hands. You fly with them and you shoot with them. As you would expect, wherever your palm is facing, Iron Man will fly in the opposite direction. The game does a great job of training you on maneuverability. The only complaint I had with the flying, is that it can be touchy at times. For the most part, I was able to fly around with ease, but there were times my pitch was off, and I’d struggle getting back to the place I needed to go. When you start getting used to the flying, it feels great. I thought it would make me feel sick, but this game does a wonderful job of limiting motion sickness. I loved flying around in the suit, and I can’t wait for the time where we get an open world Iron Man VR game and I can just cruise around the map.
Not only does the flying feel great, but the combat can be a ton of fun. I figured that their wouldn’t be a whole lot of variety outside of the repulsors and unibeam, but I was wrong. You have the option to choose between missiles, bombs, and gatling guns. Instead of having your palm face the enemy, to access these auxiliary weapons you put your palm down and fire from your forearm. Being able to switch between weapons with ease and without pressing a different button helps you feel even more immersed in the experience.
One of my favorite parts of the combat is when you must fly and shoot at the same time. On hard mode, I constantly had to fly away to regenerate health, but that doesn’t mean I had to stop fighting. Enemies are able to catch up to you with ease and I found myself dodging skyscrapers and taking down bad guys at the same time. This is the point where I got goosebumps from the gameplay. Not that I loved having to flee for my life often, but you can feel the adrenaline boost in your body when you are on the brink of death. It felt great to be flying at a high speed and then “coast” for a few seconds to get a few shots off at the drones flying around you.
Playing as Tony is a different story. Obviously without the suit, you aren’t going to be flying and shooting bad guys. I saw many people say this was the weakest part of the game. While I don’t necessarily disagree with that statement, I also don’t know what you would expect to do as Tony. His segments were to push the story forward, and I thought it was a successful approach. I would have liked to explore the mansion a little bit more and had more personal elements to pick up and learn about, but I thought it was enough for the first entry. You can find enjoyment taking a break from the story to shoot hoops or hit a punching bag, but you won’t want to hang around very long.
While I found the story to be a bit predictable, I am happy that Camouflaj chose to pick enemies not in any of the Iron Man film adaptations. I don’t personally read comics, even though I know I would love them, so I can’t say with accuracy if big comic fans will enjoy Ghost’s portrayal. I thought it was fine and I enjoyed the acting involved in her scenes. Her boss fights were fairly repetitive, but they did get increasing harder with each fight. For the most part, the story is a basic revenge story that you would expect in a superhero story. Gunsmith is another character they introduced in the game, and I really enjoyed his presence. The path his character was going to take, was easy to see, but at least the motivations were slightly different. Again, it was a very predictable story, but most comic movies and games are fairly predictable in my opinion. All-in-all I thought the cast of Pepper, Friday, Ghost, Living Laser, Tony, and Gunsmith did a wonderful job portraying them, and I couldn’t envision it being much better for a first attempt in a VR game.
Graphically, this game has it’s ups and downs. PSVR isn’t capable of having Uncharted like graphics, so I don’t know what people were expecting. The suit looks great in my opinion and I thought most character models were on par with the rest of VR games. The environments are were the game stumbles quite a bit. Most environments resemble early PS3 graphics, but I don’t necessarily think it’s at the fault of the developer. I’d expect the next iteration on PS5 with a PSVR 2 unit will look much better than this game. Graphics in VR games rarely bother me, and I hope this doesn’t change how you feel about the game. Loading is the only technical aspect of this game that is completely atrocious. I can deal with it in non-vr games where I’m sitting down, but the loading times are noticeable when you are standing for a long time waiting to get to the battle. It doesn’t help that when you die, you have to sit in a loading screen again.
My one big quarrel with this game is the enemy diversity. You’ll either find yourself fighting drones, tanks, or bosses. The drones do have some variety to them, but it’s hard to really feel like you are not doing the same thing in multiple levels. I’m glad that these drones do have different weaknesses and guns, but you’ll still feel like you are fighting only 3 different enemies. It also gets frustrating when all of these enemies have missiles and lasers that all lock on to you. It’s fine on a normal difficulty, but on hard it can annoy the heck out of you.
On hard, I never found the game overly difficulty. There are times it ramps up and you will absolutely die. The checkpoints can be unforgiving, and that’s where you’ll get the most frustrated. One of the boss fights is a little lengthy, and when you die at the end it’ll make you mad to have to go through everything over again. Playing the challenges on normal was a much easier experience. Enemies die way faster and don’t hurt as much. Normal is a lot easier and it may be wise to avoid the frustrations with the hard difficulty.
Lastly, the trophy list is solid in this game. It doesn’t force you to beat the Camouflaj time trials and that’s a great thing. I honestly don’t know how to come close to their times, but I’m impressed with what they were able to achieve. The hardest thing you’ll do in the game is beat it on hard. If you can do that, the rest of the trophies will be a piece of cake. I think it only took me a couple hours to platinum after finishing the story.
Overall, the game is great. There were a few stumbles along the way, but I loved playing as the metal hero. This game absolutely makes you feel like you are a superhero and made flying and shooting feel great. The story isn’t going to blow you off your feet, but you can respect what they did. I was skeptical how it would feel to be Iron Man, but developer Camouflaj rose up to the task and had an outstanding first outing. Under this strong foundation, I am excited to see what they do next with our fan favorite hero.
Rating: 8 out of 10