If you’re a fan of Iron Man, then you’ve probably – at some point in your life – imagined what it would be like to be in the famous Iron Man suit. It’s as if the concept was made for VR, which is likely why the game was so highly anticipated.
Global comic book giant, Marvel, has teamed up with gaming house, Camouflaj, and put together Playstation’s biggest VR release of the year. The two firms have conspired to give fans of the Armoured Avenger, Iron Man a taste of what it’s like to fly around blasting baddies in the old red & gold. The Iron Man VR game’s trailer promises a lot. It delivers, on the gameplay front, but leaves quite a bit to desired on the “narrative” end of things.
The narrative opens as predictably as most Iron Man narratives; Tony Stark, a billionaire arms dealer experiences a life event that alters his perspective and causes him to abandon his arms dealer path and take on a more philanthropic bent. This new do-gooder persona then uses a high-tech suit he built to escape the hairy situation that changed him, to fight the forces of evil. Must be an ego thing.
The P.S. VR narrative begins with a decision to ‘retire’ an AI program modelled after Stark’s personality – which helped him with weapons design -after he goes full tilt about Stark Industries’ core business being greener. He gives the program rights to continue existing on the internet. The rest of the game covers how bad an idea that turns out to be.
5 years on. With Stark having fully repositioned Stark Industries – as well as his public persona – to something more positive, he finds himself contending with ghosts from his past. A computer hacker, coincidentally named Ghost, attacks Stark aboard a company aircraft, naming him responsible for all the deaths caused by the weapons his company produced. The rascal even has the nerve to reactivate decommissioned Stark Industries attack drones, and has them bombard Stark Industries property across the globe.
Desparate Stark, having been caught slipping by Ghost’s attack, reactivates Gunsmith (aforementioned AI) and goes on the offensive. This makes for some exhilarating moments that give the player a sense that VR is the perfect medium to present an Iron Man game. Those seem few-and-far-between while wading though everything else. Iron Man VR intermittently suffers from mundane, predictable – sometimes preschoolish – gameplay
Playing The Iron Man VR
Being a First Person Aerial Shooter, Iron Man VR enables the user to be fully immersed in the Iron Man universe, and take on the role of Tony Stark piloting the famous suit. With two PlayStation Move VR controllers, one is able to interact with the Iron Man universe, blasting enemies with repulser canons, maneuver through the air, or both, in addition to deactivating bombs, and opening doors.
As Stark, you will navigate a surprisingly, open world. Which is quite awesome if you have the stomach (expect to get a touch, queasy from all the frantic flying around during fight scenes.) Though PlayStation claimed the game could be played sitting down, one might find that, that is a difficult thing to achieve, Since much of the motions required to play Iron Man VR tend to require a standing position.
Something that may truly annoy some, are the tedious cutscenes and loading screens (The wait is tortuous). The game could have done with more action and fewer pointless conversations, as well. Camouflaj could have upped the Iron Man experience by dropping most in-game revelations via the suit’s communication system during a battle. Things to look into if they’re planning a sequel.
Iron Man VR is a great game, it just suffers from too much pointless material. Excessive downtime between action scenes, and pointless conversations and activity could, perhaps, work in a darker setting, like in a Batman game. Tony Stark’s universe however, being rooted in arms dealing, seems to need more blasting, ducking and frustrated restarting of levels. At times it gets very Hitman, but still delivers the goods.
Gameplay could have been better, especially on the hardware front. Perhaps PlayStation should have updated their VR offering before even thinking of touching this one. One can’t help but feel that the game might have been better rendered on an Oculus Quest.