YOU ARE TONY STARK FROM STARK INDUSTRIES, AND YOUR MISSION, TO MAINTAIN WORLD PEACE AND ORDER.
Sega and Marvel have already had a chance to release a decent Iron Man game when the first movie came out two years ago. We reviewed that game and found it that it was very repetitive, had shabby environments and had the feeling that the whole thing was a little rushed. This time we’re back with Iron Man 2 and we’re all expecting the previous problems to be fixed which would then give Iron Man 2: The Video Game the potential to be fun worthy purchasable game to run alongside the movie.
If you’ve seen the Iron Man 2 movie then you’ll be disappointed to hear that the game only dips in and out of the plot of the film. You do encounter the electrified monster that is Whiplash later in the game but the majority of your time will be you working with S.H.I.E.L.D in your aim to bring down the deadly Crimson Dynamo and so restore world peace. From the off you’re in your multi-million pound Stark Industries iron man suit being attacked by enemies and getting used to the difficult flying controls. The flying is especially difficult and frustrating when in tight spaces and the camera angle doesn’t ease this pain however it’s not too bad when out in the open world.
Each mission follows a very similar and repetitive plot. Each task will involve you turning on some switches, defeating any incoming enemy AI then at the end of most levels defeating an enemy boss: one of the Crimson Dynamos. The missions are littered with annoying enemies who are willing to take cheap shots at you whilst you’re busy turning on a switch. This usually means you’ll have to forget progressing in the mission while you take down the remaining enemy which just prolongs things.
To help destroy your enemies you’ll need to upgrade your iron man suit which you can do by completing missions and gaining data points. The more enemies and destruction you cause the more data points you earn which in turn allows you to add super weapons to your suit. After a while your suit will be super awesome with rockets, laser guns and mini-machine guns all attached. You can also upgrade each individual weapon which is required in the later levels to advance. This is pretty cool but I feel they could have offered so much more customisation with this feature.
Once your suit has been upgraded the enemy AI won’t know what’s coming for them. The only problem is, when firing the weapons it just doesn’t feel fun and exciting. This is because of the auto aim function, which after a while makes the levels a little boring and more-so mundane. Hit auto aim and bash the right trigger firing a bunch of weapons at the enemy until they die, then the auto aim will, as its namesake suggest, automatically switch to another opponent. You don’t need to use the auto-aim but because it was built for that, it’s too hard to manually fire at any oncoming attack. The auto-aim does make it easier for the novice user however and I’m sure if you’re after a little Iron Man action, you’ll be able to cope with the repetitiveness.
Not all missions are played as Iron Man however, as you'll also have the option to play some missions as Tony’s on-screen friend Lt Colonel James Rhodes, or War Machine to me and you. War Machine plays out very similarly to the controls of the iron man suit, but you do get some different weapons which are unique to War Machine. It's a nice touch but at the end of the day, it doesn't affect how the missions play out.
I’ve spoken a lot about the single player mode so I bet your wondering about the multiplayer side of things? Well to put it short, there is none. I found this a little bizarre considering you can play a mode called ‘One Man Army’ in the original Iron Man game. Surely the developer’s next step would be to upgrade this mode to ‘Two Man Army’. I don’t think an online mode would be beneficial due to the expected lack of players so I can understand the time saving issue there, but then you would assume the time saved on multiplayer would have gone into the development of the single player. This gives me the impression that the game was purely released for PR purposes only.
Graphically the game has its ups and downs. When you’re flying around in the open world the landscape doesn’t look to bad, but as you get closer and closer the detail doesn’t improve and the scenery ends up becoming smudged and very poor. The character visuals are actually quite good with Tony Stark, War Machine and Nick Furry all looking like their movie counterparts Robert Downey Jnr, Don Cheadle and Samuel L Jackson respectively. The graphics certainly won’t win any awards, but it’s not the look that let’s this game down.
Audio is always something I feel lacks in movie tie-in games more so the voiceovers of the characters. The explosions and gun shots in the game all feel very generic but the voice acting is surprisingly quite impressive. Although Robert Downy Jnr and the voice of J.A.R.V.I.S (Starks pride and glory) don’t voice their own characters, their voice doubles do a pretty decent job. War Machine and Nick Furry are voiced by their onscreen counterparts Don Cheadle and the awesome Samuel L Jackson respectively which certainly helps with the authenticity.
To wrap up, the game’s decent voiceovers and good looking character visuals don’t over power the fact that the game is too repetitive. The missions become very mundane as quickly as mission three, which isn’t a good sign. If you enjoyed the movie, the game may potentially be worth a wait, but as with most movie game tie-ins, the game just isn’t up to scratch and will no doubt be found in the bargain-bin in a shop near you soon.