|Developer||Camouflaj, Darkwind Media|
|Publisher||Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC|
|ESRB Rating||T for Teen|
|Release Date||July 3, 2020|
As far as licensed games go, fewer have had it rougher than superhero games. And nobody has had a better comeback in recent years than superhero licensed games. A trend started with the Batman Arkham series in 2009, and hopefully will continue with Marvel’s Avengers in September. Time to see if this game can stack up to the quality expected of Marvel in recent years.
Violence: The Iron Man armor is equipped with various weapons such as the repulsors, missiles, machine guns, bombs, rocket punches, and the uni-beam. All of these tools must be used to take on enemy drones, Living Laser, and Ghost.
Language: A*s, son of a b*tch, and the like are used a handful of times in the campaign.
Positive Elements: Tony fights to show Ghost that he is no longer the man who played both sides of a conflict, but someone who will put his life on the line for others. At every opportunity he is given, he tries to get Ghost to choose a different path and see what is reaped when revenge is sown.
In the years of being an arms dealer, Tony Stark never thought of the consequences of his actions. He never believed he would be taken by terrorists to be their personal weapon maker, but as soon as he left that cave in the Mark I armor, he did! He learned of his wrongs and immediately set out to make things right. Tony became a work in progress, someone haunted by what he did. Desperately trying to outrun who he was, he became the superhero Iron Man. You know this story, as it was told by Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr in 2008. What was not told in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version was about the Ghost he had yet to escape. The one that has come back to haunt him.
After Pepper Potts is injured in an attack on his plane, Tony sets to find out who is after him. What he finds disturbs him—his enemy is using his old weapons tech against him. Everything he has built over the years has been thrown in his face. Not only that, but they have also been improved to counter his own armaments. Every clue in this mystery is unraveled in twelve missions scattered across the globe. In environments ranging from Malibu to Shanghai to a SHIELD helicarrier, something new is brought to light and test Tony’s will to resolve things in a peaceful manner. No matter what way Tony believes is the right path, compromises between his two natures always lead to a consequence he does not intend.
Making things difficult is Tony’s decision to bring back his old weapons designer Gunsmith. Serving as the devil on Tony’s shoulder, Gunsmith develops new weapons in the fight against Ghost and creates combat challenges to test them out. While the angel is Friday, she seeks to prevent Tony from slipping into his old self-destructive habits that Gunssmith eggs on. She sets up flight challenges to test Tony’s agility within the suit. Completing these grant research points used to unlock the new suit upgrades Gunsmith makes. The better performance given in these challenges and story missions, the more research points rewarded. Up to five are earned for each type, but getting all of the weapons will not require you to get all of the points. It is nice to be able to use every weapon and not be expected to be excellent in order to attain them all. Up to eight armor skins are available to unlock, each tied to a trophy and a combat feat.
It all comes together in the gameplay. If you have seen the way Iron Man moves in the movies, you are halfway there. Holding the T buttons on the Move controllers will activate the thrusters for propulsion, and moving side-toide is as simple as holding the button on one side or the other. Boosting is a double tap on both sides. Firing repulsor beams is a tap of the Move button in each hand. Everything works and feels how it should. Motioning your wrist downward brings up the heavier weaponry like the smart bombs and seeker missiles. Iron Man VR is all very easy to play. The only hard part about it is trying to move down while flying. I am unsure if it was my dumb self’s fault or not, because sometimes I could get the game to do what I wanted, and other times, I would just look down as I went higher and higher. Trying to descend in flight was the only time I had issues with the controls.
The voice cast does excel at portraying their characters. The two in particular I want to single out are the main hero and villain. Josh Keaton is amazing in his dual-portrayal of the Tony Stark and Gunsmith roles. One side is the reformed man turned hero and the other a reflection of what he was before the cave. It would be easy to mistake each character as a different actor. Chantelle Barry does is great as Ghost. She properly conveys hatred and pain toward Tony. There is so much malice in what she says, and yet, she still got me to feel sorry for her. Hearing the two of them go back and forth with each other is also a delight. There were times during combat when I would wish the fighting could stop so I could appreciate every little verbal jab that was thrown each way. Tony throwing shade at another villain, Living Laser, is a lot of fun too. The amount of puns he is able to pull out had me cracking up every time.
In conclusion, Marvel’s Iron Man VR may have a little issue with the controls, but that should not stop someone from playing it. It does not reach the metaphorical highs of Marvel’s Spider-Man, but it does bring a unique experience that could not be better achieved in any other format. If you have a PlayStation VR needing some love right now, get on playing this game. It is well worth your time, especially amidst this Marvel Studios drought we are in.
The Bottom Line
Marvel's Iron Man VR is one of the best marriages of character and gameplay, and deserves to be played as soon as possible.