Reviews

Review: Iron Man VR

My first impression of Marvel’s Iron Man VR came at a convention last year and I suffered from minor sickness when playing as Tony Stark. My colleagues walked away unscathed and I was jealous because I was determined to be able to play as the best Avenger by launch. Fast forward one year later and we’re one day from Camoflaj’s major Marvel game launching on PlayStation VR.

I can say my experience improved vastly from the last time I was in the virtual headset. Last summer, I spent some time playing the show floor demo at Fan Expo and I walked away with motion sickness. At home, playing in a familiar environment, I acclimated with ease. From the moment I started I was visually impressed at how well I was processing what was happening. What really sticks out is how excellent VR games have come on PlayStation since launching in 2016. Granted, you’re still weighed down by tons of cables and the Move controllers that feel far past their expiration but the excitement of being an Avenger in VR is a marvel!

And while I enjoyed my experience, the entire thing loses immersion with so many cables around me. I’ve been lucky enough to try other VR systems, namely Valve’s Index controllers, I hope that when Sony inevitably upgrades their VR peripherals, we get something similar, if not some sort of compatibility with PlayStation VR2. As this generation winds down, I don’t see any other major VR titles releasing but Camoflaj is in a position to dominate the medium next generation.

I am Iron Man VR

Marvel’s Iron Man VR uses familiar story beats from the film in order to start us off as Tony Stark. The game begins as Tony shifts his focus away from war-profiteering and into safe and clean energy. Coming back to the game, if you’ve played the demo available on the PlayStation Network, this is the start of the full game and a perfect way to introduce the mechanics of flight and combat as Iron Man. Things quickly shift back to Tony Stark and the opening hours include an attack on Stark’s private jet, exploring Tony’s Malibu home, and also upgrading the Iron Man armour.

Iron Man VR

And while the middle section of the narrative falls flat, the last few hours end up being some of my favourite moments within the whole game. Yes, things get predictable in Iron Man VR, but it is entertaining, and I can forgive the rounded narrative. And it is a nice touch seeing Ghost make an appearance as the villain. We’ve seen Ghost in Ant-Man & The Wasp before so seeing Ghost take on Tony Stark came as a nice surprise. Missions are mostly in open areas that allow you to take full advantage of being Iron Man. You’ll face off several enemy types and complete objectives. At the end of each mission, you gain combat challenges and races, but I wasn’t ever compelled to come back to these, aside from once to test things out.

After this is wrapped up, let’s get shawarma

With a Move controller in each hand, the feeling of flying like Iron Man takes some time to nail but when you finally get it, the freedom is unabashedly welcome. Triggers on the Move controllers focus on thrust. If you aim the controllers down, Iron Man shoots up into the sky with ease, aims with separate targeting systems for each hand. Whatever direction your hands are facing, will essentially push you away from that direction. It’s really cool once everything makes sense and Camoflaj nails the feeling of being Iron Man thanks to the control screen and freedom given to the player.

Post-game offers trials to complete, a new difficulty mode, and replay chapters to your heart’s content. Stark’s armour can also be upgraded post-game and so if you’re someone who loves collectibles, you can certainly spend time searching for more suit modifications. For me though, spending 8 hours in VR is more than enough so once I finished, the trials pulled me back before I decided I was finished.

Verdict

With the console generation winding down and ramping up for the next console generation, Marvel’s Iron Man VR is a pleasing superhero simulator. PlayStation VR is very limiting on what it can do and how much movement it allows a player, but Camoflaj delivers an exciting experience for fans of both Iron Man and Marvel. Aside from some bothersome load times, the gameplay delivers a fantastic worth pulling out your VR unit. My biggest gripe is the limited ability of the PlayStation VR and load times, throwing off the flow of gameplay at times. I can only hope for a sequel once Sony decides on upgrading VR on PlayStation 5 at some point.

[A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.]

Recommended
Recommended
The Good
  • Playing as Iron Man is a blast
  • Good original story, excellent character depictions
The Bad
  • PlayStation VR is held back by tons of cables, Move controllers
  • Load times are awful
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Bobby has been gaming since he was old enough to walk. Since then, the interest has only grown stronger, and here we are today. Follow Bobby on Twitter, and just go with it. @bpashalidis

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