In theory, creating a successful videogame adaption of the
Iron Man film seems like an easy task. The character has the agility and speed of
a fighter jet, with the weaponry of an Abrams tank. A developer would only need
to update the ‘strike and hide’ gameplay of the forgotten Thunderstrike series to
have a hit on their hands.
Iron Man’s first level finds main character Tony Stark on a
ground based mission, where the main hero’s abilities are gained. Offering no flight, and only a small amount of enemies, play seems to sputter
along with bits of slowdown. Interestingly, once Iron Man takes to the air,
these problems are resolved somewhat. Note that overall gameplay is marred by
slowdown not found in the demo; while taking out two enemies on a bridge; the
game should consistently go into slow motion for about five seconds. The framerate in the 360 version is slightly higher overall than the Playstation 3 edition.
Graphically, Iron Man
is quite impressive; large outdoor environments are drawn with no signs of
pop-in. Desert locations are especially beautiful, with sweeping vistas, and
delicate textures. Enemies such as tanks, turrets and jets are well drawn, but
recycled too often through the game. While game bosses give a reprieve to the repetitiveness,
a few more character models would have helped matters considerably. Players may
feel fatigue as they destroy the same tank model for the hundredth time.
Iron Man’s controls are a mixed bag. At times, it feels exhilarating
to control the gold and red hero, hovering while destroying vehicles. But
trying to eliminate jet fighters, which constantly bombard the player with missiles,
is frustrating. Ground-based combat is clunky and uninteresting; it doesn’t
convey any sense of muscle. Developer
Secret Level should have aped God of War’s sense of power and battlefield dominance.
While missions range from destroying all enemies to
protecting civilian zones, there is a certain sameness that is pervasive
throughout the game. There is little satisfaction in mission completion;
players trudge through the levels with the reward of new landscapes, and little
else. Bosses fights are not tactical, and usually involve finding a bit of
cover, popping up occasionally to release a missile barrage. As the game
progresses, levels are peppered with an increasing amount of enemies, so that
latter levels feel a bit frustrating.
Overall, we are sad to report that Iron Man seems like
another quickly designed title to capitalize on the film’s impending success. For
a character that seems perfect for a game, Iron Man the game is a
disappointment for players.
Final Score: D