My desire to experience Sega’s Iron Man 2 on PlayStation 3 was based on how much I love the movie franchise. As a non-gamer with limited comparative experience, I felt it would be fun to explore an interactive world inhabited by Tony Stark. I had heard nothing but horrible things about first Iron Man video game on all platforms, but advance word seemed more promising for the sequel. I approached game play as the novice I am, hoping that low expectations would make this game all the more approachable.
The best thing about the game is that the storyline is not based on the movie. Iron Man 2, the game, has a completely new plot that takes place after the end of the movie. Basically, the general idea is that Tony Stark’s computer J.A.R.V.I.S. is stolen by a criminal mastermind out to destroy the world. With the J.A.R.V.I.S. hardware in hand, the bad guys can create weapons to take down Iron Man and War Machine, eventually laying waste to anything they see fit.
So after starting off with that sound premise, game play follows a series of levels designed to defeat the bad guys, of course. This is a shoot ’em up, blow ’em up type of game. It allows the player to be either Iron Man or War Machine. The problem for me is that with a million different options for weaponry and hand-to-hand combat, I never felt like I was in complete control of the character. Sometimes, even early on during some relatively easy missions, the objective for a given level was very difficult to understand. I found myself alternately pausing the game to figure out how to accomplish specific tasks while simply button-mashing, hoping desperately to take out enough bad guys to move onward. To my surprise, the latter approach usually worked.
With each mission, the actions stops and the player is walked through a new set of instructions on how to navigate through the level. More often than not, I felt like simply sitting back and watching the PS3 console play the game for me. The point of view options given by the game’s camera left me confused too much of the time. I was frustrated and far from entertained.
The graphics were serviceable. I’ve seen far better but this wasn’t bargain basement level, at least not to my eyes. As a nice bonus, Don Cheadle and Samuel L. Jackson contribute their own voices. That made it feel all the more connected to the movie franchise. While Robert Downey Jr. was not on board as the voice of Tony Stark, the game’s producers managed to find a startling sound-alike.
All things considered, Iron Man 2 is a fun souvenir if you’re a fan of the films. But repeat value is so low, I wouldn’t recommend anyone buying it unless it’s deeply discounted.
Iron Man 2 is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Mild Language and Violence. This game can also be found on: Nintendo DS, PS3, PSP, Wii, Xbox 360.