Over the years, superheroes have only grown in popularity by spreading to other forms of media such as movies and video games, so it was only natural that we would eventually start to receive super hero games for Virtual Reality. We had a few short experiences and games, with some of my favorites being Spider-Man: Far From Home and Batman Arkham VR, but we still hadn’t received a big, multiple hour long, superhero game. That was until Playstation’s first State Of Play event, where the very first announcement was a trailer for Iron Man VR, developed by Camoflaj, who previously put out a VR game called République. Me and most of the PSVR fanbase has been highly anticipating this release, but now that it’s out, is Iron Man VR any good?
Iron Man VR’s gameplay consists of completing missions and occasionally exploring small environments on foot. Though exploring is almost exclusively for story moments, with the exception of a hub area, these areas typically feature a few intractable objects, but not much more than that. Where the core of the gameplay really lies, is in it’s flight and combat mechanics. The flight has you using your move controllers to direct your path, you’ll be holding the T trigger to activate your flight, and can double tab the trigger to boost, though the boost has a cool down so you can’t spam it. The flight mechanics work perfectly, and feel really natural with the move controllers. As for combat, you’ll use the move button to shoot repulsor blasts, and the smaller buttons to charge rocket punches and to activate your special move, the unibeam. You also have a secondary weapon on each arm that can be pulled out at any time. Like the flight mechanics, the combat is extremely well done, and both the flight and combat work perfectly together. They accomplish the feeling of being Iron Man within seconds of flying in the suit, which is also partly because of the HUD in the game, which shows your health, direction of flight, and more important info.
Throughout the game you’ll be using these mechanics to go from mission to mission as Iron Man. The story has a total of 12 chapters, with each chapter lasting anywhere from 20-40 minutes long. The missions consist of taking out waves of enemies, moving objects, protecting something, chasing an enemy, and a few other types. Each of the missions have a rating system, where you get a specific amount of tokens depending on how well you do. These tokens can then be used back in the hub area to purchase new upgrades for your suit. You can change anything from primary and secondary weapons, to power cores and thrusters. There are two load-outs you can customize and choose from, which is also a nice addition. The customization is a very fun part of the game, and gives you several different ways to play. You can also unlock different suits by completing objectives, like killing enemies with rocket punches or secondary weapons. Each of the suits are full of detail and look fantastic in the game.
Iron Man VR is filled with several different environments that you’ll be visiting during the story. Most of these environments look really good, with the exception of Shanghai, the largest environment in the game, which didn’t look bad, but was lacking in detail when compared to other areas. The graphics themselves look great, and had little blur. If there were any other graphical issues I didn’t notice, it’s because I was so involved in the gameplay that I wasn’t paying attention to the graphics.
As for the story, it’s enjoyable. I’d say it’s better than the average story we get in Virtual Reality, but still not something to write home about. It’s just that a lot of the story was stuff I’ve already seen before, and the majority of the interesting story points were at the beginning and end of the story. I will say that the voice acting and character models were really good though.
Sadly I do have a few issues with Iron Man VR, my biggest being the loading screens. Yes, this is a big game with a lot going on in it, which means there are going to be some loading screens. But the loading screens in this game are extremely long, with the typical loading screen taking around 1-2 minutes, and then leading to a black screen for another 15-30 seconds. It doesn’t ruin the game, but it can really ruin the pace of the story sometimes. I’m personally hoping that the game will have faster loading times on the PS5, as I could see myself coming back to it more often.
Another issue I have is that they reuse almost every area you visit in the game. It’s not that I didn’t like revisiting these areas, I just would have preferred a little more variety as the game is only a few hours long, it felt like they were trying to pad it out at times.
The next issue I had is that the objectives inside of the missions were a little too simple, and were things we’ve seen from games countless times before. Most of the game is fighting off enemies, with the occasional grab this object and move it here, or protect this thing, or—you get the point. I just would’ve liked a little more innovation when it comes to the objectives themselves.
And my final issue is that the game can get a bit repetitive at times if you play it for several hours at a time like I did. Now obviously most players won’t play it for as long as I did, because I was trying to put out a review, but I would just recommend that you spread out the game across several different sessions for the best experience.
So overall, Iron Man VR is a good game! It’s bogged down a bit by the loading screens, and simplistic objectives, but I still had a great time playing it. And that’s just due to the great flight and combat mechanics that almost never get old. When you’re in the zone flying fast throughout the world while taking enemies out one by one, it’s an amazing feeling. The game is around 5-6 hours long, but there are several fun combat and flight missions to test your skills as Iron Man. If you’re a big superhero fan, or just like the idea of being Iron Man, this is worth picking up despite its issues. It’s also a great showpiece for newcomers, as long as they don’t get motion sickness. But if you’re still hesitant I would recommend waiting for a small sale, or maybe even waiting to see if the game gets improved for PS5.