|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: SEGA San Francisco||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SEGA||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 4, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Before you take flight, running around or when hovering, the thumbstick configurations are structured the aforementioned way-one stick controls movement, one controls camera. Fire up your afterburners and it's a whole new ball game. The left thumbstick controls your acceleration and deceleration, while the right thumbstick controls the direction of your flight. It's tough to make the transition early on, and this will likely lead to a number of hard landings as you're blindsided by tank shells and homing missiles. The wonky camera doesn't help either. It's hard to keep an enemy in front of you as you fly 100 mph through a sky full of explosions; it's impossible when you can't control the camera lens.
In a final puzzling piece of presentation, every melee attack begun with a block will slowdown time. It might've been cool, if it wasn't always the same attack combination and didn't often lead to a face to face with the concrete. It's not an altogether impossible system, but there's a distinct learning curve that's made all the more difficult to stomach by the fact that it blends so poorly with the rest of the game's controls. A few basic evasive moves allow you to make adjustments in air, specifically, a barrel roll and an about face turn that sends you in the other direction. These are light touches that will frequently not be enough to change your path so you actually retain very little control. It's rare that you will be able to eliminate an enemy en route. Overall, flying is an admittedly fun, but unwieldy affair.
The chief problem with this game is that you don't really feel like an iron-clad stud. I have a theory: the presentation makes or breaks a game these days. Sound is what you'd expect. Explosions and light metal soundtrack over and over. It turns to white noise quickly. Voice acting is a mixed bag. Don Cheadle and Samuel L. Jackson provided their voices, but, Iron Man is not voiced by Robert Downey Jr. It's actually not as noticeable as the absence of the big screen talent for, say, Pepper Potts, but it is distracting. Graphics are just plain mediocre and, at times, worse. Iron Man generally looks okay, but once the mask comes off, things tend to get ugly. Nick Fury most resembles his on screen avatar, but don't come to this party looking for the pretty girls.
At this point most gamers have blown up enough silos and downed enough choppers to know what an explosion should look and feel like. Iron Man 2 captures this, and it's a good thing, because there are so many explosions it almost borders on a Michael Bay film. What Iron Man 2 most certainly does not seem to grasp is the weight of the character or his surroundings. I mean, sure a tank might be able to survive a couple of laser blasts, but why is that darn tree so strong? More than once I came across a metal cargo door that took four or five missiles to crack open, then destroyed a mechanical enemy with a few punches. I'm no physicist, but something about that seems odd. There's no power to your character. You can fly full speed into a chain link fence and it will slowly tip over like it was hit by a strong gust. People criticize sandbox games where your character feels too powerful; this one has the opposite problem. Apparently, Iron man lives in a in an adamantium world.
Leon Hendrix III
CCC Freelance Writer