|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PC, PS2, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Artificial Mind and Movement||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Sega of America||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 2, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
So what did I like about this title? I loved the controls! I'm serious. Flying around from place to place, hovering, unleashing my secondary weapons, firing the Unibeam, waylaying troops, and tearing through tanks was like second nature. It's awesome to be so free in the open world design. Because Iron Man can fly, hover, and land, obstacles such as buildings, mountains, and walls become valuable cover rather than substantial impediments. I loved flying to an objective-filled chokepoint, hovering in place while I took out four helicopters, then landing to take out three tanks, and then launching back up again and slamming onto a roof in order to take out four AA turrets simultaneously! I really felt like Iron Man! That experience is something that many licensed titles can't come close to capturing, but it's something Iron Man does quite well indeed.
The game's structure is very straightforward. Starting a new game has you plow through mission after mission trying to not only pass the main mission objectives, but also to pass the Time Challenge, Enemies Destroyed target, and side missions. At the end of each level you will be given a final score and be awarded with funds to upgrade your suit, which I will talk about a bit later. If the score you received was on the wimpy side, you can go back to any completed level and improve your score via the Mission Archive. Lastly, after a few levels you will open up the One Man Army mode. This has you go back to re-challenge a mission without being fettered by various objectives. Your only goal is to kill as many baddies as you can in the time allotted. If you reach the target number, then you will be rewarded with more powerful suits. This is a novel idea for extending gameplay, but after all it's too shallow for any real enjoyment.
An interesting game feature is the ability to reconfigure your suit via tech upgrades. As you blow through the levels you will be awarded with unlockable techs that can be purchased and installed between levels. These technological improvements cover your suit's Core Systems, Repulsors, Power System, Auxiliary Weapons, and Mobility Enhancements. These upgrades are pretty pricey, and that only allows you to purchase one or two at a time. As you advance in the game, these improvements become vital as the sheer amount of enemies (and by enemies I mean missiles) that are thrown at you gets to be obnoxious! Additionally, a couple of options are available with every tech upgrade, so there is a bit of user-driven customization. Furthermore, unlocking new pieces of equipment always goes a long way toward establishing a sense of accomplishment.
All in all, know that this is not a good game, but it's not that bad either. Die hard fans of Iron Man will really appreciate the smooth controls and frantic gameplay. After all, the game feels like you've stepped into the toughest part of a comic. However, if you're just a regular gamer, you're going to want to pass on this title. The repetitive missions, terrible story, and ugly cutscenes are not worth your hard earned cash! Additionally, there is no local multiplayer action nor is there an online component. Consequently, replayability of the title is almost nil! In other words, give the game a wide berth unless you really love action for action's sake.
CCC Lead Contributor / News Director