|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|
by Jonathan Marx
Trying to ride on the coattails of the movie's success, Iron Man, the video game, released for every gaming system that's still alive and kicking. I was tasked with reviewing the 360 and PS3 versions, and I had a lot more fun than I thought I would. Granted, this game suffers from loads of problems, but I did find it to be a chaotic destruction-fest that appealed to the power gamer in me. However, as much as I enjoyed blowing things up for the first few levels, the game got extremely repetitive as the title wore on! Thankfully, the controls are so good that anyone wishing to wield the power of Iron Man in their hands will probably enjoy this title.
The game only pays lip service to the movie by throwing in actor likenesses, voiceover work, and some basic plot devices like the Army of Ten Rings. So, if you haven't seen the movie yet, picking up the game won't be a problem. Furthermore, there are a handful of villains from the Marvel universe, including Whiplash, Titanium Man, and the Melter, mixed in with other villainous organizations such as A.I.M. and Maggia that are not in film and help make for a brand new story. Unfortunately, if you're looking for anything other than a simple blast-around with your Repulsor rays, you'll be sorely disappointed; the game's plot is really pathetic.
The dreadful storytelling is further exacerbated by the janky cutscenes that plague the mission interludes. These movies (which are unlockable by the way) make the actors look like wax figures that needed to be melted down for a second attempt at Madame Tussaud's in Shanghai. The lips never sync up with the voices, and the movements are so rough that if you were eating bad pizza, you'd think you were at Chuck E. Cheese's. Finally, despite the fact that Shaun Toub, Robert Downey Jr., and Terrence Howard reprise their roles, the voice acting is so bad you'll swear you're listening to AM radio. But enough of the analogies, just know that this is a frenzied shoot-'em-up that has no other redeeming qualities.
As far as the frantic gameplay is concerned, it is not without its problems either. The environments look nice, but they are all strikingly similar from mission to mission. Speaking of strikingly similar, the mission structure simply has players zoom into a conflict zone, fly toward the little orange objective dots, destroy some Stark weaponry, cripple the enemy outpost, take out the reinforcements, blow through the next set of objectives, rinse, and repeat! Needless to say, this gets annoyingly monotonous. To make matters worse, while grappling with mobile SAM batteries, tanks, AA turrets, jet fighters, helos, etc. you will see the same vehicle specific animation used over and over again followed by a prompt to rapidly press the same button each and every time. Eventually, I just gave up using the grapple function except when truly necessary because the animations got so tiresome.