The first Iron Man game – tied to and released at the same time as the rather good film – from Secret Level and SEGA was met with mediocre critical reception. It suffered from clunky, clumsy controls, bland graphics and repetitive missions.
The folks from SEGA listened to all the negative feedback about the first game, and promised that the sequel wouldn’t suck.
While tied in to the marketing of the film, the game is set some time after those events, but in the same universe. A backup of Jarvis, Tony Stark’s AI butler has been stolen, and is going to be used to build Ultimo, one of just two members of Iron Man’s rogue gallery that you’ll encounter in the game.Â It’s eight chapters of monotonous drudgery fighting mostly the same basic enemy helicopters, robots and tanks – over and over again.
To be quite frank, just about everything in this game is a disaster. While still screenshots of the game look pretty good, they belie technical issues with a game that was obviously rushed to market. Character models are pretty awful, and wouldn’t look out of place on the original Playstation. The character of Tony Stark looks pretty much like Robert Downey Jr. though – if Robert Downey Jr was made out of playdough and repeatedly punched in the face.
Unlike with the Rhodey and Nick Fury characters which use the voice talents of Don Cheadle and the always excellent Samuel L. Jackson, they’ve gotten a decent sound-alike for Downey Jr. – but he comes across as flat and uninteresting. It also suffers from tons of texture pop-up, and everything is a pixelated mess, only with the added sheen that â€œnext genâ€ allows.
Unfortunately one of the biggest problems from the first game – clunky, clumsy controls – have made their return. They’ve failed to capitalise on how cool controlling characters like Iron-Man and War Machine could be. Flying around, firing missiles and beams should be fun, but they’re not. You never really get to feel like you’re Iron Man, which is what any game based on such an iconic hero should do. It’s further hampered by a convoluted upgrade system that requires you to invent new parts, build them and then equip them.
Super Hero games, barring standouts like the Exceptional Batman : Arkham Asylum, tend to translate pretty poorly to the video game medium. Movie tie-ins, likewise, have a habit of being rushed, poorly produced shovelware. SEGA Studios San Francisco have somehow managed to take the pitfalls of both, combining them in to one of the worst games I’ve played this generation.
In short, I can find no compelling reason to recommend this game to fans of the movie, the comic book, or in fact, of games.
For fans of: Chinese Water Torture, getting kicked in the genitals.
Scoring (not an average)
Clumsy controls, boring repetitive missions.
Convoluted upgrade systems, poor menus, rubbish art direction, awful texture pop up.
Voice work from Samuel L. Jackson is top notch, the rest is hit and miss. In game sounds are entirely forgettable.
The game will take you about 5 hours to complete, if you manage to stay entertained for long enough to do so.
This game is awful. Avoid.
[Reviewed on Xbox 360]
Last Updated: May 12, 2010