Iron Man VR Review


There are some bigger drawbacks worth mentioning though. The enemy variety in particular stands out as a missed opportunity. While it's thematically sound for Stark to be fighting his own drones, their designs are little drab, and in general they lack the weight or presence that you'd want from enemies. They're intentionally lifeless, but their nondescript, often unthreatening nature can sometimes make you feel like you're swatting flies rather than battling deadly robots.

Each one has its own unique attacks, and knowing how to exploit each's weaknesses can lead to some fist-pumping moments (you'll know what I mean the first time you blast one into a gravity well), but often it can feel like there's a distance between you and the enemy. They're a bit artificial, and just like the issues with the level design, make you feel like you're playing a simulation or a training exercise rather than existing in a real world.

There are only a handful of enemy types as well, and while interesting bosses do shake things up, like everything in Iron Man VR they're repeated so much that they lose their lustre.

Still, when you're Iron Man, the luls don't matter too much because there's always a moment waiting in the wings that will make all of the systems click, and give you the joy of fulfilling your childhood dreams. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the sections as Tony out of the suit...

As mentioned, the devs have done an admirable job of making it clear that you are Tony Stark, not simply some random dude with a suit of armour. However, pretending to be a billionaire, genius, playboy philanthropist isn't as enjoyable as being one in real life (I'd imagine).

There is a surprising amount of story in Iron Man VR, but not all of it is engaging. The overall plot, about Stark's past catching up with him and a mysterious, ghostly figure haunting him is compelling, but the dialogue and comic relief elements get especially grating after a while.

The story's biggest issue comes in the pacing though. There is a huge amount of downtime in the title, and not all of it welcome. While non-stop action would probably have you hurling after 30 minutes of playing, the game has a stop-and-start structure that can be limiting. Having to haul back to Stark HQ to talk to characters, do some pull ups and choose the next mission happens far too often. Combined with frequent and often lengthy loading screens, as well as a reliance on VR actions that are nowhere near as smooth as those in combat, it leaves you itching to get back to the good stuff.

As a result, a true sense of flow or momentum can be hard to come by, as constant fade to blacks - even if just for a second for the game to recalibrate where you are and where you're supposed to be - interrupt the illusion that you're a part of this world. During these moments, Iron Man VR feels like yet another proof-of-concept whose potential will be fulfilled properly on more advanced hardware.

It's a shame, because it's clear a lot of time and effort has been put into fleshing out this side of the game, but it's ultimately just not that much fun. If it wasn't as intrusive it might be more welcome, but especially in the early game you have to juggle so many of these sequences alongside training missions and challenge rooms that it can feel like you're still waiting for the game to properly begin even after three hours of playing.

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Writer. Mumbler. Only person on the internet who liked Spider-Man 3