Iron Man 2 (Xbox 360)
Posted 3 years ago By kingquagmire - David Collins
It’s common knowledge that comic books have not had the best track record when transitioning from one medium to another. Some have been great (like Spider-Man 1 and 2) while others (like The Fantastic Four, Daredevil, and Electra) - along with their game counterparts - all failed to realize their true potential. Fortunately for Marvel, Jon Favreau found that magic balance between utilizing a new medium and not sacrificing the spirit of the original property with Iron Man. Unfortunately for Marvel, Sega did not find that balance with the Iron Man film tie-in game, as it was plagued with bland visuals and shoddy controls (among other things). So here we sit, a few years later, with another well-received Favreau-led Iron Man film and Sega is once again handling the tie-in video game. Did they learn from the last outing? In a word: Nope…
The story doesn’t mirror the film. In fact, it’s an original tale penned by (Invincible Iron Man comic writer) Matt Fraction and I’m assuming it takes place after the events of the film. Anyway, it follows the creation of one of Iron Man’s classic foes, Ultimo. The Stark Archives is attacked at the beginning of the game and the baddies make off with a ton of information on various projects that Stark Enterprises has worked on, including J.A.R.V.I.S., the super AI system that’s embedded inside the Iron Man armor. Eventually, the stolen tech will lead to the creation of Ultimo and it’ll be up to Iron Man, War Machine and Nick Fury to stop it.
Overall, it was a potentially interesting tale that was ultimately betrayed by the same theme that plagued the rest of the game: It felt rushed. Seriously, the entire thing, from the pacing to the controls to the half-baked features, felt like it was quickly thrown together, without regard for the quality of the final product. Sure, the controls are improved a bit over the last Iron Man title, but they still didn’t quite feel right, carrying a measure of awkwardness from beginning to end. The tutorial gives you some minor basics, but you’ll be halfway through the game before you really get a handle on the flying and shooting, and even then, you’ll never really feel comfortable with the controls.
To spice things up a bit, players have the option to research new weapons, ammo, melee skills and suit enhancements through the points earned by completing missions. The game begins with just one suit of armor available, but as the story progresses, new ones will be unlocked. By the time the credits roll, you should have access to just about every one, from the original Mark 1 to the current Mark IV. Each suit can be outfitted with different load-outs (basically, you get to 2 weapons for each arm that can be hot-swapped during the missions), which allows you to customize it for any given situation. The problem? None of the research nor any of the suits really change the gameplay enough to make you want to mess with it. I tried everything out for the sake of this review, but by the time I was done, I found I could have finished it without making any adjustments at all; utilizing the same initial load-out I started with (although, the damage suit modules did make everything a bit easier). Even worse, the upgrade and load-out menus weren’t very intuitive, making it even harder to justify the need. Again, these are issues that have a ton of unrealized potential, but fell flat on its face simply due to slap-together nature of the game.
Graphics and Sound
Another confusing causality of a rapid production cycle, the visuals and audio will leave you wanting more. The environments were alright, if not uninspired. But the character models combined with the voice work made me think twice. On one hand, you have Sam Jackson and Don Cheadle reprising their roles from the film, along with some very convincing sound-alikes. Even though the dialog was hastily delivered, it did indicate that the game really was trying to draw from the film. Then, when I saw the on-screen characters trying to deliver the voices, it almost felt like they didn’t have the license to use the actor’s likenesses, so they purposely make then look similar, but different from their real-life counterparts. Now, I don’t think that was the case, which makes it even worse because it means that they were just a product of poor design. The Nick Fury and James Rhodes characters probably had the closest likenesses (even though they kind of exaggerated Don Cheadle’s bug eyes). But, Robert Downey Jr looked off and both Gwyneth Paltrow and Scarlett Johansson looked terrible, with the former looking nothing like she does in real life and the latter looking almost Hobbit-ish.
The enemies were no better either. There was a repetitive sameness to all of them. Sure, there were multiple models, but in retrospect, only 3 stood out (beyond the 2 bosses of course): flying guy, helicopter, and crawling robot. Don’t get me wrong, I fought hundreds of baddies. But they were all just plain forgettable. And sadly, even though there was some bigger names attached to the soundtrack (such as Lamb of God), it too was just as bland and forgettable as the rest of the game.
To be completely honest, given its $60 price point, there really isn’t any value to be found. War Machine and Iron Man both play exactly the same. The visuals are a confusing mess. The bullet-point “features” such as the load-outs, unlockable suits and the researching options ended up being totally useless as there was no compelling reason to actually use any of it. There’s no multiplayer to be seen, not even local co-op (which should have been a no-brainer with the addition of War Machine to the mix). And the campaign is incredibly short. Think Terminator Salvation short. Easy difficulty will take you all of 3 hours (literally) and cranking it to normal only adds about an hour or two. Really, there’s nothing here to justify $20 let alone $60. If you’re really that curious, rent it.
I really did have high hopes for Iron Man 2. I was fair and didn’t make my expectations unrealistic. But considering the fact that the first game was so bad, and they knew how bad it was (since the development team made mention of it in multiple Q&A sessions), I really expected it to be better than this. I wasn’t looking for Halo or Uncharted, but I did want more than what I got. While I know there are plenty of other games out there worse than this, I at least wanted a compelling reason to play it. Unfortunately, there isn’t one. And, to top it off, the $60 price tag was just an insulting kick in the gut.
+ Lots of potential...
- Extremly short
- Felt rushed
- Tacked-on features that give you no reason to use them
- No multiplayer
1 week ago :: Injustice: Gods Among Us
1 week ago :: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14
1 week ago :: BioShock Infinite
4 weeks ago :: Gears of War Judgment
1 month ago :: (Kinect) The Hip Hop Dance Experience
1 month ago :: Tomb Raider
1 month ago :: Crysis 3
2 months ago :: DmC Devil May Cry
2 months ago :: (XBLA) Serious Sam Double D XXL
Download us here!
Game Junkies podcast and audio interviews
Release Date : 2010/05/04
System : Xbox 360
Publisher : SEGA
Category : Action
ESRB : T
7.0 / 10
8.5 / 10
8.0 / 10
8.7 / 10