IRON MAN 2: The Video Game: The Review...
Iron Man 2: The Video Game (Believe it or not, he’s walking on air...)
Iron Man 2 kicks off with that latest football of video games set in high tech near futures, the electromagnetic pulse bomb, and it’s effect on our hero is immediate to see. Poor Iron Man’s suit is reduced to a mere smudge of it’s former self, looking less like a piece of bleeding edge technology and more like an cheap diecast action figure that had been left out in the yard for a month and repeatedly urinated on by the family pooch.
But the effects of the EMP are not simply confined to the appearance of Tony Stark’s armor, but it’s handling as well. On foot Iron Man moves like a tank, if that tank were strapped to the back of a herd of drunk elephants. In fact the movement controls have been so thoroughly destroyed by the pulse bomb that pushing the left thumbstick to the side causes Iron Man to strafe instead of actually turning as he is perpetually locked on to whatever direction he’s facing. The result being if missiles are pounding our armored hero from behind causing him to repeatedly face plant you might as well hit the checkpoint restart option because it will be a heck of a lot faster than trying to turn around and spot the low-rez smear of the horizon that is attacking him.
Iron Man’s jet boots have not walked away from the EMP unscathed. In fact every time he blasts off into the wide blue yonder I expect to hear the theme song from the Greatest American Hero because it isn’t long before our billionaire inventor, despite his best efforts, ends up either slamming into the ground, a nearby structure, or indeed the cluster of indistinct polygons that represents the enemy he is fighting at the time.
Clunky movement aside in the plus column Iron Man’s ability to be pounded constantly from all directions by missiles remains intact from the first game, although why Stark would make those specific circuits resistant to an EMP is not clear. He does, of course, have the option to hit the “B” button to redirect the path of the missile to whatever he is locked on to, assuming his EMP damaged lock-on software can actually stay… er, locked on. You see due to the pulse blast Iron Man has had to reroute some of his circuits which unfortunately means the thumbstick which moves his field of vision also swaps his lock-on to a different target making fast movement and combat virtually impossible against multiple enemies. But that’s ok because if he just hovers and slowly pans the camera during combat then the afore mentioned missile attracting circuits can do their job much more efficiently.
Of course the one piece of good news for those that are willing to stick it out with Tony and his barely functioning suit of armor to the end of his for lack of a better term “story” is that you will eventually earn research points to unlock incredibly devastating weapon attacks. I would however have preferred that Mr Stark had used these upgrades to repair his suit's basic functions, because despite his weapons becoming truly powerful, the controls are still so screwed up that the end result is you feel about as lethal as an Apache helicopter piloted by a dope fiend while caught in a tornado.
In the end this game earns one star out of five solely for the hilarious vouge dance number Iron Man does at the start of every mission when wearing one of the unlocked classic suits.