I broke up with her a long time ago. I didn’t like her anymore. The connection was gone and we were stuck in a rut. But as they all say: you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. The heartache became unbearable and I had to see her again. The gaming business that is. So I contacted Speed and asked him to take me back. So he did and here I am, writing my first review ever since, Iron Man for the Xbox 360. One thing became very clear, early on: this is not the type of game that bends your disbelief in gaming into adoration. On the contrary, Iron Man is, whatever they want you to believe, just another game based on a movie, based on a comic. Therefor, bad!
And now for the hard part: trying to keep this review interesting to read. So I’ll start with the usual, the story line. You play as Tony Stark, a genius when it comes to inventing modern weaponry. However his conscience steps in. You are at the basis of a worldwide war since you developed the weapons so you decide to put your knowledge to better use and you come up with your own suit that will help all mankind. That’s about it. Don’t expect any thrilling cutscenes and plots. No, this is straight forward storytelling which is more than adequate in this type of game.
Because it’s all about the action. You’ll start off in a tutorial level in which you’ll learn to deal with your suit. From the moment you start playing you know that this game sucks. Heck, even more than the newest Dyson vacuum cleaner. It doesn’t loose it’s “sucking power” it only gains more while playing. This is mainly due to the poor, previous generation graphics and animations. Take for instance the flamethrower. Flamethrowers are loved in most games as you can light up your enemies from close by and watch them suffer. Sure, it’s cruel, but it’s just a game. However in Iron Man the satisfaction of being a pyromaniac is very small if even existing. The flames coming from your arms looks dorky and the way your enemies fall to the ground make it even worse. It looks very amateuristic and cheap and something tells me that it was.
But thank god we didn’t reach the highpoint of the game just yet. In the next level you’ll get your flying suit and flying is, without a doubt, the most satisfying gameplay mechanic in Iron Man. You’ll fly at high speeds through the pretty big levels tearing up helicopters and using the rockets fired at you as projectiles. Sounds impressive huh? Flying through the air, grabbing helicopters and breaking them in two is cool,… for about ten minutes. Because they’ll keep on coming and you’ll keep on seeing the same animation over and over again. Repetitiveness anyone? To top it all you’ll get no feeling of satisfaction after completing some of the difficult levels because your next level will be, other than the environment, identical.
I don’t understand the developers that are making these games but thank god for bad games. Without them we might forget how good a GTA or Metal Gear game is because we all know how fast we get used to graphics and gameplay. Take for instance my love of graphics. With the coming of the new consoles I had to keep a napkin on everytime I played to soak up drewl. However after playing next gen title n# 3, I got rid of the napkin and said hello to habituation. Thanks to Iron Man I got back to senses that most next gen (or can we say current gen nowadays) look pretty decent.
As mentioned earlier, that’s not the case for Iron Man. This game could run perfectly on PS2 or the old Xbox without any loss. Blurry textures and bad animations are common things. The game even made use of an old tradition called rendered cutscenes. And thank the heavens for that because using the in-game engine for the cutscenes would make it look even worse. The sound department is as unsatisfying as the rest. Robert Downey Junior lend his voice, but his oneliners aren’t really convincing, to say the least.
You can leave Iron Man in the shelves. If you’re a die-hard fan of the comic and the movie, you’ll have to get this game, but only to make your collection complete. Other than that I can’t come up with a reason to buy it.