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Iron Man 2 review

AT A GLANCE
  • Several unlockable suits
  • Samuel L. Jackson's decent voice acting
  • Weapon customization pays off in battle
  • Boring, vanilla missions in a brief campaign
  • Target lock adds layers of frustration to combat
  • Awkward and plain bad-looking cut-scenes

Early on in the Iron Man 2 film, we're treated to a sequence in which Iron Man falls to earth from a plane, avoiding mid-air explosions as the camera violently jerks around the protagonist. It's a dizzying, uncoordinated viewing experience, but at least you're only observing - try adding interactivity to the mix and it might be akin to the Iron Man 2 game adaptation’s most maddening moments.

To be fair, Iron Man 2 is a somewhat better experience than its putrid predecessor -- the controls are fairly manageable this time around, while the more egregious controller-tossing objectives of the original are thankfully fewer in number. But that's as complimentary as we can be for this quick, unattractive slog through repetitive missions and even less interesting cutscenes.

Dropping the film's plot in favor of an original story and bringing in Invincible Iron Man scribe Matt Fraction was supposed to make for an exciting, comic-flavored adventure. Instead, it feels like the characters and scenarios developed for the game were snatched from the cutting room floor for the movie; or worse yet, the first game. Tony Stark's main opponents this time around are rival weapons manufacturers and a hacked version of his JARVIS computer system -- not the exciting, iconic super villains we grew up reading in his comic adventures.

In fact, aside from the handful of boss fights, we must've seen the same half-dozen or so standard enemy types over the course of the eight-mission campaign, which can be easily wrapped in about four hours. Iron Man and War Machine are both playable -- some missions designate a specific hero, while others let you choose -- and the ability to customize and upgrade their weapons and abilities is a nice touch, even if the cumbersome menus slow the process.

Taken individually, firing projectiles, launching melee combos, and hovering around all work reasonable well, but the dull missions don't make interesting use of these features, instead placing you in battle after battle against mindless flying robots and helicopters. Keeping track of enemies as they zip around you becomes especially unpleasant due to a terrible target lock system, which performs inconsistently and can make it extremely difficult to keep pace with a moving target. It essentially ruins the final battle, in which a simple act like landing at a nearby destination becomes an exercise in futility.

To make matters worse, Iron Man 2 can be shockingly ugly at times, especially in the cut-scenes, which spotlight terrible effects, fuzzy and slow-loading textures, and choppy animations. We expected exciting characters and combat, co-op action, flashy presentation, and the dulcet tones of Robert Downey Jr., but Iron Man 2 offers none of these things. And frankly, it's not worth the four hours or $60 to find out what it does deliver.

May 13, 2010

More Info

Release date: May 04 2010 - Xbox 360, DS, PSP, PS3, PC, Wii (US)
Apr 30 2010 - Xbox 360, DS, PSP, PS3, PC, Wii (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, DS, PSP, PS3, PC, Wii
Genre: Action
Published by: Sega
Developed by: Sega Studios San Francisco
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Violence, Mild Language
PEGI Rating:
12+

16 comments

  • Biopiate - May 15, 2010 5:36 p.m.

    I don't even know why I'm commenting on this.
  • OnyxOblivion - May 14, 2010 10:53 a.m.

    Played the demo. This is worse than the first game. At least the first game didn't have cheap deaths up the ass.
  • DaOmen999 - May 14, 2010 3:37 a.m.

    teh first iron man game sucked can't control him right, im2 did a bit better but not much, it doesn't deserved to be goty, i think a 4 is about right don't get me wrong i love the ironman fanchise i wish marvel went with some one else besides sega,sega ruined ironman for me,even the graphics looked choppy to me,i played teh ps3 version,it looked like a ps2 game, i hope sega reads this they need to
  • RandomIdoit - May 14, 2010 3:14 a.m.

    Did anyone really think that this game was going to be anything better than a 4?
  • Wolverine08 - May 13, 2010 3:52 p.m.

    This is a testament to movie games based on comics, buy the comics,watch the films but for god's sake stay away from the games
  • Wolverine08 - May 13, 2010 3:50 p.m.

    4 OUT OF 10, WOW! THATS BETTER THAN,um, not much really. Stubbing your toe maybe, um, having a brick dropped on your head. The list ends there
  • IamNOTatalkingpony - May 13, 2010 11:51 a.m.

    GOTY material right here folks!
  • FreekinIdiot - May 13, 2010 11:42 a.m.

    @Ieatedapuppy Take your heathen comments elsewhere! Iron Man 2 deserves a BAFTA for it's genre smashing innovations. Just LOOK at the pros - You can unlock suits...I'm lost for words at the staggering brilliance of the concept. :p
  • minimaxi - May 13, 2010 3:24 a.m.

    some people just dont get sarcasm, right BearKiller? RIGHT?
  • JDMDrifter - May 13, 2010 3:09 a.m.

    If you are really against the review, ignore it.
  • Ieatedapuppy - May 13, 2010 2:24 a.m.

    Really? Did you really expect this game to be anything else but a huge steaming turd? And BearKiller you need to play an actual good game and get some sense knocked into you. Go buy Mass Effect 2 or Battlefield Bad Company 2, play them, realize you suck and continue to play shitty-ass movie games.
  • BearKiller - May 13, 2010 1:47 a.m.

    WHAT THE FUCK!!! This is fucking bullshit! How dare you give this game a FUCKING 4!!! It is worthy of a 9 or 10! I bought this game and it is my favorite game! I'm fucking pissed. I think it is time for all the Iron Man 2: The Videogame lover's to band together and fight these poor reviews.
  • Amnesiac - May 13, 2010 1:10 a.m.

    I'm shocked. Stunned, even.
  • MediocreDinosaur - May 12, 2010 11:43 p.m.

    I'm not entirely sure why you reviewed this. You knew it was going to be crap. I knew it was going to be crap. But then again, it's your site.
  • sterlins16 - May 12, 2010 11:31 p.m.

    u should hav a different scale for movie games
  • Cyberninja - May 12, 2010 11:14 p.m.

    not surprising

Showing 1-16 of 16 comments

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