Marvel's Iron Man VR Review: Raising the Bar for PSVR

Camouflaj’s Iron Man VR is by far one of the most impressive PlayStation VR games on the market that lets players finally get to experience being Iron Man themselves. The game perfectly encapsulates the feeling of donning the Iron Man suit and shows off what it means to be a super hero. The gameplay, VR mechanics, and storyline are all strong and Iron Man VR has set a new benchmark for what PSVR games should strive to be.

Iron Man VR begins by placing the player in the shoes of a young Tony Stark right after he becomes Iron Man. The superhero has just decided to hang up his war profiteering hat, and is now pushing Stark Industries towards clean energy rather than weapons manufacturing. After watching Tony change the path of his company and life forever though, the game fast forwards five years. Tony is now a more experienced Iron Man, but he is still quite different than the Tony Stark that most people are used to.

Related: Marvel’s Iron Man VR Beta Launches, PlayStation VR Bundle Coming In July

Even a few years older, this version of Tony Stark feels much younger and more idealistic than the one in the Marvel movies. The trademark sass and confidence is still there, but this version of Tony seems much more concerned about the world around him than Robert Downey Jr.’s famous portrayal in the MCU. Where the MCU’s Tony could be selfish and arrogant, Iron Man VR’s Tony is a little more lighthearted and outwardly caring towards those around him. It’s nice to see that the game didn’t just try to copy RDJ’s performance, and instead did something unique.

Without giving away major spoilers, Iron Man VR tells an original story of Tony facing off against a new enemy named Ghost. Ghost seems to have some mysterious connection to Tony’s past, and attacks him using decommissioned Stark combat drones. Throughout the game players will discover more about Ghost and understand her motives. Players will learn that she is a complicated villain, and its intriguing to see each part of her plan to bring Tony Stark down, especially when she starts recruiting allies.

Iron Man VR sports impressive visuals, and pushes the limitations of the PSVR unit. The PlayStation hardware has never been as technologically impressive as other VR offerings like Oculus or HTC Vibe, but Iron Man VR proves that developers can still do great things with it. The image always comes in crystal clear, and character models are very detailed and realistic. The environments as well are varied and expansive, and players will have a blast exploring all the different locations. Players will find themselves flying around Malibu, Shanghai, and a few secret locations as well that make for engaging set pieces for high stakes fights against drones.

The voice acting is top tier, and its fun listening to new actors lend their voices to characters like Tony Stark and Nick Fury after their long tenure in the MCU. It is a little odd at first to not hear the voice of Robert Downey Jr. or Samuel L. Jackson, but after a brief shock its obvious that these actors know what they are doing, and understand their characters immensely. All the characters are brought to life during the game, and helps make the experience much more immersive.

Traversing through the world and engaging in combat is where Iron Man VR truly shines though. Using the thrusters to move is more responsive and engaging than movement in a lot of VR games. Players will need to hold their hands at their sides and press the T button on both controllers in order to lift off the ground. Depending on how the controllers are oriented will change which direction Iron Man will move in. The game is capable of tracking the controllers very well, and players will almost never run into an issue with Iron Man VR not registering their movements.

Each mission in the game will pit the player against drones of different types and difficulty levels, as players zip through the air firing their repulsor beams. Aiming and firing is intuitive and each shot has a weight behind it that is satisfying every single time. Movement and basic combat abilities are almost exactly the same as they were in the demo for Iron Man VR, but Camouflaj has many surprises up their sleeves that weren’t shown off during that demo.

Players have access to many different weapons other than the repulsors. Between each mission the game lets the player interact with their armor in the garage and select what kinds of weapons to bring with them. There are several different options like smart missiles that lock onto several enemies at once, or anti-armor missiles that can be used to destroy stronger enemies like tanks. There is also the option to add other pieces of tech that serve as buffs to damage, reload speed, or even the maximum speed of the Iron Man suit’s thrusters. This means that players can alter their suit to fit their playstyle, which makes combat a lot more interesting.

One of the more unique mechanics in Iron Man VR is weapon switching. Whereas most games would map switching between weapons to a button press, this game instead use the ways that the player moves the controller to do different attacks. By holding the PSVR controllers vertically, Tony will orient his hands palms out and fire the repulsor beams when the trigger is pressed. If the player instead holds the controllers horizontally, Tony will face his palms down and open the auxiliary weapon slots on his wrists. This enable the suit to fire of whatever additional weapons that the player equipped to those slots. Once players have gotten used to this mechanic, it makes switching between weapons seamless.

Seamless weapon switching is a necessity in Iron Man VR too. This is because as time goes on, players will find themselves having to face off against dozens of enemies at a time, and each one requires a specific technique to bring down. Some can only be shot at once their shields drop, whereas others will self destruct once downed and suck Iron Man into a black hole. To survive against the onslaught of enemies players will need to be able to change weapons and fire at enemies quickly, all while hurtling through the air at several hundred miles an hour.

Iron Man VR shows off what VR is capable of in a way that few other games in the market have. There is something exhilarating about accelerating at breakneck speeds, cutting the thrusters, and shooting drones out of the sky just to go right back to flying through the air. Every single moment spent with the game is just as fun as the last. Camouflaj has raised the bar on what players should expect from VR developers in the future, which makes starting the next console generation all the more exciting. Anyone who owns the PSVR should pick up Iron Man VR immediately.

Next: Marvel’s Avengers Trailer Hints That Spider-Man Could Be In the Game

Marvel’s Iron Man VR can be played on PlayStation VR. A PS4 code was provided for this review.

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