reviewed on X360
Just another Joe Schmoe, sort of
Iron Man is one of the few Marvel superheroes that does not derive his abilities from some sort of mystical power, mutation, or inherent alien abilities. Instead he is merely an incredibly rich man who also happens to be skilled at building advanced technology, most notably in the creation of his suits. Despite his prodigious skill in the creation of these suits, and the success of the movie, the game falls a bit short.
Audio and Visual
First up to the plate, and easily noticeable from the get-go, is the lack of graphical abilities. Now I am not a person that weighs a game too heavily depending on the graphics, but once you start to make games for the Xbox 360 (and the PS3, and up-to-date PCs), you expect a certain standard for the graphics. However, this standard is not met in any case by Iron Man, as I personally have played games with significantly better graphics on the PS2. Even in cut scenes, where the graphical quality usually picks up some, they are still extremely poor. So much so that the in-game graphics seem to be marginally better.
Now you must be thinking along the lines that if the graphics are terrible, then it must at least have a decent frame rate; well, you would be wrong. The frame rate is incredibly bad throughout the game. When the action picks up, the frame rate drops even more, with some of the more explosive sequences dropping down to what seems like the single digits. Another problem that is very prevalent is that several times while playing, a tank or the like would suddenly appear next to me, and take a chunk out of my health before I ever noticed it.
On the audio side of things, they arenít quite as terrible as the graphics are, but they are far from spectacular. Some of the music in the missions can get a bit repetitive, along with the sound effects that are used for explosions and the like. However, the worst side of the audio manifests itself not in the ambient music or sound effects, but in the voice acting during the cut scenes. The voices just sound unconvincing and at times, they are also out of sync with the characterís models.
Despite these numerous technical flaws, a few aspects of the game play do end up actually being enjoyable. One of these is that you do seem to have some serious firepower, and can enjoy being quite powerful at times. This sense comes through with some of the more interesting grabs, such as when you grab an airplane out of the sky and throw it. Or do the same with a missile, or even grab one of the numerous vehicles launching missiles, and then man it like a turret for a short while.
The missions also tend to be somewhat varied and at times interesting to actually play. They introduce different elements that make them more challenging, such as the mission where you have to take down a massive flying fortress. It doesnít sound that hard, but then again, it is a fortress, complete with numerous turrets firing at you, helicopters launching from the fortress and harassing you, as well as planes taking off and bothering you. You also have to be careful, because the fortress is flying, so if you get knocked off of your feet, or attempt to fly around it to get into a better position, it can and does fly away from you and you have to catch up.
The developers also did reach their goal of making the missions fairly open-ended, as several of the missions offer great flexibility. This may range from merely what twelve turrets you chose to destroy out of the twenty available for destruction, to being able to do the vast majority of the mission out of order. In one mission where nukes were being launched, it was possible to destroy the nukes before the mission ever even proceeded to the point of where you were told to do so.
No Pros and Cons at this time