Iron Man 2 Review – Xbox 360

Iron Man 2 Xbox 360 coverThe mantra of movie based games still doesn’t fly. Just how cool was the Iron Man 2 movie? and you’d think the game would be close especially after the fiasco that was Iron man 1 the game. But looks like none of the learnings from the past game have made it into this one; at least not enough; and it makes it a mediocre shooter at best.

What’s hot:

Nice level designs

Weapon load out can we wicked!

What’s not:

Everything else

The Review:

Two years later, Tony Stark got bigger and i guess he’s put on so much weight, he’s just plain slow. but hey! fret not! the enemies have gotten dumber too! The first thing you’ll notice is how slow, slow, slowly Iron man flies. The speed and thrill (the only thrill) which was such and integral part of the 1st Iron Man game is hopelessly lost in this one. The few combat refinements create almost as many problems as they solve, and despite featuring a higher level of environmental detail than Iron Man, Iron Man 2 manages to look worse. Any improvements end up overshadowed by the ugly visuals and troubled gameplay, making this sequel even worse than its mediocre predecessor.

The good thing, if you can call it that, is it doesn’t stay true to the movie. There are a lot more villains and a slightly deeper, albeit slowish story line. The cut scenes are really really bad…if they used even 1/10th the effects used in the movie this could have been visually stunning. I’m probably being a little harsh here, but I call it the way I see it. The lackluster visuals don’t actively hinder you during gameplay, but they take a lot of the fun out of destroying legions of mechanical baddies when they don’t even have the decency to explode well. Whether you are playing as Iron Man or War Machine (sometimes you have a choice, sometimes not), you blast your way through a lot of bad guys using missiles, lasers, and your trusty repulsors/minigun. Your weapons are effective, and the targeting system allows you to easily handle foes that are a few yards away. Moving your view around to take on a new enemy causes your reticle to automatically switch targets.  This will yank your view away from your previous target, and the only way to reengage it is to tap a button to toggle targeting off, wheel around and find your target, then toggle targeting back on. Of course, if there is an enemy closer to you within your field of vision when you switch targeting back on, that enemy will be your new target, and your old one will get off scot-free.

Your battles take place across a decent variety of detailed yet unattractive environments, including underground fortresses, tropical industrial sites, and an airborne battleship. Iron Man 2 forgoes the repetitive open-level mission structure of its predecessor in favor of more directed missions, which works in the game’s favor. Missions feature a good mix of linear and open spaces, and the objectives feel reasonably varied. Alas, flying through open air and zipping through canyons is no longer enjoyable because the sense of speed is so weak. Cruising at normal speed feels like taking a leisurely Sunday drive, and even when you hit the afterburners, you get the feeling that cars would effortlessly pass you on the highway. So much for the thrill of flight.

There are eight missions total in Iron Man 2 (which you’ll finish in much less than eight hours), each of which has checkpoints that help minimize the frustrations of combat. Between each mission, you can research more powerful weapons, modifications, and ammunition to improve your loadout, and these upgrades are helpful in the later stages of the game. Unfortunately, this customization system is buried in terrible menus that force you to blindly grope around until you figure out how to do what you want to do. The sloppiness of the menu system is reflective of the quality of Iron Man 2; every decent element is overshadowed by stumbles and shortcomings. It should be thrilling and fun to take to the sky in a superpowered battle suit, but Iron Man 2 crashes to the Earth with a dull thud.

The Bottom line:

Stay away from this. You’re much better off watching the movie and fantasising about being Iron man. (i know you do…you sick bastards 😀 )

We give it a 1/5

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