Review: Marvel's Iron Man VR
Marvel fans can indulge themselves with Playstation. Previously, fans got to work with Peter Parker in Marvel's Spider-Man . Now there is also a Playstation VR game from our favorite action hero. It's not the least of that. We crawl into a Tony Stark-developed suit in Marvel's Iron Man VR and take on the Ghost.
Sony and Marvel go hand in hand and this PSVR exclusive shows once again how seriously the IP is being taken by both parties. Iron Man VR puts you in the shoes of Tony Stark and more importantly, Iron Man. You fly through well-crafted environments and as you maneuver you try to take out your enemies with an arsenal of gadgets and weapons. Does it play well? How do you move in such Iron Man gear and how does Camouflaj deal with the limitations of the Playstation VR headset?
Nice piece of Iron, Man
Anyone familiar with the Playstation VR is undoubtedly familiar with the limitations of the headset. Despite it being very impressive, what Sony was able to achieve with Virtual Reality just as it started to take off is phenomenal. At the time, it was the most user-friendly way to play full VR experiences and games in your own home. PSVR still does not position itself badly on the market with a relatively low entry price and strong games, including Iron Man VR.
That doesn't mean it comes without its flaws. Movement tracking always works the way you want it to, and you notice that most in full fast-paced action games like Iron Man VR. Until now, you mainly determined the pace in VR games, but in this game the pace is determined by the enemies and dangers that rush at you. Here you notice that management sometimes does not exactly match your intentions. Camouflaj, the developer, has used clever techniques to make you think that you do everything yourself, while the game actually assists you on many points. You don't notice it at all, but it does provide a generally pleasant experience. Even if the headset and the move controllers do not always cooperate well.
No child's play
Your first flight in Tony Stark's suit isn't cat piss. It is a typical matter of easy to learn and hard to master. The learning curve in this game is considerable and as you play you feel that you get more and more feeling for it. It actually felt very natural and 'real'. In the beginning you bump your head against a rock more than four times per flight and landing on a platform becomes a bit uncomfortable, but after an hour or two of playing it already feels a lot more natural. From a real chunks of pilot to a true Iron Man in 10 hours. Not only because flying and fighting takes time to learn, but also because you can expand and customize your gear as you play.
Is it Friday yet?
Mostly you spend most of your time flying in the air dodging missiles and in between firing a shot at one of the many drones that are targeting you. Between your missions, there's time for a breather at Stark's villa. Here you can see your overpriced cars parked, eat some fruit from the fridge, impress on Friday with a record pull-up or spend some free time upgrading and customizing your gear.
Several licks of paint are available for completing in-game challenges. To buy new weapons and swap other gadgets you need upgrade points. you get these for completing missions. You can choose from two different presets. Ideal for the different types of bonus missions you get from Friday and Gunsmith for example. While playing you will find out which kind of weapons and gadgets best suit your personal playing style. Fly faster, or a faster short boost? Firing in quick succession or charging a strong shot?
I am Iron Man VR!
Do we remember them, the Move controllers? Having two Playstation Move controllers is essential to play Iron Man VR. You cannot play the game with a Dualshock 4. You will notice why as you play. You have to use your hands separately from each other. That is simply not possible with a Dualshock 4. Fortunately, Playstation has released a version of the game that includes two Move controllers. Fortunately too, because the controllers have become quite scarce over the years.
Once the headset is on your head and the controllers in your hand, you are in control. You fly and shoot using your hands. You can turn with the buttons on the front, but you can also turn your head. Don't go too far, because you're not an owl and the headset just has a cable that you don't want to strangle yourself with. Seems to me. You shoot by extending your hand forward. With your palm up you shoot from your palm, with your palm down you shoot from your arm. Both have different types of weapons, so while flying you're constantly moving your hands to switch weapons and take out enemies as quickly and as creatively as possible.
In addition to fireworks, there is also a solid layer of steel around your fist with which you can deal the necessary blows. Both for enemies in the air and on the ground. All actions to be performed, hitting, shooting, flying and so on are baked into the Move controller. On the front are the four iconic buttons. Two of these are for steering, one for hovering and one for hitting. On the other controller, the buttons are the same, but mirrored. Occasionally this is a bit confusing and you sometimes hit the wrong button in the heat of battle.
Iron Man VR is a clever piece of VR developed by Camouflaj. The shortcoming of the precision of the VR is well absorbed by the game, so that you do not quickly feel powerless. Or lose complete control. Despite the training wheels, it sometimes happens that not everything goes the way you want. Or that you are using the wrong buttons because you have a poor view of them.
The game looks great, animations are smooth and the events around you are nicely designed taking into account that the device on your head has its graphic limitations. The power it contains is used. Camouflaj delivers a nice cinematic experience of 10 hours at a reasonable pace. Although you play as Iron Man, it feels less iconic and memorable than I had hoped and the game relies heavily on the gameplay. Which for the most part is just fine.
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