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Iron Man Demo Impressions

by Paul

When Tony Stark started drinking, that’s when things got really weird.

Normally, I avoid almost all super hero related games since traditionally 99% of them have sucked major balls. Worse than the superhero game however, is the movie tie-in game. Through logical reasoning then, a superhero movie game is the ultimate in total garbage with a few exceptions. For some reason that I can’t explain, the Iron Man movie screenshots I’d seen had gotten me a little more excited about the game than I’d normally be. I guess it helps that the game is being produced by Sega. While Sega has had a questionable track record over the years, the name equates a little more in terms of quality than EA does with its usually horrendous licensed games.

So with my hopes held a bit higher than normal, I downloaded the Ironman Demo over Xbox Live. The first thing I noticed is that the graphics are a bit better than I thought they’d be. Flying around actually feels like you’re flying/hovering in Iron Man’s high tech armor and it’s pretty damn fun to zoom around in the sky. I also found myself enjoying Iron Man’s interactions with Jarvis and his quips during battle, but I could see them becoming stale quickly if repeated too often.

Unfortunately, it’s when you get closer to the ground that things started looking a bit ugly. The camera pulls fairly far away on the ground and Iron Man ends up looking too small. I felt like I was controlling an action figure rather than it being an extension of myself. I was also unimpressed by the enemies and terrain. It felt like a more glossed over The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction while I was executing ground based attacks. Now Hulk: Ultimate Destruction is a great superhero game to emulate, but to make me feel like I was playing a game that looked only slightly better than an Xbox game isn’t something to be excited about.

Don’t let me give you the impression that it’s all bad. Overall it was a satisfying experience if a bit too short. There’s some neat possibilities that are hinted at in the demo, like being able to divert power to different systems to enhance speed or attack power. Also like in any superhero game worth it’s salt, the Iron Man game looks like it will feature some alternative armors for the titular character. There’s nothing better than the hope for a comic book nerd that they can see the version of the character they grew up. I’m guessing that the look of the armor will depend on what pieces of equipment you have selected, because in the main menu screen there are options to change the individual pieces of armor.

If the demo is any impression this is a game that I’ll want to eventually pick up, but not at full price. The game doesn’t appear to be the end all be all of superhero games, but it also doesn’t look like it matches the usual sludge of bad superhero/movie tie-in game garbage out there. Perhaps that’s alone is good enough.

Thanks to File Front for the screenshots that started this.

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