I have this sort of love/hate relationship with VR. I love the technology behind it. I’m a huge fan of the immersion it provides gamers and can completely see how it can appreciate what the future may hold but I’m one of those lucky people who get severe motion sickness. I last all of 20 seconds Gran Turismo before I had to violently rip the helmet from my head because I was certain I was about to see what I had for breakfast.
That’s not to say that some games I do Ok with. I just need frequent breaks, Resident Evil 7 remains my top experience to this day and On rails games like Until Dawn: Rush of Blood are good so when I saw Iron Man VR, I felt like this might be one of those games that I can play with little ill effect and I’m happy to say I was right. I still need to take breaks after an hour or so but I got through it eventually. I’d like to take a quick moment to thank our friends at Playstation for the review copy they provided to us.
I played this with my daughter and we both had a great time. I struggled out of the gate to get the controls to the point where I was nice and fluid and my daughter will be the first to tell you that my time of 8 minutes is way longer than her time of 3.5 minutes during the opening tutorial. Almost immediately you feel like you really are flying around and using repulsors just like Iron Man.
Given that the VR sticks are as old as they are and maybe not quite as functional as other offerings out there the game still felt quite good. Controlling Iron Man while flying is context sensitive to how the controllers are held in your hand. It actually feels really natural and fun when you’re flying once you get the hang of it. Punching is performed by holding down a button and punching toward your TV. Performing this motion felt a bit foreign to me as I’m still not completely comfortable with the controller but after a while I caught on to it. Defeating enemies charges your unibeam, an ultimate attack that can take down a lot of bad guys in one shot making things a bit more manageable.
A majority of the missions take place in a big open area allowing for you to freely maneuver around the world completing objectives and blasting wave after wave of enemies never feeling like a chore to me with one exception and I think this comes down to the PSVR sticks. Needing to turn around (provided you don’t play standing ) – is a bit of a pain. Because the controllers don’t have thumb sticks, you have to press a button to warp and turn roughly 20 degrees per press. I would often fly into obstacles and get lost in a series of frantic button mashes which would ultimately add insult to injury with respect to my motion sickness resulting in needing to take time away again.
Between missions, players get a glimpse of what it’s like to be Tony Stark. You’ll learn more about his regret as a former arms dealer and wanting to right all the wrong decisions he made during that time that has direct consequences to people around the world. This leads into the story introducing Ghost (a character previously seen in the Ant-Man and the Wasp movie) uses her hacking abilities to take over Stark drones and turn them against him.
During these moments you’ll get to wander around the Stark Mansion, look at different items and easter eggs. My daughter thought it was endlessly hilarious picking things up and bellowing out a “YEET!” as she would toss said item. The best use of your time, much to the chagrin of my 11yr old, is not “Yeeting” everything, it’s customizing your suit. In addition to getting new paintjobs, you’ll also unlock skill points to put towards upgrades. These improvements range from speed boosters and faster health regeneration to various new weapons.
All in all my daughter and I had an outstanding time with Iron Man VR. I think the folks and Camoflaj really captured the fun and feel of what it would be like to fly the suit. Even though I get motion sickness, I never had it hit me with the same ferocity I’ve experienced before allowing me the ability to play longer than any other VR game before having to take a break. Where it fell apart for me was with the story. I really didn’t have much interest in playing the story out so much as I just wanted to get back into the action. But still at a price tag of just $49.99 CAD it packs a great deal of entertainment into one small price and it’s a perfect rainy day activity for the family this summer.