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access_time August 20, 2020 at 11:00 PM in Reviews by David Poole

VR Review | Marvel’s Iron Man VR

Ever since 2008, the character of Tony Stark gained a renaissance of fame and glory. The film starring Robert Downey Jr. paved the way for the character to have a mainstream presence. The gadgets, the style, and the snarky attitude that comes with being Tony Stark just makes you want to be the guy sometimes. Well, thanks to Camouflaj, you finally can step into the Iron Man armor for yourself. Marvel’s Iron Man VR is an impressive feat, and it does a fantastic job of delivering the Tony Stark lifestyle.

The story of Marvel’s Iron Man VR may not deliver the best Iron Man story, but it does do service with the VR peripheral in mind. It starts with Tony’s change to his company, dropping weapons development to focus on energy. In this process, he decommissions his weapon development AI (designed after himself) “Gunsmith”. Five years later, Tony and his newly appointed Stark Industries CEO Pepper Potts are attacked with Stark Tech drones by the hacker known as Ghost. Suspicious of these unauthorized drones, Tony seeks to uncover the mystery behind his new assailant.

Marvel’s Iron Man VR is at its best during the awesome action sequences. While you’ll try out a lot of Tony’s weapons at his Malibu home, the standout moments take place in other areas. The moment you jump out of a plane to suit up, you truly start to feel like Iron Man. When you’re flying around Shanghai between the skyscrapers and searching for dangerous mines, it starts to click that you’ve become the hero. Of course, being Iron Man also means being Tony Stark, which comes with a lot of narrative moments. These segments will have a lot of toys to play with, but won’t be quite as action packed.

Flying around as Iron Man will taking some getting used to. You’ll aim your boosters in the opposite direction of where you want to go. Looking around and using quick turn buttons will allow you to maneuver around as you fly through the air. Depending on how you aim your hands, palms forward or palms down, you’ll have access to different weapons that you’ll eventually be able to customize. Some weapons like the repulsors will overheat if you fire them too frequently while others will need to reload over time. Holding down the X button will charge a rocket punch attack as well. You’ll eventually gain access to more iconic weapons, like the powerful unibeam.

It honestly feels great to have access to all of Tony Stark’s weapons. Each one works like a dream and while it takes some practice, you can do some pretty cool stuff when you master it. Even visiting Stark’s garage to upgrade the suit just gives off a cool vibe. This is also where some of the toys come into play. Shoot a few hoops, lift some weights, do some pull ups; do whatever you want to make yourself feel more like Iron Man.

The slower segments of Marvel’s Iron Man VR deliver some solid voice work at least, giving the plot a nice punch. Tony is voiced by Josh Keaton, who is better known for his work as Peter Parker on Spectacular Spider-Man. Taking a very different approach from the wallcrawler, Josh performs admirably at the high tech hero. He doubles this performance by playing as Gunsmith as well, having a lot of tension with Tony’s newer AI, F.R.I.D.A.Y., who is voiced by Leila Birch. The dynamic between the three characters delivers some interesting moments, as Gunsmith and F.R.I.D.A.Y. share very different priorities, but we’ll leave that for you to see.

We also have Chantelle Barry as Ghost, who delivers a solid performance in the antagonist role. The pain of her past can be felt in her voice, and her desire for revenge is incredibly powerful. Overall, the presentation definitely gets a boost from the incredibly voice work. It also helps to have a pretty solid score from composer Kazuma Jinnouchi. The music will tense up at just the right moments and will indicate just how high the stakes can get. Doing something especially heroic will give off a sense of victory thanks to the great score.

The game has 12 chapters, each one roughly half an hour to 45 minutes in length. Overall, the game will take about seven hours to complete, though this can definitely take longer for those going for 100%. You may also spend some extra time doing the various challenge courses to perfect your times. While the game is a solid length for a VR game, a large amount of time comes from load times. A lot of the chapters will be broken up with waiting for things to load, which happens a bit too frequently. Sometimes it’s worth the wait, though others, it just leads to a short story segment.

At least the game is a great example of a visually stunning PlayStation VR title. Environments are full of amazing details, the HUD immerses you in the helmet, and all of Stark’s technology just works. The Iron Man suit designed by Ari Granov looks awesome, especially when you see it in the garage. With an extensive amount of detail, you’ll also catch some cool Marvel Easter eggs here and there. It also helps that the game manages to allow comfortable movement despite the fast pace flight. It’s actually quite impressive.

When it comes to VR games, Marvel’s Iron Man VR is definitely among the more immersive experiences. While the action sequences could make up more of the bulk of the game, it compensates this with solid performances and a pretty good story. Load times may be plentiful, but the game makes up for it with an amazing sense of visual detail. Add some great music and a lot of interactivity, and you have a pretty fun super hero game. If you have a PlayStation VR and ever wanted to step inside the Iron Man suit, this game is for you.

Final Score: 8 out of 10

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