When Iron Man VR was revealed, I was a little disappointed by the teaser trailer. At first glance, it looked like an on-rails shooter made to cash in on the incredibly popular Iron Man franchise. After getting my hands (and eyes) on a fairly lengthy demo, it became clear just how much of a disservice the trailer did for the game.
Jumping into the demo, the first thing I did was learn how to fly. This caught me off guard as I’ve already mentioned, I was expecting an on-rail shooter, when in actual fact, this might just be the most mobile experience that I’ve had in VR yet. Most of the game takes place in the air (as you’d expect for an Iron Man game) and tutorial does a great job at teaching you how to master your thrusters.
The PlayStation Move controllers do a great job of replicating Iron Man’s Thruster Hands. Putting the Move controllers horizontally will basically keep you afloat, whilst pointing the Move Bulb to the ground will put you full speed ahead or putting it to the ceiling will bring you to a stop. You’ll basically move in the direction that you’re facing, which pretty much means this is a full 360 experience.
The next part of the demo will teach you how to shoot, which is when you really start to feel like Iron Man. Shooting works as you’d expect. A reticle shows up on screen and you get about 5-6 shots before each hand overheats. It’s the next part of the tutorial that really brings it all together. Putting thrusting and shooting together feels like absolute magic. I know it sounds simple, but being able to thrust and keep yourself afloat with one hand whilst shooting with the other is a really natural experience. You’re able to alternate hands as well, which makes it a really immersive experience.
I was told that the game would be an 8-10 hour experience. In this mission that I got it play through, it began with a cut scene where Tony was sitting in his private jet alongside Pepper, before Ghost’s army appeared and starting shooting their plane down. Tony was blown out of the airplane, before his armour flying through the sky and snapping to him before my eyes.
The rest of the mission was a mix of fixing the airplane (which definitely tested my newly learned flying skills), fighting of Ghost’s army of ships and communicating with Pepper to make sure she was okay. The mission ended with having to force the landing gear out in order for the plane to land. The entire mission was high-action and insanely thrilling from start to finish. I’m excited to see how much missions vary, and what abilities Iron Man picks up along the way.
Iron Man VR has apparently been in development for the better part of two years and it’s telling. It feels like an actual game, built for VR, rather than a tech demo. It looks fantastic and most importantly, I felt absolutely no motion sickness which was surprising to me considering it probably involves more fast-paced movement than any game that I’ve ever played.
There could be a risk of repetitiveness, but so far, so good. I really liked what I saw, and I’m not the biggest Marvel fan, but nobody can deny the feeling of becoming Iron Man and being a complete badass in the sky.
SHANNON FLEW TO SAN FRANCISCO AS A GUEST OF SONY FOR A PLAYSTATION VR SHOWCASE EVENT.