The decade-old Move controllers and tethered design of the PSVR does make getting around a little more awkward here than it might be on a more modern system — for example you’ll need to rotate Iron Man’s torso by hitting tiny buttons on the controllers rather than physically turning all the way around, to save yourself getting tangled — but compared to many other PSVR games the tracking is solid and the movements are intuitive.
Essentially all of the enemies are drones and many of the levels’ settings and objectives are reused over the six hour campaign so, even though there’s a selection of weapons and different kinds of drones that demand different strategies, the design does get old. The basics are solid though and you do always feel like you’re Iron Man when you’re up in the air, which is a great achievement.
But where Spider-man made Peter Parker feel relatable and subverted expectations with some new twists on familiar stories, the characterisation and narrative here is bit weak. The story opens as Tony Stark has just begun to embrace the superhero life and is planning to shut down all arms dealing operations, but a ghost from his past isn’t too keen on letting him wash his hands of all the collateral damage his profiteering has caused over the years.
It’s a standard Iron Man story and the trajectory will be very predictable even for non-fans. It doesn’t help that most of the story is told in static and boring dialogue scenes or, for some reason, in the eye-distressing pitch darkness where Tony delivers his internal monologue.
Meanwhile scenes where you play a grounded Tony at his beachside mansion are welcome for the change of pace but can be wonky. Close-up encounters don’t do wonders for the PSVR’s low resolution, grabbing and manipulating objects with your hands is humorously glitchy and Tony’s noodly arms and impossibly face-piercing shoulders lessen the hero fantasy somewhat.
The core flying and shooting experience here is very well done and should satisfy existing PSVR owners looking for something fresh. But from the meh upgrades and strange unlockable suit designs (it’s a first person game?) to the rote storyline and repitition, everything outside of the advanced arcadey shooting gallery sections is a bit of a letdown.
Marvel’s Iron Man VR is out now for PlayStation VR.