Iron Man 2
We'd rather spend the seven bucks on popcorn at the theater.
Iron Man 2 opens this weekend, and as expected, there's a whole bunch of video games available. Although it remains to be seen whether Sega did the superhero justice on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, we played Gameloft's iPhone version and think it's a technically impressive but boring adventure that'll put everyone, even hardcore fans, to sleep.
Instead coming up with something original or exciting, the developers conjured up a by the numbers third person shooter with the same old mission objectives. During the few hours it takes to thwart evil, Iron man will defuse bombs before time expires, kill a select number of bad guys to proceed and escort a helicopter. These are by no means horrible ideas, but seasoned gamers have seen it all before.
To make matters worse, the camera has a nasty habit of zooming a bit too close at times, obstructing your view of the enemies ahead. We also ran into an issue where Iron Man's repulsor weapon (activated by tapping its on-screen icon) didn't work.
In addition, the voice acting's terrible. It would appear that Gameloft did whatever it took to shoehorn as many cheesy lines as possible into the game. On one hand, the company deserves kudos for including so much speech into an iPhone App. On the other, we just want everyone to shut up.
It's a shame, because Iron Man 2 is quite attractive. Everything was modeled in 3-D, and the designers did an excellent job capturing Iron Man's appearance. There's a lot of pop up, but for the most part, this game outshines most of the competition, especially while weaving between skyscrapers in the New York City stage.
Yes, you can fly, and it's the best part of the game. After Iron Man ascends, achieved by dragging the hover button vertically, you press and hold that same button to take off. While things move a bit slowly, it's still somewhat enjoyable exploring NYC from the air, so much so that we wish there was a free play mode just to waste some time.
There's also a decent amount of action. Enemies come in all shapes and sizes, from drones inspired by Iron Man's design to small spider robots; there are also a handful of familiar villains to battle, including Whiplash, Firepower and Ultimo. If anything, we took limited enjoyment from watching things explode. Then, after completing a mission, you can upgrade his weapons, shield and skills using experience points earned from blowing up bad guys.
Unfortunately, the small handful of good moments cannot overcome the monotonous gameplay. Gameloft succeeded in making an App full of eye candy, but failed to bring the fun. That makes Iron Man 2, especially at $6.99, a superhero game to avoid. Go see the movie instead.
What's Hot: Flying around, blasting robots, the Iron Man theme music, 25 achievements.
What's Not: Lame mission objectives, bothersome camera, sub par voice acting, costs $6.99.