First Impressions | Iron Man VR

First Impressions | Iron Man VR

Iron Man VR lets you live out your Tony Stark fantasies. You can now put on a headset and become Iron Man.

We’ve owned a PlayStationVR headset for a couple of years now, and I can’t believe that the system is around 3 1/2 years old!

PSVR has in my opinion allowed many PlayStation owners to get into virtual reality games for just a couple of hundred bucks (or quid).

There are over 500 PSVR games that allow you to become fully immersed, anything from throwing cute birds at structures built by pigs, or trying to find your wife in a derelict plantation occupied by a cannibalistic family.

So it comes as a bit of a surprise that Iron Man VR has taken so long to arrive. There has been two other short Marvel VR experiences but these weren’t full games, just short promotions for Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Iron Man VR will be released in the beginning of July but a demo dropped on the PlayStation store this week. After wresting the headset off my youngest son, I managed to get a play through.

Iron Man VR begins with a short tutorial on how to move around within the game. Just like the films, the screen starts black and the Iron Man heads up display comes to life in front of your face. The outside world is revealed and you’re standing on an island outcropping a few kilometres away from Tony Stark’s Malibu estate.

Staying true to the character, you’ll get around by flying using the repulsor jets in the palms of the Iron Man armour which is controlled via the PlayStation Move controllers. Unlike previous games, the trigger controls activate the jets, not weapons, that will set your soaring into the sky, assuming you have the palms facing down of course.

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This may sound a little tricky but it soon becomes second nature. But what about combat? That’s easy, point your palm forwards and you can press the Move button to fire off some repulsor beams to take down enemies.

The aforementioned tutorial will have you accustomed to the flying and weapons of the Iron Man suit as you fly around Starks Malibu estate, shooting targets and flying through checkpoints.

Once you’re comfortable, you can then jump into chapter 4 of the full game that has been included in this demo. In this mission, Tony is onboard a private jet with Pepper Potts. However, the electronic systems appear to be hacked by the villain known as Ghost and the plane is attacked by a Stark drone.

You’ll have to fend off the drones, put out engine fires and try to rescue Pepper!

The game is a lot of fun to play, it’s not just a case of point and shoot as the drones fire back and you’re not invincible. You’ll need to master the art of flying to avoid enemy fire. There are also a few interactive sections within the mission such as pulling open the landing gear doors which were damaged in the fight.

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And that’s not all, once you’ve finished the mission you can keep on honing your Iron Man skills with either the Flight Challenge and Advanced Combat Challenge missions.

Due to the technical nature of VR with the PlayStation having to output a left and right image for the headset, graphical details are usually scaled back to help the console process the load.  Despite this, Iron Man VR looks very good graphically and one of the few games where you have arms!

Most VR games will have a pair of floating hands within the 3D world to simulate the position of the move controllers. However, in Iron Man VR, you have hands, arms and a chest. Look down and you’ll see the bright light of the arc reactor powering the Iron Man suit. It’s awesome to move your body around and watch the superbly animated Iron Man armour react to your movements.

The story for Iron Man VR has been created just for this game from the ground up taking inspiration from the comics. There is no link to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so you won’t find Robert Downey Jr. voicing Stark in this game but it’s something that’ll soon pass you by as you become immersed in the action.

If this demo is anything to go by, I’ll certainly be looking forward to July 3rd when Iron Man VR will get its full release.

John Abbitt

About the author | John Abbitt

@UKFilmNerd | John loves film, and he used to write for his own website, The Tydirium Hangar Bay, in the late 1990s. Whilst that website became lost in the passages of time, John's love of film did not. He's back, writing for The Unheard Nerd.