Iron Man 2

Sega Stumbles On The Launch Pad Again
by Ben Reeves on May 04, 2010 at 05:00 AM
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega Studios San Francisco
Rating: Teen
Reviewed on: Xbox 360
Also on: PlayStation 3

In the comics, Tony Stark constantly tweaks his Iron Man armor, making new and improved suits as his technology evolves. It’s too bad Sega can’t keep tweaking this game after its release, because while the series might be headed in the right direction, there are still loose parts under the hood.

The story – a one-shot tale that sees Tony and Rhodey chasing down a stolen copy of the Jarvis AI – has a few cool moments, but most of them get diluted by low production values and terrible camera work. Likewise, much of the witty dialogue is trampled by bad Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson impersonators.

If you look beyond the awkward cinematics, you’ll find that the game is actually playable this time. The meat and potatoes is all about Iron Man and War Machine shooting mechs until they explode, and there is a certain mindless appeal to that. The flight controls have been simplified, so flying around is fun instead of making you curse the sky every time you lift off. It’s too bad Sega wasn’t able to include co-op, because the game dishes out a breed of mindless action that could be fun with a friend.

Unfortunately, things fall apart whenever the mechanical duo enters an enclosed area. This incarnation of Iron Man isn’t built for hand-to-hand combat, and his limited attack set and frustrating targeting system make it show. The developers must have also expected most players to have PhDs in engineering given the elaborate menu system you have to navigate to upgrade your weapons and armor. I can’t even say anything exciting about the boss encounters, as most of them are pretty forgettable. Marvel fans might get a kick out of the appearance of Iron Man’s famous foes, so I guess that’s something.

Superhero games are supposed to be power fantasies. So far, the Iron Man games haven’t done much to inspire my dreams, but at least they’re not giving me nightmares anymore. If Sega keeps tweaking the formula, next time it might actually convince me that it’s fun being Iron Man.

Iron Man 2 cover
Iron Man 2

It’s too bad
Sega can’t keep tweaking this game after its release, because there are still loose
parts under the hood

Game Informer's Review System
Concept Take a terrible superhero title and make it less terrible, but still not quite good
Graphics Dark and a little grainy, but the scariest part of the game is the first time Gwyneth Paltrow’s digital rendering walks onscreen
Sound A decent metal soundtrack, and Sam Jackson and Don Cheadle do a good job with their roles. The rest of the cast is voiced by terrible soundalikes
Playability The game controls well this time, and the mechanics work, but none of the action is particularly exciting
Entertainment Hardcore Iron Man junkies might get a thrill from the story, but even they’ll have trouble putting up with the bland missions
Replay Low