Iron Man VR (Meta Quest 2) Review
Since the dawn of time, great thinkers – scientists, philosophers, writers, engineers – have all pondered one fundamental, life-defining question: how can I build a rocket suit and fly around in it? And finally, developers Camouflaj have finally achieved what Da Vinci, Curie, Newton and Einstein could not. They’ve made Iron Man VR, a game now on the Meta Quest 2, that lets you be Iron Man. It is truly a wonderful time to be alive.
Iron Man VR places you in a first-person view, playing Tony Stark. He embarks on a twelve-episode adventure, that plays out much like a short movie. In fact, it feels very much like a short add-on to the events of the first Iron Man movie. Battling Ghost, a hacker intent on punishing Stark for his amoral, weapons-merchant past, you’ll travel the globe and play through missions to stop the bad guys and save the world.
The story is … ok. It’s definitely a paint-by-numbers affair that feels ripped off from every superhero action film you’ve seen over the years. It’s also way too predictable. If you’re like me, you’ll guess the identity of the main antagonist right from the start. And things aren’t helped by half-hearted voice acting and oddly-long pauses between lines of dialogue. But still, I found it adequate enough to at least provide a set-up for the action sequences.
So the story could be better. But the missions you’ll tackle are nicely varied. I was worried that I’d be just flying around and shooting. But there is a solid mixture of activities. These include disarming explosives, fixing damaged planes and buildings, flying through obstacle environments, as well as shooting drones and other enemies in the air. Of course, things do get a tad repetitive at times. Over the 6-8 hours of the entire campaign, there are going to be things you do over and over. Like, some different enemies to shoot at would have been nice. But I do commend Camouflaj for putting together a mostly multifaceted narrative and range of gameplay activities.
And those activities are always really fun. Yes, flying is the core of the experience (naturally), and it is always a thrill and that’s partly due to the excellent controls. Just like the real Iron Man, you hold your palms out and fire your thrusters by pressing the triggers. Swiveling your palms, you control the direction of flight. It’s very intuitive. Mind you, I did take some time to get used to doing simultaneous actions. Additional upgrades, like heat-seeking missiles, added to your suit can become a lot to juggle in the heat of battle. With practice, I found Iron Man VR’s controls to be easy and comfortable.
We reviewed Iron Man VR back in 2020 when it released on the PSVR. And all of the positives my colleague mentioned then still apply. It’s a great game. Plus, the Meta Quest 2 version adds some noticeable improvements. For example, you now have true, full 360-degree movement and field of vision. That’s due to the Meta Quest 2’s better tracking. That’s a game-changer because you can now physically turn your head and look behind you to get a fuller sense of each scene.
Some Nice Improvements
Another improvement is one I only know about second hand. Apparently, the load times for the PSVR version were pretty horrible. On the Meta Quest 2, that is definitely not an issue. Transitions between missions and cut-scenes are almost non-existent. Put it this way: if this game had load times, I didn’t notice them. That’s a massive plus for this new version and one that warrants a look, maybe even if you’ve already played the PSVR version. Lastly, the Meta Quest 2 version doesn’t have the dreaded screen-door effect of the PSVR original. In higher resolution, the game’s level of immersion is much better.
Now, just doing mission after mission doesn’t quite capture the glamour of being Iron Man. Because as we know, part of the experience is also getting to be Tony Stark. You know, the celebrity, the rich playboy with the totally fab waterfront mansion. And Iron Man VR delivers on that too. In between missions, you get to chill in Stark’s geeked-out pad, complete with breathtaking views and the latest high-tech amenities. If I’m honest, his decorator sometimes makes some odd choices. For one, I’m not sure anyone really needs THAT much fresh fruit lying around. But otherwise, it’s fun to explore the house in your downtime after each chapter.
When you’re ready for another mission, you can head to the garage where your power suits are located. Iron Man VR has some upgrades you can install with points earned in missions. I’d like to see more upgrade options, but it is a nice gameplay loop that sees you get more and more powerful as you progress. Plus you’re rewarded with more upgrade points the better you do, giving an incentive to fly faster or kill enemies more efficiently.
Iron Man VR on the Meta Quest 2 represents the best elements of VR gaming. In first person 3D view, and 360-degree realism, you can get the feeling of truly being a superhero in a way that traditional games can’t match. Sure, it’s a bit on-rails. You’re essentially in a playable movie here. But there’s enough fun and varied experience that you won’t mind. Iron Man VR was already a solid game on the PSVR, but it’s a great Meta Quest 2 title.
- You get to be Iron Man
- Intuitive controls
- Nice improvements on Meta Quest 2
- Lackluster story
- Mediocre voice acting