I’m gonna break my rusty cage.
As some of you may regrettably recall, the last Iron Man
movie tie-in video game from SEGA, shall we say, didn’t do so well. But the nice thing about next year’s movie sequel is that it will give them a chance to make restitution for the sins of their past. And that is exactly what they’re hoping to do with Iron Man 2
Thankfully, the story is more of a companion piece to the film than a rehashing of the movie's plot. Matt Fraction, writer for the Invincible Iron Man comic book has been brought in to pen an original story for the game. The level we were shown took place in an A.I.M. drone factory in Russia. Billionaire playboy Tony Stark is still trying to keep his technology from falling into the wrong hands and has shown up in his metal suit to stop clandestine scientists from wreaking havoc upon the world.
One of the major problems
with the first Iron Man
was that you felt too removed from the action. Right off the bat, Iron Man 2
sets itself apart from its predecessor with the addition of indoor environments. There are still a lot of outdoor, open-map, fly-around ones as well, but they’re looking to strike a better balance and create more chances for combat variety.
They’re also planning to put a larger emphasis on hand-to-hand to combat this time around. You’ll have more fighting styles to choose from than a kung-fu master of the nine deadly arts and you’ll be able to switch between them on the fly to fit your style. Moves will be unlockable and upgradable as you progress through levels. Quick-time events such a ripping apart machines and using the fodder to destroy other enemies have been tweaked to be more than just the missile counter attack throws and tanks smashes of the first game.
But what good would a high-tech robot suit be if it didn’t have guns and lasers? It’d be nothing but a pompous Asimo
. Which is why on top of upgradable melee, you’ll be able to tweak your long range abilities both with unlockables and tactics. An option to enable/disable auto-lock on has also been added for a new degree of difficulty.
Depending on whether you’re fighting in the air or on the ground, power will routed to different aspects of your armor. Flying will route power to the thrusters and provide more dexterity, but that also means less juice for your armor and weapons systems. It looks to be a subtle tweak but should provide an extra depth of strategy overall.
They’re also looking to improve the variety of overall objectives. The example shown during the demo involved Tony having to stay within a certain radius of a control console as the J.A.R.V.I.S. system deactivated something. Of course, you’re being attacked by robots bigger than you the whole time and you have almost no cover. So hopefully that intensity will carry over to the final product.
Basically, Iron Man 2
is looking to make all the changes it can to disassociate itself with its predecessor’s mistakes while keeping the few good things that were there. Flight controls have been simplified and won’t take any tantric finger yoga to work out. More variety have been added to the environments, full with indoor and in-your-face combat, and a smattering of comic book tie-ins. The only boss we were shown was a big ass tank on spider legs that popped out from the ground, but we were told he’s probably the smallest boss you’ll face throughout the game.
Beyond the Crimson Dynamo, they weren’t giving out any names of heroes or villains from the Marvel universe that will be making an appearance, but the game isn’t due out until sometime next year, probably towards the end of April when the movie is looking to be release. So hopefully more details will be forthcoming as the months go by. They told me that they “want you to feel like Iron Man
” as much as possible and are hard at work to make that dream a reality. But no pressure fellas, it’s not like you’ve got a multi-million dollar franchise that folks lost faith in after the first game. It should be a cakewalk for you. Expect it sometime next year for all major platforms.