Two years after his summer blockbuster tie-in game frustrated anyone unlucky enough to don the shiny red suit, Iron Man is back. The intervening years have given him time to reflect and settle down, making Iron Man 2 a more even-keeled experience than its predecessor. The punishing difficulty has been smoothed out, thanks in part to the sprinkling of checkpoints now featured in each level. Unfortunately, the exhilarating sense of speed that provided Iron Man's few thrills has also been phased out, leaving Iron Man 2 without any excitement to call its own. The few combat refinements create almost as many problems as they solve, and despite featuring a higher level of environmental detail than Iron Man, Iron Man 2 manages to look worse. Any improvements end up overshadowed by the ugly visuals and troubled gameplay, making this sequel even worse than its mediocre predecessor.
6261469NoneApparently ripping a robot's face off makes it sympathetic to your cause for a brief time.
The story here is not the one you'll see in movie theaters, but it features some solid villainy and snarky banter. Unfortunately, the cutscenes that set up the action are poorly produced, and almost all of the character models look like wax-museum rejects. It may be interesting to hear Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) and James Rhodes (aka War Machine) plot about how to stop a serious threat, but it's very difficult to follow the action when you're half expecting the desiccated corpse of Don Cheadle to make a lunge for Robert Downey Jr.'s over-tanned head and try to gnaw out his tasty genius brains.
The lackluster visuals don't actively hinder you during gameplay, but they take a lot of the fun out of destroying legions of mechanical baddies when they don't even have the decency to explode well. Whether you are playing as Iron Man or War Machine (sometimes you have a choice, sometimes not), you blast your way through a lot of bad guys using missiles, lasers, and your trusty repulsors/minigun. Your weapons are effective, and the targeting system allows you to easily handle foes that are a few yards away. Moving your view around to take on a new enemy causes your reticle to automatically switch targets. But your enemies are generally mobile and they frequently change position to avoid your fire. Often times, your enemies will swarm in on you, and this creates a bad situation. As you slide your view to keep a moving enemy in your sights, another enemy can dart by and steal your reticle. This will yank your view away from your previous target, and the only way to reengage it is to tap a button to toggle targeting off, wheel around and find your target, then toggle targeting back on. Of course, if there is an enemy closer to you within your field of vision when you switch targeting back on, that enemy will be your new target, and your old one will get off scot-free.