Have you ever wanted to be Tony Stark? If not you probably should! Yesterday DualShockers had the opportunity to listen in on one of the most exciting developer conference calls in a while featuring Moderator Chase from Access Communications, Dean Martinetti Producer of Iron Man 2: The Video Game for SEGA and Mike McHale SEGA Development Director. Right off the bat the new destructibility is an intriguing factor of Iron Man 2: The Video Game. The call started off by giving us a brief overview of the game then quickly gained some momentum with questions from the press giving way to exciting features in this upcoming title. Everything from the relationship the upcoming movie has to the game, to the dramatic improvements made from the first Iron Man video game, to a detailed breakdown of what to expect in the new lab are covered. This call was full of enthusiasm and enough exciting game design talk to solidify Iron Man 2: The Video Game as a potentially incredible game.
Iron Man 2: The Video Game will allow players to become Iron Man as well as, for the first time ever, War Machine! The game takes a unique approach to open world and free form game play by crafting unique and huge environments added to the game with each mission that are optimized to tell the story properly. Iron Man 2 will not feature any online co-op or multiplayer, instead the experience has been crafted to give players a deeper than ever first-hand Tony Stark experience. Everything from the combat system, controls, transitioning between various travel modes (ground, hover, flight), weapon adaptation, A.I., map system, radar, and beyond have been given essentially a reboot with serious improvement bringing the game to an easy pick up and play accessibility yet also deeper, better experience modifying weapons easily and executing thrilling attacks.
Players will actually be able to play as either Iron Man or War Machine throughout the entire game other than one or two character-specific missions. Iron Man uses mainly energy weapons (laser guns), melee attacks, and powerful spin attacks with lasers that will smelt everyone around to a crisp. As War Machine players will take control of powerful munitions weapons. The length of the campaign, depending on the player, will average around 7 to 11 hours minimum.
When it comes to collaboration on technical details, like solving animation challenges, the makers of Iron Man 2: The Video Game and the makers of the Iron Man 2 movie exchanged ideas and information maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship during development. The game features interior levels that expand game play in new ways such as more fluid and free-form game play. There are some boss fights in the game that are so big they could not be done in the movie due to prohibitive cost. In Iron Man 2 you can you use your weapons or get up close and have lots of face to face time fighting your opponents, the choice is yours. Each mission can be completed through several different paths as well, giving a higher sense of immersion. Voice acting is said to be top notch and features Don Cheadle and Samuel Jackson as well as Eric Loomis the original voice actor for Iron Man in the animated films.
The story of the game has not been derived from the Iron Man 2 film’s storyline but will deliver a experience of being “in” the movie first hand better than ever before. Environments are designed for game play aspects. Where the first Iron Man game failed at versatility when it comes to controls the second one will shine. Flight mechanics have been reduced to a single button press and push on a analog stick giving players a much more comprehensive control over Iron Man. Simply pull back on the stick to stop flying. Also the dissonance of using the left stick for some commands and right stick for others causing some confusion as you transitioned through the various flight modes has been solved. No more holding down a button to hover at certain altitudes either. Frame rate is locked at 30 frames per second for this game which gives it the edge to exceed the original in detail, objects, add destructibility, as well as maintain the delicate balance of power usage to keep the frame rate constant virtually the entire game experience.
It is important and should be noted that on each platform the game will differ by some degree. Since this title will arrive on the Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation Portable, and Nintendo DS soon you might be wondering what exactly those differences are. Dean M., Producer of Iron Man 2 was kind enough to break it down for us. There will be unique content for each game (most of which is not announced at this time) but also there will be technical differences in the experience. The Next-Generation version of the game for PS3 and Xbox 360 will contain the highest quality experience with nearly full destructibility, customization features out the yin-yang, as well as its own unique stories. The game play mechanics of the PSP and Nintendo Wii version are said to be similar to each other yet different than the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions. You’ll have to use your imagination as to what that might mean. Each version is said to feel natural to its target platform and optimized to be the best it can be on that platform, hopefully we are in for a treat across the board. The Nintendo DS game will contain a separate experience from the Next-Gen and PSP / Wii versions but will still adhere to the same overall theme.
Trophies / Achievements for the PS3 / Xbox 360 versions are said to contain only a few easy challenges mixed with some that will take the entire game to achieve as well as fully customizing Iron Man and War Machine’s abilities and equipment a lot. When asked about future possibilities for the Iron Man: The Video Game series Dean and Mike lets it be known that they would like the ideas of co-operative play as well as full open world game play IF they had a chance to work on something with a much more flexible schedule. With Matt Fraction, writer of Invincible Iron Man 2 (who also worked with the makers of Iron Man 2 the film) being on deck with a lot of the writing for the game including collaborative writing with mission designers working on dialogue, and underlining actual storyline elements creating improved flow for the game, the characters, cut scenes, and logic of the game having been through many hands at Marvel Film Studios, the story will maintain the essence of Iron Man 2 the film even with its own unique vision intact.
The most exciting features talked about were the full suit customizations and research lab overhaul. In first person players will feel like they are Tony Stark. Upon entering the lab cross breeding of energy weapons with munitions, installing suit modules, and customizing existing weapons with scientific technology stand out as some of the best features of the lab in Iron Man 2: The Video Game. One module allows players to blow apart a house realistically while another provides laser hands. Combination of modules will allow extremely deadly force such as one Gatling gun on each shoulder or more complex combos like 12 homing missiles (6 on each shoulder) launching at once simultaneously with laser attacks. The possibilities seem pretty endless with 24 – 27 modifications per weapon across 4 module slots and customizable melee attacks, and more.
All in all this was a pretty revealing summary of the Iron Man 2 game that has got a lot of valid reasons why gamers should be looking forward to this title. The way any fan of the film will be able to pick it up and enjoy it is great (you can even use the latest battle suit from the game) but the added bonus of a full reboot with hardcore gamers in mind really seals the deal for this game. Iron Man 2: The Video Game is a game that has been engineered to deliver the optimal Tony Stark experience. Be on the look out for it releasing May 4th, 2010 for almost every system out there.