Can Iron Man 2 possibly ever step out of the shadow of its much ill-fated predecessor? I recently had the pleasure to attend a Sega Event where they unveiled their lineup in NYC and I had the opportunity to see firsthand what Iron Man 2 had to offer. I spoke with Kyle Brink of Sega who is the creative director of Iron Man 2 and sort of the father of the entire project if you will.
For those of you who did not play the original Iron Man title, it was lack luster to say the least. It was not completely terrible, but it was a game full of potential that fell way short of the mark. The biggest issue with the first tile was that you quickly felt as if you were doing the same things over and over after the very first board.
Fast forward to Iron Man 2 now and let’s see what changes have been made via an in depth look with Kyle Brink. First off Iron Man and War Machine each have different fight styles which are load-outs available at the beginning of each mission. There are three styles per type of suit and you can load up to two during a mission, which Kyle showed off a Dragon and Hurricane style. The fighting styles mimic fighting styles of a typical MMA fashion such as Muy Thai which gives Iron Man a different feel in the brawling aspect.
The biggest thing that needs to be pointed out is the fact that this title has its own unique story which is completely separate from the film. Although it is scheduled to ship sometime in April (prior to the next Iron Man film) it will not be based on the same plot. This is a huge difference maker from the original title as it frees up the team at Sega to explore a variety of different areas and enemies while not being bound to an existing campaign or storyline like in the original.
One notable difference is as we flew and hovered with Iron Man was that you no longer have to regulate the power settings to thrusters, weapons, etc. this management is now automatic and we thank Sega for this. Also brawling a mob is handled much more fluid now in the style of Batman Arkham Asylum such that you can switch on the fly from enemy to enemy using the Right Stick. Flying has also been revamped especially since Kyle Brink has strong roots in the flight simulator genre and it shows as Iron Man takes corners and hovers along with grace and style.
Another huge difference and addition in this title are the destructible environments. This is huge for me as I love to take advantage of blowing up trees and especially buildings in games and Iron Man 2 achieves this feat in spades. I watched as Kyle destroyed rooftops of warehouses, took out sheds and shredded a silo. This was all made possible via a new dynamic lighting that was implemented for the game. The dynamic lighting makes the destruction that much more impressive because once you knock something down the shadow it cast has to disappear and that is exactly what happens in the game. It was impressive to watch him take out walls and watch as the shadows shifted.
Also, Iron man now takes the fight inside of buildings. This is something that is a complete contrast to the first game where you only fought in open fields and spaces. The close combat feel is a nice change of pace and really promotes the brawler aspect and the differences in load outs where you may want splash or area damage instead of long range weapons.
So will Iron Man 2 shine? It is still early to tell but I was impressed with what I saw and I thought it was a great sign that Kyle Brink was very confident in his project and actually enjoyed playing his title to the point that we stayed a half an hour after the event had officially closed playing through Iron Man 2. In my opinion gamers will need to give Iron man 2 a chance and experience the flying, brawling, shooting, and hovering that is iron Man. Here’s to looking forward to an April date which gives the studio some more time to polish it up.