Reviews

Iron Man VR Quest 2 Review: A Thrilling Release Reaches Its Full Potential

Two years after its PSVR debut, Iron Man VR is available now on Quest 2. No longer held back by the constraints of last generation hardware, the game reaches new heights and fulfills its true potential. Read on for our full Iron Man VR Quest 2 review.

Once considered a fairly average member of the Marvel Comics pantheon, Iron Man is now one of the most high-profile superheroes of the modern age. As the linchpin of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Robert Downey Jr. and Kevin Feige rocketed the hero to mainstream popularity in a string of film appearances that began with Iron Man in 2008 and culminated in the box office monolith Avengers: Endgame in 2019.

Iron Man VR Quest 2 Review The Facts

Platforms: Quest 2 (previously released on PSVR)
Release Date: Out now
Developer: Camouflaj, Endeavor One
Price: $39.99

Just one year after Endgame, Iron Man VR was the first post-MCU attempt to give the hero his own solo video game outing. The resulting experience was a faithful and engaging representation of the character, paired with a solid campaign and thrilling gameplay. However, its release on the original PSVR headset was complicated. While a fantastic game, it was held back by the significant hardware limitations of PSVR and PlayStation 4.

As we wrote in our review at the time, Iron Man VR on PSVR got all the essentials spot on. The gameplay was an absolute highlight, enabling you to truly feel like Iron Man in every way possible. The variety of weapons, the combat and the flying were all an absolute delight, paired beautifully with an original story that felt both familiar and yet refreshingly unique. Everything we liked about the PSVR release transfers over to the Quest 2 version of the game – the core of Iron Man VR remains compelling as ever, no matter which platform you play on.

However, releasing on PSVR hardware – which was already outdated and at the end of its lifecycle – had a significant impact on the overall enjoyability of the experience. Loading times were abysmal, sometimes taking several minutes just to load one area. Likewise, while the game featured a pseudo-360 tracking workaround that mostly circumvented any PSVR tracking limitations, it was still a wired VR experience. It’s hard to feel fully immersed as Iron Man if a cable is getting tangled around your legs. Nonetheless, we rated the experience favourably overall, despite the hardware hinderances.

This new Quest 2 release, however, sees Iron Man free himself from the shackles of outdated tech. Announced at Connect 2022 (alongside Meta’s acquisition of the game’s development team, Camouflaj), Iron Man VR is now available on the most popular and mainstream VR headset, completely free of any literal and figurative restraints.

Breaking Free on Quest 2

So how does Quest 2 improve the Iron Man VR experience? Well, the entire campaign and bonus content remain intact, but with some adjustments for the new standalone setup. For starters, the minutes-long load times from PSVR are not a problem here. Loading on Quest 2 is smooth and near instantaneous. You’ll never wait more than a few seconds to get into the action.

You’re also now completely wire-free, allowing for untangled 360-degree movement when playing. While this wasn’t the biggest pain point on PSVR, it’s one less thing to worry about and make a huge difference. Being able to turn quickly without concern is a huge boon and greatly increases immersion.

These aren’t huge overhauls – they are essentially quality-of-life improvements, solving problems that arguably shouldn’t have existed in the first place. However, it makes this release feel much more definitive and polished than the original PSVR release. The gameplay itself was always been exceptional, but now the entire package works as intended.

Performance and Visuals

General improvements aside, the Quest 2 port is solid and overall performance is fantastic. There are a few moments in busy combat sequences where you can feel the Quest 2 struggling to keep up with the demand, but those sections are rare and short-lived.

The visuals are pretty solid overall, with a a few standout moments peppered throughout the campaign. Environments and general clarity benefit from the increase in screen resolution on Quest 2, though there are still some jagged edges to be found, especially when looking far into the distance. At times, the large fly-over environments can look a little simplistic and blocky, but the stylised nature of the game helps smooth that over. Even if it’s not the most visually impressive Quest 2 game, it’s also far from the worst.

Camouflaj does employ fixed foveated rendering, making the outer edges of the field of view blurry at times, but you’ll only rarely notice. Likewise, there’s a few visual glitches from time to time in cutscenes, but they’re easily forgiven and don’t detract from the overall experience.

There’s also now the option for smooth locomotion movement via the thumbstick, in addition to the node-based teleport system that was available in the original PSVR release. It’s a welcome option that makes the environments feel more alive as you explore, but the implementation isn’t the best. Whenever you reach a waypoint via smooth locomotion, the game still fades in and out, as if you’ve just teleported to the waypoint instead of walking there.

This is likely to ensure the player is facing the right direction and orientated correctly for interactive cutscenes, but it makes some sequences feel a little sluggish. A more seamless transition between smooth locomotion and waypoints would have been appreciated, but likely would have required more work to implement. The current solution is an acceptable if slightly frustrating compromise.

Iron Man VR Quest 2 Review – Comfort

As with the original release, Iron Man VR is an incredibly comfortable experience. Players have access to the usual options for snap vs smooth turning, alongside vignette tweaking. When flying through the sky, the Iron Man helmet HUD acts as its own vignette that grounds the player and should severely curtail nausea for most players.

As someone who usually feels sick after a lot of artificial movement, I played through the entire Iron Man VR campaign without feeling nauseous once – a testament to Camouflaj’s thoughtful (and mostly invisible) comfort implementation.

Iron Man VR Quest 2 Review – Final Verdict

Iron Man VR on Quest 2 stands tall as the definitive version of this action-adventure superhero game from Camouflaj.

The PSVR release paired a fantastic original story with thrilling gameplay. However, the loading times and outdated hardware made it hard to recommend without caveats, even for the most hardcore Marvel and Iron Man fans. On Quest 2, those caveats are non-existent. Despite two years having passed, the bones of the original release are so strong that Iron Man VR is easily one of the engaging, polished and immersive releases on the Quest platform this year.

It’s a game that uses interactivity to capture the essence of the character in the same way that Insomniac and Rocksteady have done on flatscreen platforms with Spider-Man and Batman. The difference is that virtual reality allows Camouflaj to put the character directly into the hands of the player, creating an experience that is faithful to its origins but wholly more immersive.

Using the Quest 2 as your own suit of armor, you can now get closer to the heart of Tony Stark than ever before.

UploadVR recently changed its review guidelines, and this is one of our new Recommended review labels. You can read more about our review guidelines here.

Source: Read Full Article