It feels like major PlayStation VR releases have dried up as of late. Sure, the likes of Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot and Vacation Simulator were fun enough, but it doesn't seem like virtual reality has really made any waves since Blood & Truth nearly six months ago. It's a quiet period indeed, but there is one PSVR title we're eagerly anticipating. Marvel's Iron Man VR could be the next big step for Sony's headset, and it took just 15 minutes of hands on time to prove it.
Just slipping the PlayStation VR headset on for the first time once the game has booted up feels different. As the usual business and engine logos pass you by, Iron Man's visor begins to take shape as blasters power up, thrusters come online, and the world around you comes into view. What follows is essentially a tutorial area that's full of flying, shooting, and punching - but it's more than enough to get DC fanboys fearing of a Marvel takeover all over again.
Using two PlayStation Move controllers that act as your hands, movement is the first thing you'll need to master. It became second nature to us almost instantly, but as the Sony representative who guided us through the demo noted, it's something we took to abnormally fast. Chalk it up to experience, but the team at Camouflaj have done a great job of making Iron Man VR feel like a natural extension of your body. Pointing the two Move controllers at the ground allows you to hover, but give them a quick flick behind you and you'll be zooming through the air quicker than ever. Come to a screeching halt by holding the two wands out in front of you, but you may not want to when there are enemies about.
When you're not focused on flying to the next objective marker, antagonistic drones are going to be a bit of a nuisance. Blasters can be fired with a press of the trigger button on either Move controller while holding them for longer powers up a charged attack. The HUD comes with an aiming reticle for either arm, and a good amount of aim assist means you rarely miss a shot. It captures those iconic audio cues you recognise from the movies perfectly, and along with the speed and elegance we zoomed across the seashore, it really does feel like the Iron Man simulator we've all been dreaming of since the Marvel Cinematic Universe kicked into overdrive.
Punches and kicks round out the combat system for now, each of which feels weighty and powerful as you press the X button to line an attack up before following through with your own hit in real life. Acting as a sort of special move, they deal a huge amount of damage as a reward for getting up close and personal with the enemy.
On the face of it, Marvel's Iron Man VR is a surefire sales success thanks to superhero branding and marketing that could reach the stratosphere. However, that only goes so far when the experience doesn't quite match up with those expectations. Thankfully, it looks like the team at Camouflaj is on course to manage anticipation effectively. We're yet to see much past its tutorial area, but if we're left impressed when all the title does is teach you its most basic mechanics, then Marvel's Iron Man VR could represent the next great step for virtual reality.
Have you played Iron Man VR at past video game conventions? Are you excited to check the game out for yourself? Survive the snap in the comments below.