At launch in 2020, Marvel’s Iron Man VR was a fantastic PSVR game that let you truly embody Tony Stark and his iconic suit of armor. However, the game was also hindered in places by the hardware it ran on.
With Iron Man VR flying onto Quest 2 next month, it looks like developers Camouflaj are able to fully realize their original vision for the game.
“The team really tried to punch above its weight,” said Camouflaj founder Ryan Payton, reflecting on the PSVR launch. “We shipped a pretty big game for the platform, we pushed some really impressive visuals. We pushed out a gameplay dynamic that really hasn’t been done by any other game studio. [But] we did it in a way that didn’t lean into the core strengths of the platform.”
After playing a few missions of Iron Man VR on Quest 2 this week, it’s clear that Quest 2 is a much better fit for the game. “The game’s core fantasy is able to come through in a much more pure fashion [on Quest]” said Payton. Not only is it a more freeing experience, but several pain points from the PSVR release are nowhere to be seen.
The most notable change (or least noticeable, depending on how you look at it) is the very short loading times. On PSVR, Iron Man VR was notorious as a fantastic experience let down by unfathomably long load screens. While the Camouflaj team was happy with the general response to the PSVR release, the load times were one area that always remained problematic, limited by the PS4’s old hard drive technology. “We wish we could have done more when it came to the load times [on PSVR]” said Payton. “But it wasn’t due to a lack of effort.”
Thanks to the flash storage on Quest 2, this is no longer a problem. The solid state flash storage makes all the difference, with cinematics and missions loading in a matter of seconds. You’ll forget it was even an issue. “We had discussions whether or not we even need a load screen for some of the missions,” said Payton. “It’s so fast, why do we even need to show the player that the game is loading?”
PSVR was also a tethered headset with just one external camera for tracking, requiring some technical workarounds and cable management to play with 360 degree movement. On Quest 2, Iron Man VR is wire-free and you can play with full range of unobstructed movement. It’s a delight to fling yourself in any direction using quick physical turns – 360 degree combat and flying has never felt better.
“It just feels like the players have been able to experience the core essence of what we were looking to create from the very beginning,” said Payton. “Which is to deliver on the ultimate superhero fantasy pairing Iron Man with VR.”
Marvel’s Iron Man VR launches November 3 for Quest 2 – keep an eye out for our full review at launch.
Article updated after publication to clarify the way it refers to Quest 2’s solid state storage system.