For the last few years, Camouflaj, maker of the 2013 episodic adventure game Republique, has been quietly working on a top secret project in its Bellevue, Wash. studio. Last week, it revealed that the project in question was Iron Man VR, an exclusive virtual reality game for the PlayStation 4 that places the player directly into the role of Tony Stark.
Now we have details about the actual gameplay — and initial impressions are positive thus far:
- The PS4 Exclusive Iron Man VR Makes A Surprisingly Good First Impression (Stephen Totilo, Kotaku)
- ‘Iron Man VR’ is as close to being Tony Stark as you’re likely to get (Andrew Tarantola, Engadget)
- Inside PlayStation VR’s Stunning ‘Marvel’s Iron Man VR’ (Brian Crecente, Variety)
- Iron Man VR is Shaping Up to Be More Than Just An Arcadey PSVR Shooter (Caty McCarthy, US Gamer)
This is the second major project from Camouflaj, an independent 50-person games studio. Its first release, Republique, was initially released in 2013 after a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2012, and was ported to VR platforms in May of 2018.
The studio was founded in 2011 by Ryan Payton, a University of Puget Sound graduate and games writer who eventually went on to work on Metal Gear Solid 4 at Konami. Payton then worked at Microsoft and 343 Industries, where he was one of the narrative designers on Halo 4.
— Ryan Payton (@ryanpayton) March 25, 2019
In Iron Man VR, Tony Stark faces off against a new enemy, an unknown woman using the guise of his old enemy the Ghost. (According to an interview with Game Revolution, the decision to make the game’s Ghost a woman predates the appearance of Hannah John-Kamen’s Ghost in last year’s Ant-Man & The Wasp.)
Iron Man VR is strictly meant for virtual reality, played with Sony’s headset and a PlayStation Move controller in either hand. In-game, when Tony puts on the Iron Man suit, the positioning of your hands is used to determine how Tony flies with his repulsors. At the same time, however, the repulsors are your primary means of self defense, and you can blast enemies by pointing your Move controllers at them and firing. If you lock onto a distant target, Tony will fly at it to deliver a powerful punch.
The armor in Iron Man VR is called the Impulse Suit, and is a unique design for the game created by British artist Adi Granov. Granov lived in Seattle for several years, providing illustration work for Wizards of the Coast, and eventually came to work for Marvel Comics. While there, he illustrated the Extremis storyline for Iron Man, written by Warren Ellis, which is one of the better Iron Man comics in recent years, and began the process of rehabilitation for the character that ended with Tony Stark becoming one of the linchpins of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Extremis went on to become the basis for much of the story of the first and third Iron Man movies, which employed Granov as a consultant. (Granov also contributed the design for the Velocity Suit to last year’s similarly PlayStation-exclusive Spider-Man.)
Other characters confirmed to appear in Iron Man VR include Friday, Tony’s AI assistant, and Pepper Potts. The initial releases mention that the game involves coming “face-to-face with iconic allies and super villains as they jet around the globe on a heroic mission to save not only Stark Industries, but the world itself.”
There is not an official release date for Iron Man VR, but the game is expected to debut in late 2019.