Iron Man VR is fast-approaching next month and after around a year and a half of time between its original unveiling and now, the anticipation is high. We recently interviewed two key developers on the team and chatted about the game’s length and depth.
During the interview we spoke with Ryan Payton, founder of Iron Man VR development studio Camouflaj, and Brendan Murphy, Lead Writer on the project. One of the main topics we talked about is the game’s structure. In the demo it’s hard to get a feel for what the actual gameplay flow will be like from one major story beat to the next and if it’s entirely linear on-rails, if it branches at all, or if there are any free, open areas to explore outside of the actual missions.
According to Payton, they’re designing it “like campaign driven games” people will be familiar with from outside of VR.
“So like, for example, like Halo, a big set piece, and then you kind of take a break from that set piece, go into the shoes of Tony Stark and then you’re back to another big new environment with another big, cinematic action-based mission,” says Payton. “So that’s kinda like the structure of the campaign, but in between each mission, for the most part, we bring players into Tony Stark’s garage, which kind of acts as a hub and then players can access a globe where they’re able to see a lot of the different threats that Tony’s under.”
On top of that there will be optional missions as well, such as objectives revolving around free flight, free roaming, specific flight challenges, combat challenges, and more. You’ll earn research points to unlock and customize your impulse armor and gradually experiment with new things over time.
“One of the things that we did when we pitched Marvel is that we promised them that Marvel’s Iron Man VR was not going to feel experimental,” says Payton. “It wasn’t going to feel like a short demo. It wasn’t going to feel like an ‘experience,’ it was going to feel like a full-fledged, high-quality, AAA VR game that was built off of the previous lessons that we learned by playing other VR games. We’re kind of standing on the shoulders of giants, of other great VR games.
“We’re learning from them and then we’re growing. We’re using that as a baseline. And then we feel like in some ways we’re pushing the medium forward a little bit as well. Because it’s all part of this process of medium that is relatively young. And it’s such an exciting time to be releasing a game. So we also feel very privileged and lucky to have that amount of time and resources that were provided to us, to, to give this game, to give this IP, the proper amount of content and quality that I think all the fans really, really want.”
The ultimate question though, at the end of the day, is what does that translate into for players. I personally despise judging a game on its length to dollar ratio, but at the same time a AAA platform exclusive based on one of the most ubiquitous IPs on the planet carries a certain weight with it.
“I’m always hesitant to talk about playtime because everybody is different and some players love to speed run through things,” says Payton. “That being said, based on playtest data that we’re seeing, on average the first-time campaign length ranges between about 8-10 hours. But we’ve seen much longer play times than that too.”
Iron Man VR is slated to release exclusively for PlayStation VR on July 3rd. Check out our Iron Man VR coverage hub here for more details on the game, our interview article about the game’s fresh new take on Tony Stark, our latest hands-on impressions, and more details from our interview with Ryan Payton and Brendan Murphy as new articles are published.
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