The biggest area of improvement is the focus on controls. The control system, challenging for what is, in essence, a shooter/brawler hybrid, has been totally revamped. No longer will you have to hold down buttons to fly or hover. The controls will be consistent, whether you are flying, hovering, or on foot. Much time was spent in focus groups trying to get the controls just right. The poor targeting system has been changed, too, and Jarvis, the armor control program, will make picking out bad guys far easier. The difficulty, which was all over the place in the first game, is smoothed out and more balanced. Framerate issues have been addressed, too. The game will run at 30fps, which cuts down on choppiness as well as allowing more details in the environment. Multiple ways to "beat" a level are included, and progression will not be as linear as that of the first game.
Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of Iron Man 2: The Game will be the same. The Wii and PSP versions are similar to one another, and have villains like the Ghost, Mauler, and Firepower that aren't in the HD console versions. The DS version is unique, and will include the comic character Stilt Man (who is about as cool as he sounds). Martinetti and McHale stated that each version would have unique content, but didn't give any clues as to what. My best guess would be different suits of armor.
Don Cheadle voices War Machine, and Sam Jackson is Nick Fury. Unlike the first Iron Mangame, Robert Downey Jr. is not the voice actor for Iron Man. Instead, the game uses Eric Loomis, the voice of Iron Man in recent Marvel animated features. The total playing time for the game is said to be in the neighborhood of 7-11 hours, depending on how much "sightseeing" the player chooses to engage in.
The biggest question in my mind, and I am sure in yours as well, as a Co-Optimus reader, is, what about co-op? Iron Man and War Machine have fought side by side in the comics for decades, and do the same in the trailers and previews for the new movie. I asked them directly, and, sadly, they confirmed that there is no co-op in the game. Martinetti and McHale explained that co-op was at the top of the list of things they wanted to include in the game from the very beginning. To do so, however, would have added significantly to the time in development. With a release like this, making it onto store shelves at the same time the movie hype is at it's peak is of the utmost importance, and there was no way to include co-op and still make the deadline. Instead of including a half-baked co-op mode, they chose to focus on correcting the problems of the first game and making sure the single player experience was as polished and balanced as it could possibly be. I'm certainly disappointed at this news, but it's understandable, given the time limitations.
Martinetti and McHale are very passionate and excited about Iron Man 2: The Game. It would appear that the biggest concerns from the first game have all been addressed. The inclusion of both Iron Man and War Machine, plus other suits of armor, should add quite a bit to the game's replay factor. While the news of co-op is disappointing, it isn't really surprising, and I look forward to playing the game. When I do, I'll be sure to share my thoughts and opinions in a review here at Co-Optimus.