Iron Man 2

Spotlight

VideoThe voices of Iron Man 2

Don Cheadle and Sam Jackson give voice to Marvel's new offering.

VideoThe first 15 minutes of Iron Man 2

Tom plays the first sections.

Iron Man 2

Marks out of tin.

Key events

30th April 2010

Iron Man 2

5th February 2010

Iron Man 2 trailer

Iron Man vindicates SEGA's movie milking

Profits up, despite harsh conditions.

Despite "stagnant personal consumption", "generally weak demand" for video games and the devastating 11th March Japanese earthquake and tsunami, SEGA has managed a magnificent profit.

Is PEGI too tough?

The ratings game.

Later this year PEGI will become the legally enforceable ratings body for games in the UK, completely replacing the BBFC. Wherever creative content is legislated in this way, friction is inevitable. And almost always, controversy arises because a rating is seen to be making it too easy for inappropriate material to reach the jam-stained fingers of our innocent children.

SEGA: Alpha Protocol sales were 

SEGA: Alpha Protocol sales were "slow"

Unspectacular RPG targeted in financials.

SEGA's blamed "slow" sales of Alpha Protocol and Iron Man 2 for weak videogame income in the three months ending 30 June 2010.

The company's consumer business lost $7.4 million during April to June. Bad, but a dramatic improvement on last year's Q1 result of minus $52 million.

SEGA openly told the world earlier this month that Alpha Protocol - an espionage RPG made by Obsidian and released in May - "hasn't sold what we've expected". The upshot: no sequel. Eurogamer gave Alpha Protocol a solid and not-to-be-sniffed-at 6/10.

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Iron Man 2

Iron Man 2

Marks out of tin.

There's a decent game lurking somewhere in Marvel's superhero, Iron Man. Maybe it's even a brilliant game. Sure, those palm-mounted laser cannons mean that he's going to enter most battles with his hands up, looking like he's dead set on capitulating, but he can fly, he can blast stuff into pieces, and he's made of bright, shining Metroid metal. Best of all, Iron Man's both weighty and lithe, capable of dropping out of the sky and busting open paving slabs before dancing out of the way of tracer fire and barrel-rolling into the distance.

Iron Man 2 will show you isolated moments of the character's potential, but not that many. SEGA Studios San Francisco, the team that made Tony Stark's latest movie tie-in, has already been closed down following the game's completion, and you can almost sense that external crisis intruding into the safe world of this blockbuster license. There's been a clear effort to make Iron Man work, but there's a lingering air of misery to proceedings, too: a feeling that the developers knew that it was P45s rather than DLC lurking beyond that last milestone.

In many ways, Iron Man 2 is an admirable endeavour. As ever, it has its fair share of indicators that it was rushed to meet a movie release date - there's plenty of texture pop-in, enemy animations are basic, and collision detection leaves gaps between melee attacks that Evel Knievel might have liked to try jumping - but there's a lot of effort on display, too. The story, kicking off after the end of the film by the looks of it, isn't that bad; missions show a willingness to mix up your objectives from time to time; and there's a generous upgrade system available in between levels.

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