Speaking of the missions, Sega did a great job restructuring them so that they are now linear, but many of them still feel very bland and unimportant. This wouldn't be as huge an issue if the game were longer, but as it is, the game is only 8 missions long, which only amounts to about 3 - 4 hours, which is completely unacceptable for a full-priced game. There's not even any cooperative modes to occupy more time, which is weird since the game seems built around Iron Man and War Machine cooperating through a majority of most of the missions.
While the gameplay makes those 8 short missions fun overall, Iron Man 2 suffers, just as the first one did, from bland missions. This is even further amplified by the fact that the enemies are incredibly repetitive. There are only so many helicopters that can be taken down, and while the amount of helicopters have been toned down from the first game, Iron Man 2 would benefit a substantial amount from having just a few more types of enemies.
One thing that has been hyped a lot about this game is the boss battles. On the back of the box, the game claims you can fight enemies that are several stories tall. While this is true for the final boss battle, which isn't so much a fight as it is a level itself, that really is misleading. The boss battles are fun, but nothing special.
The best non-gameplay element present in Iron Man 2 is definitely the customization options. They are fairly deep and do offer noticeable difference, but they are not without issues. The user interface is not the most friendly, as it tries to hard to emulate Tony Stark's 3D computer interface from the movies, but after some getting used to, things start to feel more natural. The biggest issue is concerning how confusing the actual customization really is. You receive research points for how well you complete each mission (i.e. enemies downed, damage avoided, etc.), which can be used to upgrade the Iron Man and War Machine costumes. The idea is fantastic and plays into Tony Stark's inventor background, but sometimes implementing the actual inventions can be quite problematic if you do not know exactly how to go about doing it. It's a small issue, yes, but with just a small amount of tweaking, this feature could have given much more life to this already short game.
The feature that most people are concerned about is, without a doubt, the storyline. If you are among the people waiting to see the movie before playing this game to avoid spoiling anything, rest assured that aside from the character likenesses, Iron Man 2 the game and Iron Man 2 the movie have nothing in common. They don't share the same story, they don't share the same themes, they don't even share the same villain, meaning Mickey Rourke does not make an appearance. While this may turn some off to the title, it can be easily spun to be a positive, as the included storyline is strong in it's own right and it adds more to the Iron Man mythology, which is always good.
Is Iron Man 2 a Game of the Year contender? Not at all. Is it worth the $60 MSRP price? Hardly. Is it a solid movie title that is worth a rental for fans of the movie? Absolutely. The game makes improvements upon it's predecessor and adds a nice little storyline to boot, but with such a short story mode, the replayability is really non-existent unless you want to go achievement hunting or unlock all of the little bonuses, such as alternate Iron Man costumes. With Sega slowly getting better at developing Iron Man titles, perhaps they'll eventually be given liberty to create an open-world title featuring the superhero which will finally push the series over the top.