Movie games are rarely worth a look but I was pleasantly surprised. Though with that said Iron Man is far from perfect.
I'll start with the plot. Basically, as I'm sure is fairly obvious, the game follows the plot of the movie. However it follows it very loosely with only the opening and closing of the game being drawn from the movie with almost everything else in between specially created for the game. The main plot mainly revolves around two separate groups from the Marvel universe both of which had no presence within the movie. The quality of the plot is actually quite weak and acts mainly as an excuse to send a legion of enemies to attack you. So if you're hoping for cameos by other Marvel characters or interesting sub-plots I'm afraid there's very little of either here.
The game has thirteen levels in total with each being quite large and open and taking anywhere from as little as five to twenty-five minutes to complete. There's a variety of scenery ranging from tropical islands to snow. Each level contains at least one secondary goal that normally involves destroying something out of your way, not destroying something or doing one of the first two under a time limit. The main goal of every level however is basically to just destroy your enemies. The roster of enemy types is quite small and is basically a variation of either: tanks, helicopters/planes, humans or gun turrets. Human enemies pose literally no threat at all and go down with one shot from any weapon (including melee). The game does this since clearly they want to give you the impression you are a lone fighter against an army, which they do actually pull off quite well.
The controls felt quite odd and alien at first but after about twenty minutes they felt quite comfortable and I've had no trouble since. You use LT to hover by holding it half way or use it to ascend by holding it down. LB is basically the boost button to fly at high speeds with the A button acting as a further increase in speed when held down at the same time. Flight is an important part of the game and you'll likely spend most if not all of your play time in the air. Using A with the control stick acts as a dodge in thee appropriate direction. RT and RB act as your primary weapon and "unibeam" (a chargeable long range beam weapon) while Y acts as the secondary weapon. B is grab and can be used to grab missiles or enemies or alternatively launch a small melee attack. X activates an energy shield or stealth depending on what you've chosen in the customisation.
Speaking of the customisation it's a little better than I dreaded it would be but still not quite as deep as I'd hoped for. You can change your armour's stats via the available categories which are:
Core systems – Armour resistance and melee power (bonus property is shield, stealth or missile defence).
Repulsors – Weapon properties such as damage and rate of fire.
Power Systems – Energy properties and unibeam power (bonus property is "damage to energy", or rapid unibeam).
Auxiliary Weapons – Secondary weapon properties (either missiles or grenades)
Mobility Enhancers - Flight properties such as top speed or flight agility.
Each section has three levels to it and several choices within each level. You upgrade to the next level by buying the upgrade before the level. Money is gained by completing levels with more being awarded if you completed secondary objectives though chances are once you've got to the last mission you'll be able to afford to upgrade your armour all the way.
There were a number of small glitches I encountered but none of them too serious. For example on occasion I was able to see through the scenery when moving close to a wall or adjusting the camera. There were also a couple puzzling ones such as when a boss character got stuck against a wall and refused to move again for the remainder of the battle or when a tank flipped over when I approached and began to drive around upside-down before exploding on it's own.
The game is not a very long one. To add replay value there's a bonus mode called One Man Army where basically you play on one of five maps taken from the story (each one unlocked once you complete the appropriate level) where you're tasked with defeating eighty enemies in ten minutes. If you succeed in doing this you're rewarded with a new piece of armour. The new armour can then be used once you replay story missions or play One Man Army again. Unfortunately despite the armour choices ranging from a good variety of Iron Man stories (both old and new are represented) all but one look and feel very similar to the standard armour you use in story mode., additionally these unlockable armours are not customisable in any way and have locked stats. One Man Army would perhaps have been more interesting if there were more levels or at least more of a challenge. Each one is in fact quite easy to do, the challenge normally is finding that last batch of enemies you need rather than surviving. Also you've already seen each level in the main game so there's nothing new here in the gameplay.
I'll touch on the achievements for a second. Basically you could probably get a good amount with a bit of effort. They mainly revolve around completing the level, completing secondary objectives or playing specific levels using certain armour.
So with no multiplayer, few additional features and a fairly short story mode it must seem like I'm making this hard to recommend. But in all honesty the time I did spend going through story mode and One Man Army I did enjoy quite a lot. The game really delivers on letting you feel like you're playing Iron Man. How much that means to you is up to how much of a fan you are of the idea. The gameplay although repetitive is quite solid and enjoyable while it lasts. I'd recommend this game to fans of the character and anyone who likes action games with some money to spare. Paying full price for this is perhaps a bit much if you don't have much interest (or much money spare) so perhaps it's more fitting to give Iron Man a rent, you'll probably get all you want from it in those few days. Though I do highly recommend checking out the demo on the XBL Marketplace as the level you play is a good representation of the game, if you dislike the demo there's a good chance you'll dislike the game also.