Thursday, December 6

The Hulk Ultimate Destruction Review

Available on: PS2, Xbox, GameCube
The price I paid:£3 (CEX)
I played on: PS2
Notes: N/A

We start with Bruce Banner, i.e. the Hulk hiding out in the desert trying to find a cure when the military shows up and causes him to Hulk out. The game follows Banner and his friend Len Samson trying to find a cure while the army attempts to destroy the Hulk. It’s hard to sympathize with our main characters here as in their journey to find a cure they will kill hundreds of innocent civilians, this is not even counting the police and military they kill. As the Hulk, You’re able to earn ‘smash’ points and spend them on new moves and as cool as these moves are certain ones just add to your civilian kill count. One of the moves you can buy allows you to grab a car and rip it apart to use as boxing gloves which would leave the poor driver and any passengers tangled up in the mess that was once their car. Bruce Banner has always been a character that has suffered from depression and guilt over his actions as the Hulk but in this game, nothing seems to upset him at all as there is no punishment or repercussions for killing civilians.

The gameplay ranges from enjoyable to enraging depending on what you’re doing. The camera is awful, it’ll never be able to show where all the enemies are let alone all the bullets, tank shells, and missiles flying at you. This leads to you taking damage with no chance to dodge, block or avoid it in any way. The lock-on system is also terrible as it never seems to select the most dangerous threat meaning while you’re trying to focus on a boss the lock-on will target some random jet or tank. The game also seems to hate being played as it takes every chance to remove control away from the player to tell you stuff you already know. This is so annoying because all you want to do is play the game but you can’t because it thinks you’re an idiot with no short-term memory. However when you’re on a few certain missions or just playing about in free-roam or challenges things are less hectic and it’s amazing. Grabbing hold of a jet to drop kick it into a helicopter before landing and throwing a tank into another tank is ridiculous and amazing. It’s a shame that most the story missions force too much at you because when this game is fun it’s amazing but all too often it’s just annoying.

I also found that until around the tenth mission or so Hulk is stupidly weak. You can buy upgrades to your health and this should be the first thing you get when they’re available. At the start of this game, Hulk can be taken down by 4-5 missiles and it feels stupid. You also have to buy upgrades that allow you to grab and throw tanks and other vehicles which feels odd because we know Hulk can do this. I can’t help but feel the upgrade system is only there for the sake of being there and the game would be better off without it.

Graphically this game is about the middle of the road, it’s not ugly and it uses the console hardware well but it has no interesting art style to really allow it to stand out. The same rings true for the sound design, it’s not bad but it’s also not great, it just sorta, is.

I remember loving this game when I first played it as a teenager but coming back to it I found myself disappointed. The free roam and challenge modes are fun but all too often the story missions left me just wishing the game would end so I could stop with the annoying camera and lock-on system. If you’re a Hulk fan or just a Marvel fan then it’s worth picking up but outside of that, I’m not sure I would recommend this game to most people.

Recommendation Rating: 4 out of 10.

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