IMAGES COURTESY OF SEGA
Comic-book video games have always left something to be desired. That’s why in 2005 we were all happily surprised by Radical Entertainment’s The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, a great smash-em-up Hulk game in a destructible, open-world environment with a decent story and good graphics.
It’s a shame that three years later we get Sega’s follow-up The Incredible Hulk, which is basically the same game as before with a few minor improvements and a bunch of new problems.
The best thing about The Incredible Hulk game is that takes place in New York City and you can destroy anything, and I mean anything in the environment. You can smash and throw people and cars around like they’re nothing, level small buildings and huge skyscrapers without breaking a sweat, jump amazing distances across the city and even use the Hulk’s special “Thunderclap” and “Ground Slam” moves.
OH YEAH, HULK SMASH.
But as much as I like to see Hulk smash and show off his skills, it all gets extremely repetitive after a couple of hours. I played the entire campaign and it took me about 7 hours to complete. That was at a pretty rushed pace because I got bored smashing things and traveling all over New York City.
Running through the streets and scaling tall buildings gets old fast. Unfortunately there’s no other way to get around and the game deliberately makes you travel long distances to get to your next target. Sure they let you use the subway to speed things up, but come on, the Hulk does not ride the subway!
Even though this game is based on The Incredible Hulk movie, it bears only a slight resemblance. The main characters are the same; Bruce Banner is on the run, General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross is after the Hulk, Emil Blonsky is a power-hungry soldier who becomes The Abomination, and Betty Ross is the love interest caught in the middle. About 10 minutes of cinematics sum up the entire movie. The rest of the game is all about smashing stuff and going on silly missions that don’t seem to matter.
THE FINAL FIGHT AGAINST THE ABOMINATION.
The graphics and audio quality are choppy and outdated. They don’t even come close to what consoles like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 can do these days. Ultimate Destruction’s graphics were just as good and that was three years ago. And even though the movie cast provides some of the voices, they feel stale and unemotional.
Besides the repetitive gameplay, my biggest complaint with this game was all of the glitches and bugs. Smash enough buildings and watch the game flip out, slow down or even crash. The game locked up on me a half dozen times during missions, making me reboot and become very angry. Oh, and apparently Hulk doesn’t swim. If you jump into water, the game spits you out uncontrollably, sometimes doing it multiple times, leaving you sitting there watching the game have convulsions. Also, on several missions I completed the task and the game wouldn’t advance, so I had to redo the task. These problems were extremely frequent and frustrating.
The Incredible Hulk will definitely satisfy your desire to feel like the Hulk, but don’t expect anything more. I’d recommend it as a rental when you’re bored and want to smash the crap out of everything you see and kill a few hours on a hot summer day.