Review by Drunky

"From now on, all superhero games must measure up to The Hulk:UD."

Wahoo, another superhero game. Even more importantly, a superhero game done right. The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction doesn't exactly measure up to some of the other popular games out there, but for a superhero game almost all aspects of it exceed its competitions.

Story: The game starts off with a basic introduction to your character, who is ambushed in his hideout in the woods. Now that he's been located he is forced to seek shelter in a Church with his friend, Doctor Samson, aiding him along the way. Now most of us know the origins of the Incredible Hulk, but for those who don't, Bruce Banner got exposed to Gamma Rays, and somehow avoiding death he mutates into a big green beast when he is angry. Being unhappy like this, he seeks out a way to reverse the process.

However some people don't consider treatment a possibility, so they just want to kill the beast. That's where your main villain comes in, Emil Blonsky. His purpose is to locate and destroy you, and with an actual army at his disposal, it's not as absurd as it sounds.

The story itself seems to be drawn from the actual comic books, but seems to be lacking. You know the basic reasons behind your actions, but the story doesn't go much farther than that. It is boiled down to “Go here, smash this, retrieve this and get back here in one piece.” There is however the Blonsky Files. These files are basically research files from the characters in the game. You receive these files as you progress through the missions, they give the personalities, motivations, and even personal histories. They don't add to the story however, they are optional to read and don't seem to have any relevance to the story itself aside from little facts and tidbits. It seems to only be there as filler.

Gameplay: The main purpose of the game is to treat yourself, with your hideout and all your previous progress gone, you'll need to rebuild from scratch. To do that you need equipment, which you will acquire by stealing them from government facilities and labs. Of course its not going to be a stealth mission, so you will have to brute force your way throughout the game. Most missions will require you to smash stuff or steal stuff. There is also the free roam aspect that lets you wander around various territories such as the City and the Badlands. In free roam you can choose to do the various mini challenges scattered around or just go cause trouble.

The fighting is the best aspect of the game. You'll be given a small arsenal of moves and abilities when you start the game. As you play you'll be awarded points for obliterating things. Not just destroying things, destroying a car may earn you a bunch of points, but destroying the wreckage into dust will earn you even more points. Even better, its possible to bring down entire buildings. These points can be used to purchasing upgrades for yourself. From more health, to new moves (supposedly more than 150+) and abilities. This also adds to the gameplay, you can choose your methods of destruction, and for greater challenges you can avoid getting the upgrades. You can even tailor your move set to your fighting style.

Graphics/Sound: The graphics are not incredibly impressive, but better than expected. The pedestrians all look the same, the surroundings look rather bland with very little detail. The Hulk however looks great, and more detailed than his surroundings. The only thing better than the Hulk are the projectiles. You can see the trail of smoke a rocket leaves as it heads towards you, before you even see or hear a Hulkbuster you'll see bullets whizzing by your head. The environment doesn't compare to these effects, but most of your time will be spent chasing down stray soldiers, not talking walks through the massive canyons.

The sound is one of the better points of the game, as you can hear every missile blow, the whirring of incoming choppers, and the cracking pavement as you rampage down a street. You can even hear the grunts of the Hulk as he fights his way through army defenses and the pathetic screams that come from a soldier as you toss him a few city blocks.

Replay ability: The games length is roughly what you expect of an action game. Roughly 10 hours, but the story mode is not the only thing that'll keep you playing. The free roam will let you rampage and fight (and with 150+ moves you'll probably do that for awhile) your way through soldiers, tanks, helicopters and even the dreaded Hulkbusters. In addition to random chaos, you can also collect hints and comic books scattered throughout the level. They provide useful tips to completing the game and even some cheats that can be used for wacky fun. In addition to those, there are the mini challenges. These challenges are not related to the story, but you can do them to earn smash points and you can try to beat your own personal high scores. These challenges demonstrate the power, speed, agility, and other powers of the Hulk. They range from seeing how far you can hit a soldier baseball style, to how many points you can score by running them up the side of the building. (Height and size of the car are important factors too, which makes the game even more challenging.)

Recommendation: This game is a definite buy. It surpasses all other superhero games out there. If free roaming isn't your thing and you'd rather just do the story mode and be done with it, you should rent it. It'll only take you a short while to complete it. If you want the full enjoyment of trying out all the moves, completing the mini challenges, and just causing mass hysteria, buy it. It's a great addition to any collection.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 11/14/05

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