The Incredible Hulk - Review
By Dillon - June 12, 2008
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii
Not so incredible.
With the upcoming movie, 'The Incredible Hulk', comes a videogame adaptation that manages to avoid total mediocrity. The Hulk Ultimate Destruction, an open world game, came out three years ago and provided fans with a great Hulk experience. Unfortunately, this year's adaptation falls quite short of that. While it still has much of the same great destruction, the polish is missing. Many of the gameplay elements have been stripped and the quality of both the visuals and audio have greatly declined. The story is also pretty bare bones and the cutscenes are kept to a minimum.
The visuals in Hulk are pretty basic, yet the games framerate is completely inconsistent. You’ll be fighting 10 enemies on screen at once with no framerate drops, but then when the fighting ceases, so does the framerate. A bigger issue with the visuals is the draw distance. It’s abysmal at best. Objects pop on screen constantly, and when you scale large buildings to see the sights you’ll be severely disappointed. New York is impressively large but you can only see about 50 miles of it at a time. The Hulk model is the most graphically appealing aspect of the visuals and even he looks bland.
Chaos and destruction!
As if things couldn’t get worse, there are a slew of technical issues to be found. Most objects in the game are destructible which is nice, but at the same time most of the objects in the game clip through everything else. The hit detection is terrible as most objects just bounce off the Hulk without actually touching him. When running around scaling buildings, you’ll often find yourself floating in place or just hanging on to mid air.
There’s not much to say about the audio in Hulk as it’s very basic and mediocre. The sound effects are just there and nothing stands out. Sure the sound of crushing cars is great the first 3 times you hear it but after that it’s just repetitive and boring. The music is ok; nothing spectacular but nothing horrible. You most likely won’t even hear it over the sound of crumbling debris and rubble. As for the voice acting, Edward Norton plays Bruce Banner and he does a decent job. Overall though, the dialogue is very boring and you probably won’t even pay attention to it after a while.
Again, there’s not much to say about the story either. It’s not fleshed out at all, and none of the characters are very interesting. The cutscenes are very brief and only serve to take you out of the action. You’ll be tasked with many different objectives, but it all feels very incoherent. It’s also very out of place that you must save people for some missions, yet in game the Hulk is trampling civilians and demolishing cars and buildings. Hulk good or Hulk bad? The game doesn’t really show any attempt to follow the movie and it all feels underwhelming at best.
Playing The Incredible Hulk feels very similar to Ultimate destruction, which would be a very good thing. Unfortunately, the developers stripped the game of content and mechanics, and added nothing in return. Like Ultimate Destruction, most of the fun here comes from destroying everything in sight, and make no mistake, destroying everything in sight is fun. It’s just too bad that after a few hours of play, you’ll start to feel like your doing the same stuff over and over again. Most of the mechanics in Hulk work fine and there isn’t much wrong with the gameplay overall, it just lacks fun. Nothing stands out as great or even good. There are only two things to do in Hulk, jump and destroy. Both can be a little fun at times but neither is very rewarding.
If you really love the Hulk or you just want to let off some steam, The Incredible Hulk is a decent rental. If you’re expecting a great Hulk game like Ultimate Destruction, you’re going to be very disappointed. The story will last you a good 10 hours depending on how long you roam the city destroying things. After an hour or two it will get very repetitive but if you just want to pick up a game, smash everything you see, and then put it back down for another time, Hulk will serve its purpose.
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