|PS2, GC, Xbox
| The Good
Destructible stages and tons of enemies
Stealth levels break up pace
| The Bad
In-game graphics are average
Gameplay isn't too deep
In The Hulk, players take on the role of the Jeckyl
& Hyde main character, David Banner, and his brutish alter
ego, the Incredible Hulk. Set roughly a year after the events
of the upcoming movie, the story revolves around a plot by
The Leader to use the Hulk's gamma energy to create his own
army of monsters. The story really isn't anything spectacular,
but it drives the game forward.
Luckily, the story is set up with some nicely stylized cel-shaded
cutscenes that look to be well motion-captured and do a wonderful
job at setting the tone of the story. In fact, the cutscenes
went a long way to making the story feel like it came straight
from the comics. When you get into the in-game graphics, you'll
find them effective, if a little on the simple side. Levels
don't sport a lot of fine details and a lot of the textures
are average and repeated, but for delivering on the melee
action, it does fine. Also, a lot of the later levels start
too look pretty similar. The most impressive part of the in-game
graphics is that a large part of the environments are destructible
and that the Hulk has a ton of on-screen enemies to deal with
at any given time. The character models during gameplay are
good and the visual effects aren't completely impressive,
but for full-fledged demolition, it does pretty well.
The gameplay is broken up into two sections. As Bruce Banner,
you'll need to sneak around certain areas, avoiding troops
and searchlights. Often, you'll be forced to hide so as not
to turn into the Hulk and make matters worse. While Banner
can throw punches and can even strangle enemies from behind,
you'll want to keep out of combat for the most part. Luckily,
a lot of the areas Banner has to cover can be handled by being
patient, moving crates around and throwing the appropriate
switches. From time to time, Banner will have to do some "hacking",
which basically involves matching numbers in a tedious swapping
manner that's not much fun.
As the Hulk, this game plays out like a 3D brawler where
you need to work your way from one location to another while
beating the tar out of anything and everything that gets in
your way. The Hulk has the ability to jump, throw punches,
grab enemies and even use "Gamma attacks", like
clapping the Hulk's hands together to create a shockwave.
You can also throw enemies at each other, pick up debris to
use it as a weapon and even perform stronger attacks by charging
your moves by holding the button down before releasing.
Along with a health gauge, the Hulk has a gauge the builds
as the Hulk takes damage or picks up red orbs dropped by enemies.
When the gauge maxes out, Hulk goes into a rage in which you
can perform more damaging supermoves, like a ground smash.
You can also pick up green orbs to restore health or blue
orbs for continues.
The audio portion of the game is pretty good. Voice acting
is pretty sharp in delivering the story, even in small parts
throughout each level. Both sound effects and the soundtrack
are good in their own right, without being particularly outstanding.
Some tracks of the soundtracks get weak upon repetition, but
other manage to capture the feel of the game well.
While The Hulk is effective as a brawler, it does
tend to be rather simple in execution. Most of your time will
be spend wailing on similar batches of enemies and working
to the end of the level without very much mental challenge.
The stealth levels, while a nice change of pace, really aren't
much deeper and can't hold a candle up to titles like Splinter
Cell of Metal Gear Solid 2. One
of my biggest gripes is how the game is paced. With loading
screens between each stage, the story and pace of the game
often feels broken up just as it seems to get going.
If you're looking for a decent brawler that manages to capture
the feel of the comic, and maybe even the movie, then at least
give The Hulk a rental or wait for it to go on sale.
It's a good enough game to play through, especially with some
unlockable extras, like a survival mode, but it seems to cut
enough corners to keep from being worth full price.