Hellboy The Science of Evil - PSP - Preview
E3 2007 Preview
I came to the Hellboy game as an outsider. I don't read the comics and have only seen a snippet of the movie. My main concern with the game was not how well it captured the essence of a story I have never followed, my concern was with how well it captured the essence of the action genre.
A little Devil May Cry, a lot of Streets of Rage, Hellboy was clearly inspired by the previous generation of beat-'em-up titles. It's one of those games that anyone can pick up and play without a tutorial. In fact, there was an introductory level that explained Hellboy's moves. I asked Konami to skip that and take me right to the action. They did, and before I knew it I was surrounded by enemies. I pounded them into the ground with several linked attacks -- all well animated and made the red-skinned hero look very tough. His facial detail and slight expressions are genius. The backgrounds are pretty cool as well, sporting realistic objects and details but with a slight cartoon overlay. That probably makes it sound like the game is cell-shaded, but it's not. This overlay is really different from what's been done in other games trying to achieve a comic book appearance in a realistic setting.
Hellboy's gun mechanics were like Devil May Cry with the ability to aim. Push the right analog stick to bring up your crosshairs. Point it toward your enemy and fire away. Also, the PSP version, though nowhere near as graphically intense as the next-gen edition, is very well done. It's about as quick, has similar camera angles, most of the same attacks (or close to them), etc., as the next-gen iterations.
Unfortunately my play time with the PSP and 360 versions ended there. It was short but served as a great tease for what should be a grand, action-packed experience when the game launches later this year.