reviews\ Jun 5, 2003 at 8:00 pm

The Hulk - PS2 - Review

This seems to be the year that a lot of comic book series are made into movies. This year alone we have seen many franchises such as: X-Men 2, the Hulk, and many others. Another interesting thing is that a lot of these movies also have game tie-ins, but the sad thing is that these games usually end up being disappointing. Radical Entertainment comes along and decides to release the Hulk a few weeks before the movie hits theaters. The question remains, will this game be good, or just a sad attempt to cash in on a game-to-movie tie in?

The story on how Bruce Banner became the Incredible Hulk is skipped over, so gamers will have a good reason to check it out for themselves when the movie is released. Instead the game focuses on events that take place after the movie; in the game the Hulk must battle a new enemy called “The Leader.” This guy is intent on creating and releasing an army of malicious gamma creatures upon the world. The only way for Bruce to be triumphant over this new threat is to overcome his tragic past and control the raging beast within himself. If he can accomplish this, together with your help, he can become victorious over The Leader!

In the game, there are two modes to play: Story and Challenge. Story mode follows the Hulk as he tries to vanquish The Leader. Challenge mode has a few different modes in it; Endurance I and II, Time Attack I and II, and Hulk Smash. Endurance I and II is where players try to survive as long as they can, fighting off endless waves of enemies. Time Attack I and II is where players try to defeat as many enemies as they can before the timer runs out. Hulk Smash is the best mode, in it, players try to destroy as much of the environment as possible before the time runs out. This is where players can see if they truly are worthy of the title “The Incredible Hulk.”

There are two main parts to the game, the Bruce Banner missions, and the Hulk Missions. Bruce is the brains of the two, and when players control him they must use stealth and ingenuity as their main weapons. Bruce always has to keep a constant eye on his environment, as one false move can end the mission. Throughout his missions Bruce will have to solve puzzles and even fight some enemies, but he will not have anywhere near the power in his punches as the Hulk does. When Bruce gets attacked up to a certain point, his emotions will take over and the Hulk will arrive to clean up any trash that needs to be taken care of. The bad thing about this is in certain missions, players will fail if they transform to the Hulk, so it is heavily advised for you to be careful.

The Hulk missions are the real meat of the game; this is where players will fight a horde of enemies. The Hulk does not have any need for any weapons, as his fists are good enough; but this does not stop him from picking up anything that is in the environments and use it against his enemies. After players fill up the Rage meter, the Hulk enters Rage Mode where his attacks become even more powerful. There are two finishing moves in this mode, Super Overhead Smash (Hulk creates a circular shockwave taking out any nearby enemies) and Super Sonic Clap (a focused blast). With these powerful moves at your disposal nothing can possibly stand in your way!

Hulk is rated T for Teen for violence. The game requires 110 KB of your memory card for saves.

Gameplay: 7.9
The Banner missions are on the dull side; while the Hulk missions are extremely fun, but it does border on the repetitive side. The biggest complaint is in this area is the camera! Static camera can be good, such as Devil May Cry, but in the Hulk, it is not. I have gotten confused and turned around many times hitting air instead of a boss. This is a huge disappointment.

Graphics: 8.6
The Hulk looks pretty psychedelic because it uses a unique cel-shading that really makes him really stand out. It is amazing to see a great green giant on the loose in the skylines. The environments that the Hulk fights in are fully destructible which makes the game feel a lot like the comic book, since everything the Hulk touches gets incinerated. The best thing about the game is that it runs at a constant sixty frames per second!

Sound: 8.7
The Hulk sounds really good on a 5.1 Dolby setup, you can really tell the difference. Also another good thing is that the developers got the actor in the movie to play the game part in this game, so gamers will get a glimpse of what is to come in the movie. The sound effects are nice but could have been a little bit better. The music is good and fits in with the entire game.

Difficulty: Easy
The Hulk is extremely easy! The AI is not that intelligent, and the battle mechanics are a cinch to perform. You will be able to easily beat this game in under eight hours.

Concept: 7.5
Beating up hordes of enemies as they come at you while you try to get to a certain point; for some reason I think that this concept has been done before. The developers tried to introduce some stealth missions, which helps break up the gameplay a bit and add a little flare to this genre.

Overall: 8.2
The Hulk is a really good comic book/movie to game conversion. It offers a ton of bonus goodies that will keep players coming back for more! My only complaint with the game is the camera, because at times it becomes more of a hamper than help, but players can get used to it. This is one of the better comic book to game conversions that I have seen in a while. Check it out!


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