The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction - XB - Review
If there is one super hero who hasn’t gotten his due over the past few years, it’s the Incredible Hulk. There was the disappointing Hulk movie, which lacked the excitement and much of the intensity of its subject matter, and an even more disappointing Hulk tie-in game that felt a bit disjointed due to some juxtaposed stealth sequences that would’ve been better completely left out. However, Bruce Banner is experiencing a bit of a rebirth, at least on the videogame front. The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction has the Hulk laying waste to everything in his path, with absolutely no lousy stealth scenes whatsoever. Hulk fans rejoice: this is the game you’ve been waiting for.
Storywise, Ultimate Destruction has a lot going for it, being penned by well-known comic scribe Paul Jenkins. The story follows Emil Blonsky, the co-commander of the military division headed by General Ross bent on the seeking and destroying of Bruce Banner, a.k.a. the Hulk. However, in an ironic twist, Blonsky becomes infected with Gamma radiation during his pursuit of the Hulk and becomes a gigantic man-beast himself, known as the Abomination. Meanwhile, as Bruce desperately tries to remove the Hulk from within himself, he must now fight off this new threat.
The gameplay in Ultimate Destruction is pure, unadulterated chaos. As the Hulk, you run through a bunch of different areas, destroying property and vehicles and completing goals as you do it. The game is very non-linear, giving you free-roam of the city/military base/whereever you happen to be. You can pick up a mission whenever you feel obliged, but mostly you can knock down buildings, chuck helicopters and tanks across the map and tear down objects as much as you feel like. There is a threat meter to keep you somewhat in check; as the meter rises, more and more military units will begin to appear and try to take you down.
You have a good many moves and abilities at your disposal. You can convert objects into shields and boxing gloves, dash up the sides of buildings, and leap high in the air. You can also use enemy’s vehicles against them, spinning them around and throwing them at each other. If you pound on buildings hard enough, you can actually level them, meaning that if you stick with it, you can decimate a city block. The feel is reminiscent of games like Rampage, given the sheer amount of devastation that you can inflict.
Graphically, Hulk Ultimate Destruction looks good, forfeiting much of the cel-shaded appearance of the movie tie-in game. The characters are a bit more defined and detailed and the visual effects that occur when you charge up a jump or a special move look pretty sweet as well. However, the real stars are the destructible environments, which buckle and smash realistically and look great. The only problem is the somewhat obstinate camera that gets caught on things and can be a pain when the action gets intense.
The sound department is also quite polished and impressive. The music sets the mood quite nicely, and the voice acting (featuring Ron “Hellboy” Perlman as the Abomination) is great.
Hulk Ultimate Destruction is a solid action game, and one that puts one of the most beloved characters in the Marvel Universe in the game he deserves, where he can smash and destroy to his heart’s content. Even if you aren’t that big of a Hulk fan, Ultimate Destruction is still a worthy smash ‘em up action game that’ll keep you entertained for quite a while.
Review Scoring Details for Hulk Ultimate Destruction
Ultimate Destruction is pure chaos at it’s finest. The non-linear structure of the missions ensures that you can tear around the city all you want without having to settle down and take a mission, and the cool new moves at your disposal are a lot of fun to perform.
The graphics are very good, offering a bit more detail and definition than its older, semi-cel shaded brother. The destructible environments also look awesome and laying waste to a city looks as good as it feels. The only problem is the occasionally buggy camera.
The music sets the mood of the game nicely, the voice acting is great, and the sound effects are loud and intense.
Wanton demolition. This is exactly what a Hulk game should be.
Ultimate Destruction lives up to its namesake and delivers to Hulk fans what they’ve needed.