Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy
Sept. 2nd 2005
Introduction:Vivendi Universal has taken the big green wrecking machine and turned him loose! The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction is the best representation of the Hulk in a videogame to date. We have the full scoop on the incredible one in Ultimate Destruction.
The Game:Taking a page from Activision's last Spider-Man game, The Hulk has been properly re-invented in videogame form. Developer Radical Entertainment has mastered the demeanor and actions of the Hulk straight from the pages of the comic book. The Hulk is no slouch in the comic world, and now he can raise his head with dignity on the Xbox platform.
In the Incredible Hulk you play the confused nuclear physics Dr. Robert Bruce Banner as he struggles with his own identity while fighting off the evil forces of Abomination. Bruce Banner is not playable, so you won't have to worry about any stealthy side missions. All you get is the Hulk, all twelve feet of this green radiated devastation machine. Appropriately most of your time will be spent smashing things, and by things I mean anything that moves!
You would think the Hulk would turn out just to be kicks and punches, while party true, The Hulk has a few more tricks up his sleeves. During the game you get the chance to hulk up your hulk, punny not?! Giving the Hulk new moves is the key to keep the game fresh. The Hulk can do a number of tricks that I wasn't even aware of and one of the best is the Hulk's utilization of vehicles. You can learn to rip apart cars, buses, trucks to become shields, power gloves and get this. a skateboard of sorts. The Hulk even though seemly dull in the mind can come up with some inventive ideas when it's time to smash! Using a bus as a giant board of destruction and is a tone of fun, actually what isn't fun when you're a giant Hulking war-machine.
Ultimate Destruction is packed full of 30 plus main plot missions along with 40 plus side challenges to keep your rampaging monster happy. Even if you only attempt each challenge once that will eat up a few hours right there. The challenges are usually have a simple objective like save the people from the burning building, or cause as much destruction as you can within the time limit. They are all really fun, outlandish and entertaining. It's good to see a sense of humor rolled into the mix of destruction and this is evident with the one mini-game, golf! For golf you have to use part of a giant oil drill to put a giant ball into a circle, its Hulk golf. and it's cool. These missions will reward you with smash points, and give you a medal standing (gold, silver or bronze). The bronze metals are easy obtained, but it can be quite tricky if you're going for the golds.
Story wise the Hulk is fighting against Emil Blonsky misguided rage to destroy the Hulk. Turned into the monster Abomination, he uses all his resources with the military to destroy the big green menace. The missions are pretty cool and provide a good challenge. Although most missions are passable on the first attempt, you will get stuck on a few. which is a good thing.
The Hulks learning curve is rated at a medium pace. Most of your time is spent mastering the control of the Hulk while he advances his move set. The Hulk bulks up with new moves that can be purchased from the buy menu. Learning to control the Hulk is fun the controls have been mapped out the best they could. Once you start advancing his moves the game will become easier to battle, but a little tricky with the button combos. These combos add up, but learning them is fun because you'll be destroying everything as you go.
The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction plays smooth, has enough features for most gamers and the ability to obliterate almost anything that moves makes a great game. The gameplay leaps above its potential and has finally created a special place for Marvel's beloved Hulk in the videogame world.
Graphics & Sound:The Hulk is an average looking game, which does everything right. The performance, although not breathtaking is acceptable considering the size, and activity of the gaming world. The damaging is reflected on anything the Hulk does which helps keep the feeling of the power, and size of this giant beast. Although not everything is destructible they still did a nice job with the appearance of damage. When things really get cooking it will take an on looker to really see the richness in the graphic design of the game. This game looks especially well on a high definition TV thanks to the 720p support.
The sound in the Hulk is a sub woofers dream, this baby has the rumble! You need to try the Hulk turned up, with the sub on and see the different effect this game has. When the Hulk pounds and crushes everything you will feel it. The audio is done effetely; it's a fairly quiet game. I mean conserving the orchestral soundtrack. Everything else is loud and brash just like the Hulk. This game sounds great, and provides a great reason to invest in a large booming sub.
Innovation:The innovation gap is lowering with free roaming cities with alarm rating systems. We've seen it for a few years now in Grand Theft Auto, and recently in Destroy All Humans! The Hulk is no different and borrows these games, as well as Spider-Man 2 from Activision. Actually if it wasn't for the two playable locations, The Hulk follows Spider-Man's system down to the hints, mini-games and story progression. It's all Marvel, but it's not the same developer. Even though the Hulk uses the games as a backbone there is still an innovative pulse within its case.
One nice innovation is the cheat-code system. Cheats can be found during the game and it's nice to see them out in the open rather then hidden within the programs code. The cheats can be used in the game with no penalty, but most of them are cosmetic there are a few that help you win a few battles. The first one I unlocked was the Canadian Flag shorts for the Hulk, something small which is a nice little touch.
The Hulk innovates, and the Hulk copies. the Hulk smashes people who say it's like Spider-Man.
Mojo:If you've never had a good impression of the Hulk I'm sure Ultimate Destruction will change your mind. The pages of the marvel comic have never been so alive in a different format. I'm sure the Hulk has found his alternative medium because the movie industry hasn't done him justice. The Hulk has the mojo and if you don't agree I'm sure he'd smash you in the face with a bus! It's a good time, the flow is perfect and there is so much cool stuff it's hard to find a place to start.
Lowdown:This is the Hulk game fans have been waiting for and it could be argued The Hulk: Ultimate Destruction is the best adaptation of a comic book character to game. Easy summed as a "Smash", the Hulk is the sleeper hit of the summer. It's a smashing good time.
Gameplay: 9, Graphics/Sound: 8, Innovation: 7, Mojo: 10. Final: 8.5 /10