bit-tech is strongest!
Gameplay-wise, the chances are you already know what’s coming. The Incredible Hulk
is in the same vein as Sega’s Iron Man
or Activision’s Spiderman 3
. It’s a basically free-roaming romp where the player is cast as The Hulk, let loose within New York.
Naturally, the big apple never sleeps, so don’t go expecting any real detail here as the inhabitants are just too plain tired. There’s no day/night time-cycle, so real character building to speak of and no chance for The Hulk to go to a strip show or go bowling, ala GTA IV.
What there [i]is
though, is a lot of building to jump and climb over and a megatons worth of destruction at your fingertips, itching to be unleashed as you follow the crude map and hop from one quest to another, spending the time between completing feats and finding hidden objects to upgrade The Hulk’s abilities.
To say that everything in the fairly expansive game world can be demolished would, as it proclaims on the box for the game, would actually be a bit of a misnomer. Can everything be crash, banged and walloped? For the most part, certainly – but destroyed
is another matter and the type of destruction you can wreak is in some ways actually kind of limited.
The Hulk is massively powerful and that much is reflected in his gameplay style. Ripping lampposts out of the ground to use as javelins and ploughing straight through traffic are all trademarks of The Hulk – though you’ll have to be careful not to cause too much damage unless you want the attention of a Hulkbusters Strike Team. The engine of the game works against this gameplay freedom though and hitting a building head on will often demolish great chunky sections of its plain, repeating textures.
The graphics are actually the main thing holding the entire game back unusually as, although pretty samey all the way through, the actual bulk of The Incredible Hulk
is quite palatable. You’ve got upgradeable abilities, plain and unassuming free-roaming smash-fests and Edward Norton’s surprisingly awful voice overs to laugh at endlessly.
Really – if you judged Edward Norton by the game then you’d believe he had all the acting talent of a dying jellyfish floating through space. His performance is unenergetic to the point of being lame and so monotone you’d think he took the fact that the script was printed on a dot-matrix printer as a serious guideline from the game's director.
We expected The Incredible Hulk
to be bad from the offset, not out of some inherent bias but more to do with a realistic reflection of the past and the facts of the matter. On this front, The Incredible Hulk
didn’t disappoint us.
It’s predictable, samey, bland and as by-the-numbers as any game of this type could be. The developers have got a checklist of all the
usual errors made on movie tie-ins and they’ve zipped down and ticked them all expertly. As a game it’s more shallow than a Paris Hilton-wannabe and uglier than the real-deal.
But, at the same time, it is kind of fun to mess around with. And no, the Paris Hilton jokes stopped last paragraph thankyouverymuch
Elements of The Hulk’s character are captured very well and it’s quite bizarre to see that Sega has done a better job of capturing the wall climbing experience than Activision did with Spiderman 3
. Also, just because a game is shallow doesn’t mean that it’s bad – every id Software game ever proves that, just about. Despite all the chinks in the armour and the fuzziness on the lens there is still a sense of progression that makes the game involving to play and aspects of the animation do feel suitably kinetic and powerful.
In the end, though Hulk
can’t claim to be as good as the majority of the games out on shelves nowadays, he can certainly wipe the floor with Iron Man
and the other comic-movie-adaptation-tie-ins at the moment.