The Incredible Hulk

Much like the number of sunny days in England, this is one of those rare occasions where the movie license hasn’t been totally ruined.

From the start of The Incredible Hulk, you’re introduced to a host of elements that suit it perfectly- The Hulk has a wide damage radius, and usually only needs to run into something for it to fly in the air, while a human will not only die in one punch but also satisfyingly bounce off the walls like a tennis ball. You can also pick up and throw virtually anything (and anyone!)

It’s fair to say you wont be amazed when it comes to the games ability to tell the story, or look anything like the film. In fact, the story doesn’t seem to bear much resemblance, either, and despite enlisting the actors voices, the only vibes you’re going to feel are “I’m so bored recording the voice for this game, please end my misery now”, which is a bit of a waste of talent (or the talent couldn’t be bothered).

The scenes are quite short-lived, so you’ll largely be thrown straight into the game play. As mentioned, humans are pathetic beings to fight against, so to give you more of a challenge most of them have donned heavy-duty armour and jet packs. It feels like a bit of a cheap throw-in, but they end up becoming an essential threat if you’re going to retreat up an out of reach skyscraper every time a tank comes along.

These suit-wearing types are part of “Enclave”, and there are four factions that like to demonstrate their weapons on the general public. Every single mission revolves around them, and unfortunately, this has left them as boring, repetitive activities, such as killing Enclave, protecting a member of the public while killing Enclave, or destroying a building. While killing Enclave. It gets repetitive very quickly.

After completing the opening level in Bruce Banner’s workplace, you’ll re-emerge in New York, with the whole city at your disposal, and instead of running along to your next objective to complete a mission, The Hulk does a pretty good job of tying you into exploring the area and wreaking havoc. You’ll be rewarded with a number of varied upgrades for milestones like destroying ‘X’ cars and travelling ‘Y’ miles, as well as literally hundreds of pick ups to further upgrade your stats. Destructible objects are everywhere- billboards, shop windows, and pretty much everything on the street- but if you target specific places from the map like the Chrysler building you can actually raze them to the ground after a good pounding with your fists.

Being able to free-roam the city is The Hulk’s absolute saving grace. You can spend hours mindlessly destroying anything within your reach, because it almost constantly unlocks an upgrade, new move, concept artwork, comic book cover, secret character and so on, it’s satisfying, fun and easy to get drawn into.

Apart from feeling somewhat mothballed in a low-down area of parked Stark Industries trains (which had me unleash my rage on the carriages by throwing them around until I managed a random combination of jumping and punching that miraculously got me out of there), New York city is a fairly solid place, it’s fun and easy to traverse.

If you thought The Hulk had anything to do with moral choices, or that our huge green entity had some glimmer of ‘good’ within him, playing this game will destroy it, simply because you are rewarded for every mindless and unprovoked act of violence and destruction against the people of New York and their surroundings. Protecting a member of the public from any of the factions as part of a mission just seems hypocritical when you’re getting far more enjoyment (and game progress) by throwing cars into buildings and trying to kill 25 people with the “thunder clap”. In fact, when the Enclave come after you while you’re free roaming, it’s only because you’re tearing the place apart. Can you blame them?

There are some graphical problems, such as destroyed buildings randomly appearing in the sky, and overall the look of the game is under whelming. It’s mostly evident when you’re on the tallest buildings surrounded by a murky blue mist to try and disguise the view. Today’s systems have the capacity to make things look amazing, and unfortunately this doesn’t hit the spot at all. New York is big, but it’s ugly, the draw distance is tiny, while distant buildings look like cardboard cut-outs. It makes you wonder what this game is doing on a PS3.







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