The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction - Review
When it comes to comic book characters few have the popularity of Marvel's Bruce Banner and his alter ego The Hulk. During the PS2's life we have seen the very disappointing John Woo movie as well as a very respectable game from Vivendi called The Hulk. More then two years on and Radical Entertainment have completed work on a second, and much improved, game called The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction.
|Destroying the truck.|
The story for this game has been penned by none other then award-winning comic book writer Paul Jenkins while comic book artist Bryan Hitch brings the story to life. In reality the story - which centers on The Hulk/Bruce Banner no longer wanting his powers and the General hunting him down - is a little thin on the ground, the game retains authenticity to the source material, which will be comforting to the millions of Hulk comic book fans.
In all Ultimate Destruction includes around 30 main missions, and 40 side missions to complete. When you begin the game Hulk's powers are fairly limited however around 140 new moves are unlocked as the game progresses. In fact while initially it may appear that the games moves are quite limited with punches and throws it's not until you start unlocking and mastering some of the combos and special moves that you start to get the full enjoyment out of the title. You'll soon be leaping on top of tall buildings, throwing tanks around like confetti and destroying almost everything in sight.
|Get ready to battle!|
While not based on a real city the created environments are impressive. The game generally takes place in two main areas, the City and the Badlands. Each is quite large and will take some time to get from one side to the other despite the fact that the Hulk can jump massive distances. Also certain to impress is the amount of destruction within the game world. Almost every single object can be damaged or destroyed in some manner while most can also be used as weapons against enemies. It's possible to rip out poles and use them as spears or use other objects as shields and so on.
Throughout the levels The Hulk can collect orbs which allow him to reach a critical mass. When he reaches this stage he gains super powers, so much so that even destroying entire buildings is possible! Easily one of the highlights of Ultimate Destruction is the boss battles. With Marvel characters such as Abomination, Mercy and Devil Hulk all appearing fans will be kept happy, but will also have engrossing battles with each of the characters in question.
I guess if I were to fault the game it would have to be the mission variety. Almost every mission includes destroying certain targets or enemies. While it's hard to see where the game could have strayed and offered more variety I'm sure the developers could have thought of a little more. It's funny to think that the original game was panned for the stealth like Bruce Banner sections and removed them as a result, perhaps they should have simply been reworked and re- invented as the game, to me at least, just needed that slight distraction. Perhaps another disappointment is the lack of 2- player support in the game, even one-on-one battles between some of the bosses would have added a little more value.
When you look at the surrounding screenshots you're almost certain to be quite underwhelmed with this games appearance. Textures look bland, the detail is lacking and the game just seems to lack that top quality. Don't be fooled, however. Sure it's still not the greatest game on PS2, but the game does look very exciting when in motion. Most of the objects in the levels are destructible and the particle effects when things get destroyed, broken up or explode are very impressive. The frame rate only very rarely drops but its certainly not enough to cause any problems while the cut scenes telling the story are also very entertaining.
|Taking on robotic enemies.|
The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction also impresses with an original score composed by Bill Brown and performed by the Los Angeles Orchestra. It's very impressive however the sound effects really make this game so much more exciting as objects crash and crunch before exploding. In terms of voices Bruce Banner/The Hulk is voiced by Neal McDonough who voiced the character in the 1990's Hulk TV series while Hulk's nemesis in the game, Emil Blonsky (aka Abomination), is voiced by Ron Pearlman. The overall quality of the voice work in Ultimate Destruction is pretty good.
|Running from the missile.|
While The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction may not have the best graphics and sound on the PS2 there's no denying the absolutely entertaining gameplay. It's fun, fun, fun and the reason why we all love playing games to start with and with a release price of only $AU69.95 it's tremendous value as well. A smashing game. Get it.
Review By: Dave Warner
Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version) or Amazon (NTSC Version).
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|GRAPHICS||It's not the prettiest game ever, but great effects and destruction.||80%|
|SOUND||Solid music and voice acting makes this game pretty good on the ears.||75%|
|GAMEPLAY||Plenty of destruction, but most important its tremendous fun.||92%|
|VALUE||$69.95 is a bargain price for this game, we want 2-players though.||90%|
|OVERALL||Plenty of action and destruction in this game which finally delivers what we expect of the Hulk. A fantastic title.||88%|