|System: X360, PS3, PC, Wii, PS2, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Edge of Reality||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Sega||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 5, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Far be it for me to be less than excited for this particular review, but I find it just a little hard to get happy about the prospect of playing yet another movie-based game. After the 'strike out looking' that was the Iron Man game, The Incredible Hulk adaptation may just be the shot at redemption Marvel so desperately needs. Verdict, guilty! For crimes against gamers everywhere, and for falling far short of what previous Hulk titles did so well. Though it does serve up some fairly decent gameplay moments, they are squandered by a complete lack of attention to the finer details. It's an undercooked, underdeveloped mess of a title.
First, we will cover what the Incredible Hulk does right. I assure you this will not take long. The most entertaining pieces of gameplay, like in Crackdown, are when you get to guide The Hulk through New York City. The reason it's so enjoyable is the big green guy can run, jump incredible distances, and smash or scale buildings with ease. This is the best part of the package. Also, similar to Crackdown, there are mini-games such as races where you have to guide The Hulk through various checkpoints around the city or smash cars for the hell of it. Sounds fairly simple right? Well, it is and it is a welcome distraction from the mundane story and lame missions. Additionally, cruising the city and doing whatever suits your fancy unlocks feats, which will lead to upgrades in abilities, thus making the already formidable Hulk the ideal smashing machine. Going hand and hand with these feats are hidden capsules of either gamma or rage. Each of these will improve the health regeneration or anger levels of our titular superhero. Now, as much as I did enjoy romping around old NYC without a care in the world, it is not the main game, so away we go.
The missteps in The Incredible Hulk just start rolling down hill and only pick up more and more steam as they go. With crumby hit detection, sloppy controls, and unbearably repetitive game design, there is not a lot to enjoy here. The story is nearly incomprehensible, as it breaks down into a mission-based structure where you choose what situation you would like to tackle first. Unfortunately, most of it makes little to no sense whatsoever. Couple that with the run-of-the-mill action sequences, and there is little incentive to keep progressing further. Hulk is equipped with a decent set of moves to unleash, but it all feels so insubstantial. Where running around jumping from building to building is responsive and fun, combat is just mildly distracting. You do not even need to execute any sort of strategy to prevail, as enemies range from powerless to extremely cheap. Cheap ones are simple enough because you just have to run around in circles to regain your health before hopping back into the fray. To accompany your increasing frustrations with the combat, the camera does almost nothing to aid you in your quest. Too often it gets turned around, making you an easy target for enemies off screen to bum rush. Also, with this whole mission set-up, when did Hulk become some freelance mercenary who people could just call up to take care of stuff. Is there some sort of hotline for The Hulk's services? If so, I need to acquire that number.
To add to the multitude of problems this game already has, key areas such as graphics, sound, and control are not up to snuff. We'll begin with the graphics. They do not buck the familiar Wii trend of being sub-par. In fact, they are just downright terrible in nearly every area. Backgrounds are flat with little to no detail. Nearly every inch of the expansive city looks just like any other block you have crossed. Sure, The Hulk has some nice detail, but nearly every enemy looks like they belong in some other game. It is laughable.