The previous rendition of this game, The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, was a resounding success in most regards. It featured a sandbox-like fully destructible environment for the player to enjoy as the Hulk. But the film created just previous to it was an abyssmal failure, particularly to Hulk fans. So with the introduction of a new film, the game was re-created anew. The question is whether this particular version is an improvement or just another movie tie-in game. Lets examine the game and decide that answer then.
Gameplay (5 out of 5)
Much like its predecessor, this game is an open sandbox for you to play in. And what can be more fun than rampaging through Manhattan as the Hulk - until the Army shows up of course. The gameplay here is very similar to the previous version. Hulk has many combo moves he can perform, including slamming the pavement or clapping hands together for a powerful shockwave. There are also a number of achievements or Feats you can work on besides following the storyline, which really enhances the gameplay as well. You can destroy key buildings throughout the city for example, collecting coins at each one. You can just fight the Army over and over as well, though this may get boring over time. And if you get into to much trouble, you can duck into a subway tunnel to escape whoever might be chasing you.
One difference in gameplay is that Hulk seems to be a bit more limited in power - like the lack of ability to just run up the side of a building - but this doesn’t really detract from the game at all. Hulk’s jumping ability is curtailed a bit as well, which is sometimes a little difficult to deal with. But he climbs buildings much quicker, so that’s the tradeoff. The controls are easy enough to get used to, and the enemies you face are just tough enough to keep it interesting (in fact some missions are down right difficult). The inclusion of unlockable characters as well as classic Hulk enemies definitely adds to the appeal as well. One annoying thing they did with the game however was make some characters only available on certain systems, but that seems to be the way of things these days. One good thing is the addition of Bonus Levels, which become available after you’ve run through the whole game. This adds to the replayability of the game, which is nice.
Storyline (5 out of 5)
The game follows the movie in most respects, but its nice to see the inclusion of characters like Rick Jones (even if he doesn’t look anything like the guy in the comics). For the fans of the Hulk, the storyline is pretty good. And for those who didn’t ever read the comics, its not hard to follow what is going on. Initially there are two factions wanting the Hulk’s demise - the US Army (thanks to General “Thunderbolt” Ross) and a secretive organization known only as the Enclave. The Army continues to harass the Hulk throughout the game while he works to stop the Enclave’s aims. Along the way, the Hulk battles other superhuman entities like Abomination or Minerva. The feeling of constant harassment by everyone around the Hulk is very present, as well as the fear of citizens as they try to get out of the way. And thanks to the sandbox nature of the game - as well as the fact that the storyline is broken up into episode-like chunks - you can leave the storyline at anytime to just play around in the City.
Overall this is an enjoyable game, and its at least as good as its predecessor (if not better). The difficulty level of the game is challenging enough so as not to be boring, and the storyline brings back fond memories for fans of the comics. There are slight adjustments to powers and abilities that some may not like, but I didn’t mind the changes at all. For pure fun, there’s nothing better than being able to destroy a city over and over while fighting the Army. So I would advise you definitely run out and pick this title up, as its well worth every penny.