Hulkmovie.com Review of The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
Monday, March 28, 2005
By Bruno Tapia

The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction was on hand and playable at last weeks WIzard World Los Angeles. In addition to playing the game myself, I was fortunate enough to be given an extensive demo of the game by Eric Holmes, the lead game designer of the game. This is an awesome game and should be appealing to both Hulk and video games fans alike. Playing this game, you ARE the Hulk. For example, when you run in the game, you are an unstoppable force of nature. You mow through traffic, knock down buildings, whatever the Hulk would do in "real life". Also, when oncoming traffic sees you coming their way, both the pedestrian and vehicle traffic go out of their way to avoid you.

Eric was very kind in personally demoing the game for me (which I suspect he did because he couldn't get enough of the game himself). Still, I was only shown a very small part of the game. This is a huge game, with over 30 missions, 6 bosses and a bunch of other bonus boards, including Hulk golf and Soldier Baseball (with soldiers as the baseballs). The developers have been touting this game as the best comic book video game ever made, and they are 100% correct.

The story for the game itself is written by Paul Jenkins (Inhumans, The Sentry, The Incredible Hulk) and the character designs are from Brian Hitch (Authority, The Ultimates). In addition to those comic book heavy hitters, Ron Perlman (Hellboy) is providing the voice of the Abomination/Emil Blonsky and Neal McDonough is providing the voice of Bruce Banner. Neal is no stranger to the Hulk as he provided the voice of Dr. Banner for the two seasons of the Hulk animated series in the late 1990's. There is also over an hour of original music composition, composed by Bill Brown (CSI: NY) and preformed by the LA Philharmonic. While giving the demo, Eric kept messing with the monitors (to point of taking apart the display) trying to get the volume just right. To truly experience the audio aspect of the game, he told me to make sure I had a sub woofer attached to my TV when playing the game. In addition to the score, the sound effects and other voice work on the game is of very high quality. Eric had a hand in selecting the voice talent for the game and everyone selected is at the top of their field.

The game begins with Doc Samson and Bruce Banner holed up in a church somewhere. This church serves as their base of operations for the game. Samson (no eye patch) implants Banner with a device that will facilitate the change to the Hulk and also serves as a conduit to give the Hulk his missions throughout the game. Doc Samson is with you throughout the game, feeding the Hulk directions. Other detailed story sequences include scenes between Blonsky and Ross and Blonsky and Mercy. There are many more detailed story sequences than these, but I was not privy to those.

The demo began with Eric showing me a sampling of the over 150 moves the Hulk can do. These moves are not all available at the beginning of the game; many have to be unlocked. Another cool thing is that many are learned from your enemy. At one point you end up copying some of the Abominations moves after your first (!) encounter with him. But I am getting ahead of myself. The first level I was shown was a vast cityscape.

I was told that it is no city in particular but an amalgamation of many different cities. It is huge, complete with many tall buildings, restaurants, car dealerships, etc. And the Hulk owns this city. You can literally do whatever you want. Knock down a building? Done. Use a lamp post or tree as a baseball bat? Done. Use the huge Hamburger sign from the burger joint as an oversized bowling ball? Done. How about the balloon mascot from a car dealership as a parachute? Also done. Everything and everything is yours. Take apart busses or cars and weaponize them. My favorite part was when the Hulk scaled the walls. He can take chunks out of the walls and can run up the face of a building! I have never seen the Hulk do this, but seems like such a logical act for him to do. One cool move that the Hulk can do is jump off a building and do a elbow drop, right out of wrestling match. Like the first game, if you accumulate enough gamma power, you can unleash special moves. There is variation on the shock wave in which the Hulk powers up, and them smashes the ground with both fists, unleashing a destructive shock wave on the whole screen. This shock wave progresses a la the Matrix in bullet time, although Eric has aptly renamed this "Hulk time".

Another level that I got to see was the desert scene in which the Hulk fights the Hulk busters. These machines are larger than the Hulk and merciless. Cool stuff I saw here was the Hulk catching missiles and redirecting them! Although the game is not based on the film this time around, I could not help but see similarities between some of the action here and the film scenes that took place in the desert (the best action from the movie). Some the similarities include tossing tanks and outrunning helicopters on steep cliffs. Something present in the game but not in the film is the Hulk picking up and tossing cattle! Like I said, any thing and everything in the game is fair game for the Hulk.

I was also shown a battle between the Hulk and the Abomination. This Abomination looks way cool. His origin has been rebooted for this game, but he's still the same worthy arch foe for the Hulk. He's taller than the Hulk and capable of kicking the crap out of you, so watch out! He's also smart, as a super spy should be. Try the same moves against him, and he knows better and is able to avoid them. In the same manner, several of your own moves become unlocked after you battle the Abomination. And it is not a single battle. He appears throughout the game. Eric would not spill the entire story of the game, but it seemed apparent that there is more to the Abomination/Blonsky than what you learn from the initial story sequences.

The final scene I saw was a battle between the Hulk and Mercy. While based the character with the same name from the comics, she has been updated for this game. If you remember the character from the comics, the only pink remaining is her hair. The redesign works really well. It's also a great contrast to see someone as small as Mercy deliver so much damage to the Hulk.

From other reviews I've read (check out Steve Yarish's review from IncredibleHulk.com) and what I've been told, expect to see the Devil Hulk and other comic villains to show up. This is truly an awesome game, and you don't want to miss it when it comes out this August. Vivendi Universal is going all out promoting this game, including stops at GDC, Wizard World Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston and Texas, E3 and the San Diego Comic Con. They will be unveiling more of the game as the release dates looms closer. Marvel will be supporting the release of the game through various promotions. More on these promotions as the release date nears.

Stay tuned for more info on the game as it becomes available.

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