In the past few months we have seen a few games take summer blockbuster hits in the theatres and make sub par games out of them (Enter the Matrix and X2: Wolverine’s Revenge). Both of these games sold extremely well, especially Enter The Matrix, despite their obviously mediocre quality. Now it’s Universal’s turn to try to take a movie and create it into a good game. Well The Hulk turns out to be better then the other two games mentioned, but is it still a worthwhile game? Read on to find out!
Right when I started The Hulk and watched the first cut scene I was pretty happy to find out that instead of making Hulk exactly representing the movie, it is instead a sequel to the movie. The reason I am a fan of this is, you can see the movie in the theatres I really don’t need to play through something I have already seen, so Universal Interactive and Radical Entertainment made Hulk based upon a story that takes place after the movie. Throughout the game you will be playing as Dr. Bruce Banner as well as Hulk. During the Story Mode Radical Entertainment divided it up so you would play a few missions as Hulk and a few missions as Bruce Banner, to kind of give the game two different styles of gameplay.
The story mode is the main portion of the game that will take anywhere from eight to about twelve hours to complete. Like mentioned earlier you will be playing not only as Hulk but also as Bruce Banner. Although most of the game is played as Hulk there are a few sequences of events that force you to go back to Bruce. These levels are some of the more treacherous portions of the game. As Bruce you will have to jump from corner to corner in a stealth type atmosphere. When I first encountered this portion of the game I didn’t have much of a problem with it, but as I found that they kept reappearing throughout the game these can be the portions of the game where you just don’t want to play anymore. The levels are long and boring and the stealth elements are below average. There just isn’t much positive to say about this portion of the game. But when you get to be the Hulk now that’s where the real game is.
Luckily for us there are only a few of these levels as Bruce Banner the rest of the time you will be playing as the Hulk. The Gameplay is fast and furious and there really isn’t much time for small talk because you are going to be taking on hundreds of annoying little policeman. As the Hulk you will be able to pull off a ton of variations of moves. Probably one of the biggest achievements Radical Entertainment achieved in the game was that it really gives you the feeling that you’re the Hulk, that you’re the big green guy.
The controls are easy enough to where you can learn as you go. Along with the attack combinations you can pull of you also have the ability to pick things up. With the targeting system in place the ability to pick things up from your surroundings can be a key factor in completing a level. Very similar to SCEA’s War of the Monsters your surroundings can be your friend and it can also make for some great weapons. The story mode though is held back because of its length. About ten hours on the normal Gameplay mode and you should be done with the game and a little longer on the harder difficulty setting. This is just not long enough, and I am sure I could have played this one for at least another five to ten hours. But luckily the developers added some extra modes in order to add some replay value to the game. These modes are an Endurance Mode, Time Attack, and a Hulk Smash! All of these modes don’t have an excessive amount of depth to them but they seem to give you a little bit more fun after the story mode.
The sound in the Hulk can be heard from your surround sound speaker, that’s right the game has 5.1 Surround Sound Support. This is a great example of a game that really works well with the surround sound support. It kind of gives you the feeling that you’re watching the movie. That all becomes possible with some great sound effects that were very nicely developed for the game.
When the first few screenshots came out on The Hulk it was quite impressive the road Radical Entertainment decided to take. Instead of just going to a straightforward graphical approach, they used color overlapping that does kind of remind me of cel shading.
The cut scenes look great but the game itself goes back to more of a conventional appearance with a slight taste of the color overlapping. I actually wish they would have thrown a little bit more of the color overlapping in the game, because I believe that it gave the game a unique feel instead of trying to stay similar to other games.
With all the said the look of The Hulk is still rather impressive. Hulk himself looks very detailed and very green (which is a good thing). You can really see a lot of detail put into him, but the rest of the game is rather bland. The environments on the other hand are quite impressive because they are very interactive. Most of the environments are interactive and that means you are going to have plenty of weapons at your disposal.
The Hulk is a game that really has its ups and downs. Like I mentioned earlier on in the review when you have to play with Bruce the game just isn’t much fun. It is really just a break in the action where you are just ready to go back to being the Hulk. But probably the biggest problem that makes Hulk not a whole lot of fun is repetitiveness. You seem to do the same thing over and over again, and this just isn’t a game that you want to have become repetitive. There is some fun to be had in the Hulk but for the most part I found myself saying "been here and done that" because there really isn’t much new to be found here.
The Hulk is a game that definitely does a better job of recreating a summer blockbuster into a pretty good game. There are just some problems in the game that holds it back from being anything special. The game does look great and it plays good too, but there is just nothing in this game that excites me. I would definitely recommend this as a rental and a purchase for fans of the comic books!
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.