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Xbox 360 Game Review

The Incredible Hulk
The Official Videogame


Format: Xbox 360
RRP: £49.99
Age Restrictions: 12+
Available 13 June 2008

Fast-paced and action-packed, the blockbuster franchise and comic book saga unfolds as Banner scours the planet trying to find anything to help him fight his involuntary rage. Take the role of one of Marvel's most powerful super heroes in The Incredible Hulk, a third-person action video game. Gamers can demolish anything in their path, including lampposts, passing cars and even buildings. The game also features key moments from the film, as well as additional plotlines and characters from The Incredible Hulk universe. Players crash through New York City, battling gigantic enemies amidst soaring skyscrapers in a massive open world...

I have to admit that I wasn't expecting much from The Incredible Hulk: The Official Videogame. While there have been some impressive movie tie-in game releases (Spider-Man 3, Shrek the Third and even Barnyard) the majority are usually pretty poor. The fact that they are rushed through in order to be released in time for the movie's release doesn't help matters, and those that succeed are usually those that capture the essence of the movie, rather than trying to turn the whole cinematic experience into a video game.

What's really sad about this release is that it's not that bad a game. The graphics are good and the game play, if a little repetitive, is fun. It's just that I couldn't help feeling we'd been here before. In fact, those that bought The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction might wonder why they should buy a pretty similar game that doesn't really add anything nothing new - even though Ultimate Destruction was released back in 2005.

There's little in the way of an introduction to set the scene and no real explanation of what on earth is going on, but then I doubt that really matters - you can smash stuff and that's what counts. The environments are designed so that you can demolish anything in your path and, should you so chose, use it as a weapon. Pieces of a crumbling building... a passing car... a street lamp... large vats filled with combustible material.

You can also scale tall buildings by jumping up and grabbing the walls and then leaping upwards to the top to find hidden items, engage enemies and get a better view of the city.

By building up the Hulk’s rage you can earn powerful new moves which will help you defeat familiar enemies including the Bi-Beast (from the comic books) and the Abomination (from the new movie).

The ability to tackle levels when and as you like creates an open-world feeling to the game, which does make it appear a little less like you are being shepherded through the levels. Your basic challenge usually involves having to protect someone, deal with a set number of enemies or retrieve something while being bombarded from all angles with heavy fire.

As I mentioned before while this is an enjoyable game, it's just a shame that it feels so similar to the previous Hulk offering. If you don't own Ultimate Destruction and you like mindless games where you can totally destroy your environment, then you'll no doubt find this game quite a blast. However, I'd strongly recommend renting first, as the repetitive nature of the levels will not be to everyone's tastes.


Nick Smithson

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