The Incredible Hulk
Ultimate Destruction

Format: PS2
Vivendi Universal

3 348542 198814
Age Restrictions: 12+
09 September 2005

Based on The Incredible Hulk character franchise from Marvel Enterprises, play as the big green monster and cause ultimate destruction to your surroundings. Pick up and use any object in your path and use it as a weapon against your enemies. You can jump anywhere, climb anything and smash everything. Create your own Hulk-powered weapons from anything you can rip out of the environment...

To get in the right frame of mind for this game I sucked in my gut, squeezed into a pair of trousers I haven't worn since university, and asked a member of staff to hit me (actually now I come to think of it... I'm a bit concerned I didn't have to ask them twice). Then I relaxed my stomach muscles (what's left of them) and waited to hear that oh-so-familiar sound of ripping denim.

Most games based on movie characters usually don't measure up and can make you mad that you've spent your money buying them - mad enough to want to trash something. The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction will have manufacturers, responsible for converting other licences characters to consoles, green with envy. This is a game that not only stays faithful to the comic book version of The Hulk, but is also damn addictive too.

There are problems with the game. Firstly, the special moves are too easy to acquire. This means that it's a nightmare keeping a track of which moves you have and what buttons you need to press to unleash them. Some of the cool moves include picking up any car and breaking it in half, and using it as a pair of steel gloves to increase your strength. There is also the ability to use larger vehicles as shields.

The game is also a little too repetitive. There's not a lot to do but smash and grab things. And while this is incredibly good fun, it soon gets a little tiresome. There is a great sense of satisfaction finding out which items you can pick up and hurl at the military, or innocent civilians if you feel like it, but a little more variety and this would have been a much better game.

But the fact that you have free roam over your environment does mean that you can spend a great deal of time wandering around practising your moves, finding the mini-missions, and having great fun picking up the civilians and throwing them around.

And it also treats the gamer with a bit of intelligence. For example, your first boss is a pig to beat. Running at him, beating the life out of him... none of this seems to cause any serious damage. And that's when it strikes you. You're going about this all wrong. The key to his defeat is simple, yet it's not what you'd normally expect from a mere console game. Hats off to the developers for forcing the player to use their brains as well as their fists.

This is certainly one of the most faithful adaptations of a superhero from comic book to console, as well as one of the most fun. At the end of the day this is, quite literally, a smashing game.

Darren Rea

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