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Platform

Xbox

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Vivendi

 

Developer

Radical Entertainment

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

August 23, 2005

 

 

- Be the HULK!
- A ton of moves
- Wide-open environments to explore and destroy
- Lots of things to find
- Avoids becoming repetitious

 

 

- Sometimes buildings get in the way of the camera
- Enemies tend to swarm

 

 

Review: Hulk (GC)

Review: Spider-Man 2 (XB)

Review: Batman Begins (GC)

Interview: Hulk: Ultimate Destruction Post Mortem Q&A

 

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The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction

Score: 8.8 / 10

 

hulk ultimate destruction review          hulk ultimate destruction review

 

I’ll get this out of the way right now.

Hulk SMASH!

If one wanted to write a two-word review of The Incedible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, the above would more than suffice. Not only does it adequately convey the basic gameplay mechanics but it also indicates the raw power that can only be described with monosyllabic exclamations.

Ultimate Destruction is the first time in a long time I’ve felt powerful playing a game. Games like Max Payne 2, Armed and Dangeroud, or Destroy All Humans!

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provide the gamer with a sense of power at the trigger end of a gun. Hulk forgoes guns in favor of raw, in your face, toe-to-toe with a tank bestial power that is conveyed by fantastic sound design, monstrous amounts of environmental damage – most everything can be destroyed one way or another – and layer upon layer of brutish demonstrations of Hulk’s formidable roster of moves. The combination

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is so powerful that I’ve had several dreams that involve running up skyscrapers, taking out military helicopters by landing on them, and bounding through the desert with impossibly high jumps.

There is a reason behind of Ultimate Destruction’s free-roaming destruction.

Bruce Banner, with the help of Doc Samson, is attempting to rid himself of the Hulk. Banner feels that something dark and sinister is taking over the Hulk persona so time is of the essence but with familiar foes on the Banner’s trail the only way to assemble the components to attempt a cure is to let the Hulk take over.

The story mission are doled out similar to the Grand Theft Auto series – find the marker on the map and activate the next mission that progresses the story. Or you can just spend time running around smashing things, looking for collectibles, raising your “wanted” level (with explosive results), or taking part in optional Challenge missions that go a long way to earning Hulk “smash points” which can be redeemed for increasingly powerful moves. Some of the story missions can be tough to complete so it’s a welcome options to be able to just practice by running around causing mayhem.

 

hulk ultimate destruction review           hulk ultimate destruction review


The Challenge missions are almost a separate entity. In fact, most of them feel like mini-games. Hulk can be tasked with “moving” a car to a ring of flares across town without picking up the car or seeing how far he can smack hapless soldiers with a big steel girder or fighting Hulkbuster mechs to maintain control of a rooftop or simply running through a marked course as quickly as possible. There are 40 Challenges spread out between the City and the Badlands, Hulk’s two main areas of “exploration.”

The central hub between the two is Hulk’s hideout, an abandoned church. It’s here that Hulk must bring the components for the “cure” that Doc Samson is cooking up. It’s also where Hulk can upgrade his moves and take a look at background info. The boss fights are accessed from this area as well.

The highlight fights with the bosses are only a minor part of the game though most of them succeed in being outright cool. Most of the time Hulk has to contend with lesser foes like (easily swatted) infantry, Hulkbuster mechs, tanks, and helicopters (plus a few surprises). Many times you’ll jump into a situation where the numbers are simply overwhelming then frustrating as they pound Hulk into submission and you’re forced to restart the mission. (The enemy “swarming” is not an uncommon occurrence.) This is where the weaponization feature comes in handy. First, a number of objects can be turned into makeshift missiles (until you can get your hands on the real ones) but Hulk can also use large vehicles as shields (or even a “skateboard” when the right move is purchased) and smaller ones can be torn in half and worn as makeshift boxing gloves for more punch. But even with these advantages it will still be you mastery of Hulk’s moves – air and ground – that will see you through.

The screenshots of Ultimate Destruction don’t do the game justice. Though the textures may seem slightly smeared the action never slows and it’s a great game to watch. The Hulk’s effect on his surroundings are extremely well done with plenty of impact craters to tell the world “Hulk was here!” Layer this with some extremely satisfying sound effects and bass response and you’ve got the best looking and sounding Hulk experience to date.

The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction is – if you can’t tell – a fun game. (Smash Hulk through one of the auto service stations and listen to what the attend has to say!) It has its shortcomings, like the enemy “swarming” and a camera that sometimes gets blocked by buildings, but there’s too much to like about Ultimate Destruction – the feeling of being the Hulk, a great comic book storyline, lots of stuff to do, a deep combo system – to dwell too much on the downsides.

Hulk: Ultimate Destruction comes highly recommended.

- Omni
(September 19, 2005)

 

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