Final Glimpse: Gamma irradiated, anger fueled Grand Theft Auto.
There are few people that can deny that the lifestyle of a superhero is intriguing. There aren't many little boys who haven't fantasized about saving the world while wearing colorful tights, and these fantasies often live on throughout adulthood. Recently, interest in superheroes has been renewed and revitalized with the explosion of movies, cartoons, and video games starring them. Video games in particular have come the closest in allowing comic book fans to vicariously live out their superpowered fantasies, and very shortly, gamers will have the chance to play as one of the strongest and interesting ?heroes? to ever grace the pages of a comic book.
The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction is the second Hulk game to come to this generation of consoles. The first Hulk game was linear, and also forced players to brave some stealth stages as the Hulk's alter ego, Bruce Banner. Understandably, this idea was met with disappointment. Anyone thinking of the Hulk thinks of green and strength, not geeky tortured scientist. Wisely, for this iteration of the Hulk, gamers will play only as the Hulk, and probably as the best translation of the Hulk in a videogame yet.
The aptly named Ultimate Destruction lets players take advantage of the Hulk's super strength in a GTA-style environment. The game truly captures the feel of being the Hulk, allowing players to leap stories into the air, crumble cars like they were made of paper, and battle tanks. There a bit of a stretch in allowing the Hulk to run up walls, but the game plays exactly like anyone would expect the Hulk to. One extremely interesting idea of the game is the ?weaponization?. This, simply, allows the Hulk to turn objects into weapons. The Hulk can grab a car, rip it in halves, and slam them together, effectively making steel boxing gloves for himself. Larger vehicles can be smashed and used as a shield against incoming fire from tanks and other foes. Hulk can hurl cars, use the cannon on a tank as a bat, and even rip a missile launcher from an armored vehicle and toss the missiles himself.
There are tons of moves that the Hulk can use, although not all of them are available at the beginning. To keep the gameplay fresh, the developers have opted to have some of the Hulk's moves locked at the game's beginning, and the Hulk can earn points from destruction and accomplishments to unlock them. Some of the moves at the Jade Giant's disposal are the ability to catch incoming missiles, to do a powerful elbow drop after running up the side of a building, and even snatching helicopters from midair. The Hulk can also charge his attacks, so his regular attacks, powerful as they are, can be held briefly to become even more powerful. He can also charge his jumps, allowing him to easily leap to the top of skyscrapers. All told, there are over a hundred moves that the Hulk can utilize a definite plus to varying the gameplay. Also, almost everything in the environment is useable or destructible, to the point that whole buildings can collapse if the Hulk causes enough damage.
Even with the fun of senseless destruction, the Hulk game wouldn't be a decent translation of the Hulk experience without foes to challenge him. In addition to leagues of police officers, tanks, and helicopters attempting to bring him down, the Hulk must also defeat old foes such as the Abomination and the Hulkbusters. Doc Samson also makes an appearance as a friend, functioning as a shop of sorts for the Hulk to purchase new abilities.
The graphics look great, animating the Hulk just the way that anyone would expect a green, muscular behemoth to move. The controls are simple and intuitive. There is a button for jumping, one for grabbing objects, one for attacking, and another for special attacks. One shoulder button is for locking on, and the other is to enable Hulk to run.
Using these buttons in combination creates different effects, almost all of which are obvious. For example, as the Hulk runs up a building, pressing the grab button allows him to sink his hands and feet into the walls of the structure and hang there. If he runs while holding a lamppost, he launches it like a javelin for a piercing attack. Although the control scheme is simple, the combining of moves makes for a deep experience.