Part of what makes the action so great is how well everything in the game controls. One thing that's held a lot of previous superhero games back is how few manage to make the crazy powers of a given hero easily controllable while still enjoyable to use. Ultimate Destruction gets this part extremely right. Want to make Hulk leap huge distances? Just charge up the jump button, and let him rip. Want to run up walls? Then just run into a wall, and the magic is done for you. You constantly feel like you can do just about anything in the game, making for battle sequences that feel a lot more open-ended than you might initially think. Running along the sides of buildings, picking up stray vehicles to be turned into any number of different weapon types, smashing through anything that happens to come into your path... It's all exactly what you would expect the experience of being the Hulk to be.
Did we mention the smashing?
The only problem that gets in the way of the generally satisfying gameplay is that the artificial intelligence can sometimes act up. For starters, some enemies, like the smaller Hulkbuster mechs, can be beaten extremely easily by a couple of specific attacks via a fairly cheap exploit. Other times, the enemies will be locked into specific attack patterns that cause them to get hung up on pieces of the scenery, or they otherwise become incapacitated. But even with these blemishes, the whole of the game's action is a hell of a lot of fun when it's at its best; and even at its worst, it's still pretty good.
The game's audiovisual components are a huge factor in what helps it succeed. At the outset, you might not be initially impressed with the graphics. The character models are kind of smallish, the environments aren't exactly high in detail, and animations can periodically be kind of stilted. But once you get into the thick of a fight, it becomes abundantly clear that there are more to the graphics than initially meets the eye. The plethora of damage and explosion effects make for a truly chaotic scene, and the physics engine the game employs helps make everything fly and bounce around in some superexaggerated ways. To put it in no uncertain terms, everything in the game smashes and explodes real, real good.
All the chaos results in a few little frame rate drops here and there on the Xbox and PS2 (and more of them on the GameCube), but for the most part the game runs well. The camera tends to be the most annoying aspect of the visuals, as it has a tendency to go nuts when you're using the target-lock feature on fast-moving enemies. But otherwise, even it works pretty well. It's also worth noting that all three versions of the game support 480p, and the Xbox goes all the way up to 720p. Furthermore, all three versions look excellent when played in high-def.
The audio is great also--especially the sound effects. When you're running around as the Hulk crushing every single object you get near, you really get an excellent feel for it with the sound effects. Everything is booming, loud, and very pleasing to the ear, especially if you've got surround speakers. The orchestral soundtrack is equally great, hitting the right dramatic notes at the appropriate times, and the voice acting helps keep the story interesting all throughout. Noted actors Neal McDonough (Ravenous, Star Trek: First Contact) and Ron Perlman (Police Academy: Mission to Moscow, Blade II, Hellboy) voice Bruce Banner and Emil Bronsky, respectively, and other names, like veteran voice actor Cam Clarke and Richard Moll (Night Court, National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1), make appearances too. Both the name players and the supporting cast turn in equally spirited performances, and though the writing gets a little goofy in spots, the story largely holds up thanks to the quality of the voice work.
In this screenshot, the Hulk, as the old adage goes, 'smashes.'
In many ways, The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction is exactly what a quality single-player adventure based on a license ought to be. It pays ample service to the Hulk fan base through numerous obscure references to assorted comic-book bric-a-brac and lots of unlockable materials, and it manages to get the game portion of the equation down pat, creating a world well-suited to Hulk and his destructive tendencies. Sure, it isn't the deepest, longest, or most technically proficient game out there, but fans of the comic book are sure to have a blast smashing their way through every destructible obstacle the game throws at them, and anybody else with a penchant for obliteration ought to at least give Ultimate Destruction a look.
- Similar model: $
- Set Price Alert