The Hulk Review

Review Format:

PlayStation 2

The success of Spiderman and X-Men at the box office has led to a huge revival of the superhero genre. The latest film to hit our screens is Ang Lee’s ‘The Hulk’.

Bruce Banner, a genetic scientist caught in a gamma radiation accident, is still having problems controlling his temper. When provoked, the monster inside takes over, unleashing the destructive power of the Hulk. Set a year after the events in the film, The Hulk’s archenemy ‘The Leader’ is building an army of gamma-enhanced monsters to take over the World.

The action is split between controlling Bruce Banner and The Hulk. As Bruce, you must sneak around, Metal Gear style, and avoid becoming angry. Turning green will cause the guards to be alerted of your presence. As the Hulk, you can smash your way through the fully destructive levels. All environments are interactive, and almost everything can be picked up and used as a weapon.

As well as a health meter, ‘The Hulk’ has a unique Rage meter. If you are playing as Bruce Banner, filling the rage meter will turn you into the Hulk. The meter goes up every time you are attacked. If you are playing as the Hulk, you will become stronger, the angrier you get. Once your rage meter fills completely, your attacks will double in power.

A number of villains from the movie and comic books make an appearance, including Ravage, Flux, Half-life, and the Leader. Using the environment is the key to beating these bosses. Beating Half-life, for example, requires you to throw him into the surrounding power generators. You are not however restricted to one approach, and are encouraged to find different ways to defeat each boss.

There are over 30 playable levels on offer, including new locations, and ones taken from the film. The 3D graphics are cell-shaded to provide a comic book style presentation. ‘The Hulk’ star Eric Bana supplies the voice of Bruce Banner, and the music is typically cinematic.

Although Hulk has over 25 available moves, you will find yourself using only a handful of them to overcome the constant onslaught on onscreen foes. This is where the game’s main weakness is revealed. There isn’t enough variety to keep your interest for a long period of time. Once you have played through the first few levels, you really have seen all that ‘The Hulk’ has to offer.

In addition to the Story mode, there are several extras to expand ‘The Hulk’s lifespan. The main additional feature is the Challenge Mode. In these survival style levels, you take on endless supplies of bad guys until your health metre is empty. This mode adds little variation to the Story mode, but provides quite a challenge. Those who have completed the game and are thirsty for more reckless destruction will have fun.

Several DVD style extras can be unlocked including Trailers, behind the scenes documentaries, and stills galleries. To give yourself an edge, there are unlockable cheats including invulnerability, full rage meter, and puzzle solved. But that would be cheating…

For superhero fans looking for an arcade style beat-em-up, ‘The Hulk’ is definitely worth a look. Those used to a little more depth and variation should probably try renting it first. A flawed but fun title, teaching you that temper is the only thing you can’t get rid of by loosing it!

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