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The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction

01 Sep 2005

Ang Lee’s The Hulk is a couple of years gone at this point (but I’m sure no one is complaining), so Radical didn’t necessarily have the film’s voice talent to rely on in bringing the new game’s characters to life. Because of this, Vivendi has brought in Neal McDonough, (Star Trek: First Contact, Minority Report, and even the Hulk animated series), to play Bruce Banner. Meanwhile, the Hulk’s nemesis, Emil Blonsky (aka Abomination), will be voiced by none other than Hellboy himself, Ron Perlman. Comic fans should be pleased at the inclusion of Abomination, who’s attempting to capture Banner and use his powers for nefarious ends. So with the star-studded voice talent and the movie long forgotten - we looked at this title with much anticipation.

It’s interesting to see just how influential Grand Theft Auto has been on games. The bulk of Ultimate Destruction doesn’t have discrete levels, instead giving you a giant city for you to roam around, terrorize, and demolish. Story missions are related to Banner’s attempt to rid himself of his gamma-ray mutation, and these missions advance the plot and open up new areas each time they’re completed. There are also a bunch of side missions available in which you can compete for a best time or high scores, all scattered around the city and indicated on your mini-map. These missions range from arbitrary challenges, such as requiring you to navigate a preset course in a specific time, to contextual fare like having the Hulk rescue people from a burning building. When successfully finished, these missions will yield a big bonus to your smash points, which are useful for unlocking new moves. Even getting from place to place in Ultimate Destruction is a thrilling affair and like in the comics, the Hulk travels in style by leaping hundreds of feet through the air and smashing into the concrete below. For a game with “Ultimate Destruction” in the title, The Incredible Hulk seems to do a bang-up job of depicting stuff breaking, shattering, exploding... you get the idea. Just punching your way through a car will yield a big fireball, along with a chaotic explosion of glass and scrap metal flying in every direction. Every extra car, helicopter and tank (you go up against the army at some points), or whatever other object that you add to the fray, just compounds the amount of pyrotechnics and debris that will fly every which way. As mentioned, you can even destroy buildings by throwing enough large objects at them, and it’s great to see an entire skyscraper crumbling to the ground as dusty rubble. A great relief for the Incredible Hulk franchise and a lot of fun for anyone with a destructive urge, or ripped up surf shorts.