The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction Review

We live in good times my superhero loving friends. Superhero games are going through a Renaissance. For years superhero games were abysmal efforts designed to cash in on a license rather than deliver exciting gameplay. Well I’m happy that we are now in an age where I can say that I have played several good superhero games of late and not be looked at like I’ve been exposed to too much gamma radiation. And now, enter the Hulk. The poor Hulk was victimized by a lackluster game outing just over two years ago, but this is a new age my friends, one in which developers are finally capturing the feel of super powers in their games and the Hulk is basking in the light now. The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction actually feels like a Hulk game should – the rage, the strength, those amazing stretching pants,… ah, it’s good to be the Hulk…

Hulk's one strong dude.
Ultimate Destruction is built on the model created by Grand Theft Auto 3 and used by the recent Spider-Man games. You are given a free-roam environment – a New York-like city and a desert area peppered with military bases in this case – where you can run around causing trouble to your heart’s content. Scattered around this environment are special icons that are used to initiate missions that continue the game’s storyline or launch you into special challenge sequences. Run up to an icon, press a button, and the next special mission or challenge is launched. Once a story mission is wrapped up, you’re returned to the Hulk’s hideout which is an abandoned church in the middle of nowhere and from there you can launch yourself into the game’s free-roam environments. It’s a simple gameplay model that works well for a superhero game.

There are a couple of things which really make Ultimate Destruction stand out as an enjoyable game. The first is that the environments are very highly destructible – which is a good thing if you’re going to throw around the words “Ultimate Destruction” in your title. Cars, bus stops, radio towers, small buildings, … just about everything outside of large buildings and skyscrapers can be taken down, and when you climb up the side of skyscrapers you can see the damage caused by the Hulk’s monster paws as he grips the building. Even the streets themselves aren’t safe as when the Hulk lands after one of his powerful jumps he cracks and buckles the pavement around him. The game does a great job of capturing the feel of Hulk’s raw power – you’ll feel like the Hulk as you throw busses at roadblocks or knock a helicopter out of the sky by using a street lamp as a javelin.

All of this destruction would not be as much fun if the controls weren’t so well implemented. Grabbing and throwing objects, smashing things, running down crowded streets like a big green fullback who smells end zone, and even running up the side of a tall building is all handled smoothly and intuitively. After spending a short time in the game’s tutorial zone you’ll be a big, green, wrecking machine, causing wanton destruction as if it were second nature to you. One complaint I do have though is that the game’s target lock seems to pick its target at random. I found myself having to cycle targets pretty often just to get a lock on the vehicle right in front of me that was firing merrily away at me as I tried to get a lock.