Space Ramblings

The Incredible Hulk game review

What if you remade Grand Theft Auto starring the Hulk? That’s the not so secret premise of The Incredible Hulk game. A Sandbox game with Wanted levels, selective missions and lots of easter eggs to find scattered around the Marvel Universe version of Manhattan, The Incredible Hulk game is a hybrid between a platformer and Grand Theft Auto, incorporating many of the latter’s gameplay features. The problem is that the game borrows both the good and the bad, giving you a large city to play with and saddles you with boring missions, some of which require you to escort or protect whiny and annoying characters and their lab equipment all within a narrow time limit. And for any game designers taking notes, that’s the difference between imitating Grand Theft Auto and learning the lessons of Grand Theft Auto.

Despite many of the annoying missions, The Incredible Hulk still boasts a ridiculously fun concept, giving you a somewhat smaller version of Manhattan to play with. Climb the Empire State, King Kong style or tear off a lampost and swing it around as a club while battling a giant 10 story robot sent by the evil Paragon corporation. Fight City Hall by smashing it to pieces, every building is destructible, or race through Central Park leaping over the trees.

But like most sandbox games, there’s only so much freedom you can take before you get bored, and while The Incredible Hulk offers an incredible setting, it doesn’t do very much with it. The missions run the gamut from the redundant to the frustrating and miss the point of what the Hulk is all about, which isn’t taking cell phone calls and escorting scientists around a map. The in game voice narration from Ed Norton doesn’t help by reminding you that is a game tie in with a movie that was equally clueless about the Hulk and its audience.

Like most movie tie in games, you shouldn’t go in expecting too much from The Incredible Hulk. The graphics are shockingly bland and crude. The city, despite featuring both real New York City and imaginary Marvel universe landmarks from the Apollo Theater to the Daily Bugle, is generic. But that doesn’t mean the game still isn’t fun as long as you don’t expect it to offer much beyond the sandbox play. And once you’ve exhausted the fun of jumping off the Chrysler Building or navigating Manhattan by rooftops while dodging armored troopers hunting for you, you’ve also exhausted everything worthwhile about the game.

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