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Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
Scheduled release date: August 23, 2005
Publisher: VU Games
Developer: Radical Entertainment
Genre: Action
Number Of Players: 1
The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, is scheduled to hit stores on August 23rd, but we got our hands on a preview copy and have some impressions to share. Ultimate Destruction is a free roaming game where you get to control The Hulk, and pretty much do whatever you want. You can run anywhere, smash anything in your path, and climb anything you think needs climbing. Yes, you can smash buildings too. The game is broken into eight chapters, and features over 30 story missions, 40+ story side challenges, and six boss battles against foes like Abomination, Devil Hulk, and Mercy.

You start off simply smashing things with your fists, but you quickly realize that cars and buses can be used to maximize the carnage. Not only can you use objects to smash other objects, but you can throw them to hit enemies that are far away or even overhead. If you're under heavy fire, you can even use objects as shields. You'll be able to purchase new moves as well as powerful special moves that can inflict large amounts of damage on anything within a certain radius of The Hulk. Allegedly Hulk has 150 different moves and combos, but at this point many of the moves don't feel a whole lot different from one another.

The game has a similar feel to the recent PS2 Spider-Man 2 game from Activision, but the chaos onscreen is reminiscent of War of the Monsters. As you wreak havoc on the city, you become more of a threat and of course, more and more resources, including tanks and helicopters are brought in to stop you. Helicopters are a bit of a challenge at first, but once you learn to lock on to them, run up buildings (like in the movie) and launch yourself at them, they are less of a nuisance. The controls are very simple, and there are only a few buttons to learn. There's a button to attack, one to grab, and another to jump. In addition, L1 handles targeting, and R1 makes Hulk run. The camera can be rotated with the right analog stick, but from the small bit of the game I was able to play, it wasn't able to keep up with the action very well.

At first glance, the visuals aren't impressive, but when things start exploding and buildings begin to crumble, it becomes apparent that from a technical standpoint the graphics are very good. Most people would argue that a bland looking building that can be destroyed is better than a pretty one that can't be touched and it seems the developers feel that way as well.

Ultimate Destruction has an impressive voice-over cast. Actors include: Ron Perlman (Hellboy) Emil Blonsky and the Abomination; Neal McDonough, the voice of Bruce Banner in the late-90's cartoon series as Hulk's human alter ego; and Richard Moll as Devil Hulk, the embodiment of all that is evil within Banner's own mind.

Until the game is released it's too early to say if the concept of smashing whatever you please can hold up over the course of a whole game (see State of Emergency). The game does have potential, and certainly looks to be at least worth a rental, so check back in a few weeks for our full review.

8/15/2005   Aaron Thomas