Thursday, August 25, 2005

Brad Smash Good

On a somewhat premeditated whim I picked up the new Hulk: Ultimate Destruction game for my Xbox. My last two purchases were both sports games. After watching my receiver drop a perfect pass for the fifth time in a row, I realized I needed a new "“break some shit"” game.

Comic book games on a whole have fallen into the dreadful to bare tolerable categories. This game though is actually pretty damn fun. Ultimate Destruction is a lame title, but it fits because you really can just go ape shit in the game.

The story itself is based in the comic book world and not the Ang Lee movie. It'’s not that great of a story, but has its little winks and nods for the fan boys. The enjoyment of this game is being the Hulk, which is what it should be. Hulk jump. Hulk climb. Hulk run. Hulk smash. The game is Hulk in a GTA like sandbox. There are different missions located in the different maps. You complete these missions to progress the story. There are also different side missions that involve racing through check marks in a certain time, to placing as many cars as you can on the top of a skyscraper. If you don'’t want to do either you can just roam around the countryside or city and just "“break some shit."” Like GTA there is also a threat meter. You destroy too many cops and civilians and they bring in the SWAT. You take out the SWAT and they bring in the Special Forces in their copters. If you take care of them, then you get a bonus, and the meter goes back to zero. Throughout all these missions you earn smash points for each destructive thing you do. With these points you buy special moves. The game is liberal with its smash points, so you aren'’t left scrounging around to get the next move. There are though a ton of moves to buy. There'’s the sonic clap, the tornado, the turn cars into Hulk's boxing gloves, and so on.

The graphics at first glance are not outstanding, but that is expected when you have such a large freeroaming world. They arenÂ’t awful though, and once you start breaking things the graphics improve for the explosions. The controls are solid. The camera can get a little wacky when trying to lock onto fast moving targets. The AI is spotty sometimes too. They go from morons to wipe the crap out of you assassins in a second.

My favorite part right now is just jumping from skyscraper to skyscraper, and breaking stuff. There'’s just something satisfying about picking up a bus and hurling it at a helicopter. I also get a kick out of climbing and running up the buildings. They worked the physics right so when you jump and grab onto the side of the building you actually slid for awhile till your get a strong enough grip. ThatÂ’s the greatness of this game. You actually feel like you are the Hulk. ItÂ’s not a perfect game like God of War, but it'’s worth the coin.

No comments: