The Incredible Hulk Review

You won't like it when this simplistic, repetitive, and occasionally broken game makes you angry.

by

From a blind man's perspective, the PC version of The Incredible Hulk is a mirror image of its Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 counterparts. You control the giant green monster in a free-roaming, fully destructible version of New York City. The repetitive missions and devil-may-care structure make the transition intact, letting you wreak havoc on the streets if you feel like shirking your duty to save the city. Though the core mechanics are identical, what little fun that could be had by mindlessly terrorizing the people of New York has been lost in translation. The rudimentary graphics and mostly empty streets eradicate even the simple joys of causing massive chaos. By emulating the PlayStation 2 and Wii versions instead of the far superior Xbox 360 and PS3 versions, The Incredible Hulk on the PC loses what little charm there was in mercilessly destroying a city. This abject mess should be avoided by even the most diehard comic-book fans.

The story shows Hulk's evolution from local monster who everyone wants out of their precious city to the lesser-of-two-evils abnormality who saves New York from an even greater threat. Half of the cutscenes are told through static screens featuring just a tape recorder and Edward Norton's tired voice, whereas the other half are poorly rendered cinematics that show barely recognizable versions of the stars from the movie. It's hard to get immersed in this tale of alienation and redemption when the actors sound so disinterested in the proceedings.

Doesn't anyone want to play?

The visuals in Hulk are absolutely atrocious. The comically archaic draw-in and pop-up from the other versions are even more pronounced here, hindering not only your visibility but your fun as well. Though textures are more detailed than in the lower resolution Wii version, the same abhorrent fog is ever-present. When you climb a building and look at the city beneath you, there is nothing but a thick wall of gray engulfing everything. It's often impossible to judge how far you must jump to land on the next building because you can't see it, which saps the fun of bounding around the city. When you're walking at ground level, people and cars will pop into view right in front of you and mysteriously disappear when they leave your sight. There is also a lot of clipping going on. You can toss cars straight through buildings, and you'll see Hulk's arm go clean through the backside of enemies, causing no damage. At other times, you'll reach out to grab an object that lies in front of you and it will vanish right before your eyes.

The thriving city that made the other versions fun in short bursts seem to have been overrun by a life-ending plague here. Streets are often completely empty. Where an abundance of cars and people once fled in terror, there are now only a few people and the occasional car lining the streets. The idea of rampaging around a virtual New York City is enticing, but when the population seems to have disappeared, it loses some of its appeal. It's boring destroying a city if no one even cares.

At the very least, The Incredible Hulk controls competently. Jumping around the city and smashing objects is fairly simple to pull off, though it's far easier to crush your foes with a game controller than the keyboard and mouse combo. It's satisfying throwing your weight around and bullying the general population, but things get a little tricky when you want to target specific opponents. You can lock on to enemies with the push of a button, but it takes a second to register and has a tendency to slip off when you start moving around.

The world ends just past that building.

The story missions aren't loaded with variety, but there are some minigames and statistics-based feats to add a surprising amount of replay value if you somehow get sucked in. There are a number of unlockable Hulk skins to strive for, and you can earn more-powerful versions of your moves along the way. It is rather shocking that not only can you knock down famous New York landmarks, but that you're also actually rewarded for doing so. It's darkly satisfying to destroy Stark Tower or the Empire State Building; it's just unfortunate that the city doesn't react when you raze these structures. Hearing Tony Stark shouting an angry threat at the beast that toppled his home would have given some weight to these unforgivable destructions. Strangely, the PC version is missing a few landmarks. For instance, the Bear Stearns Building is physically located in the game, but it isn't listed by name, and you won't be rewarded with a Landmark token when it's torn down. All told, there are 35 landmarks in the PC version and 50 on the Xbox 360 and PS3.

The PC version of The Incredible Hulk is awful. What little fun that could be had in the other versions of this game has been destroyed here, only to be replaced with glitchy graphics that won't even let you see the city and a desolate city that somehow makes destruction boring. It's bewildering that the developers ported the inferior PS2 and Wii versions instead of the far more satisfying PS3 and X360 versions. Stay far away from this game.

The Good
Randomly smashing is fun for a little while
The Bad
Woeful graphics
Lacks imaginative missions
Clumsy controls
3.5
Bad
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The Incredible Hulk (2008)

  • PlayStation 2
  • PlayStation 3
  • PC
  • Xbox 360
  • + 2 more
  • DS
  • Wii
Bruce Banner and his mean, green alter ego are back for more destruction.
ESRB
Teen
PS2 PS3 PC X360 WII
Language, Mild Blood, Mild Language, Violence
ESRB
Everyone 10+
DS
Mild Blood, Mild Language, Violence