Chugging through The Incredible Hulk’s 30 side-scrolling levels is like running through a maze where all the walls are transparent: It looks like you can go anywhere, but really you’re being cordoned down a very specific path. Because while the 360 and PS3 versions of this movie tie-in set you in a city that’s yours to explore and destroy, the DS iteration only creates the illusion of freedom.
The levels are large and multi-tiered, but the action often devolves into you trying to figure out exactly which type of wall is destructible, so you can break it down and follow the path of breakable walls on your path to victory. Stop, drop, and smash. Rinse and repeat. Non-linearity is one thing, but boring and tedious (not to mention bland-looking) level design is another. Besides, shouldn’t The Hulk be able to break down any wall?
Making matters worse, the game’s levels lack any sort of checkpoint system, an annoying little flaw that becomes a real hassle as later levels take a massive difficulty spike and Hulk smash! becomes Hulk awkwardly dodge walls of randomly fired bullets and missiles.
Hulk DS does get some little things right. There are tons of collectibles for hardcore completionists to find, mostly (hilarious) alternate costumes. And yeah, sending enemies flying into the sky with a walloping green-fisted uppercut is always satisfying. And occasionally, when The Hulk flies through a building, takes down a chopper and then throws the flaming scrap heap into some baddies, it’s really hard to say you’re not having fun. But doing all that only makes the game’s problems more obvious, because if The Hulk can fly through a building without breaking a sweat, why can he destroy the walls that have windows in them, but not the ones covered in plywood and caution tape?
Jun 20, 2008