30 Days of Xbox: The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction

Or “the sandbox game where the main character can grind everything down into sand”, as I like to think of it.

Once more unto the first of Microsoft’s games consoles as I continue my journey through the Xbox library.

The Hulk is a great and classic comic book character, but he’s always been a tough one to present visually, whether in video game or film format. Sure, there’s the classic Bill Bixby TV series, but that’s a different kind of critter. I do like what Marvel’s done with the MCU version, but that’s because they largely obey what I like to call the “Godzilla” law. rh

In case you weren’t aware, I have quite the obsession with Godzilla. That may come up again later.

Anyway, the Godzilla problem is this: You have an unstoppable force, in this case, The Hulk. He can smash stuff, and that appeals to the lizard parts at the back of our brains, because explosions are kewl, heh heh heh.
Problem is, the audience’s attention is only going to be kept in thrall for so long with mindless smashing, plus you have to work out some credible way of actually creating conflict. Hulk is all but indestructible, and he is the strongest one there is, as long as he’s suitably cranky.

The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction looks at that problem and more or less says “eh… just give him some wraparound story, and otherwise throw him into a sandbox world and let the player run wild. Sandbox games were huge at the time, what with the piles of money that Rockstar was making out of Grand Theft Auto games, so it feels like a logical enough fit.

It’s a fit that works, too, more or less. Sure, you do still have to stretch credulity when Hulk tears a car in half and mashes it together into fists (see, even Hulk likes big Hulk Hands(tm)!) and then hits an ordinary policeman in the face, because they get back up again rather than collapsing into a steaming pile of red jam as they should, but there’s enough variance in missions, and interesting new moves to keep the variety up.

I only played The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction for about an hour, due to other pressing time concerns, but I could have easily played quite a bit more.

That can only mean it’s time for….

Fat Duck Tech Retro Xbox Game Rankings

  1. Prince Of Persia: Sands Of Time
  2. Outrun 2
  3. The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
  4. NFL Street
  5. Disney Extreme Skate Adventure
  6. Spy vs Spy
  7. Judge Dredd: Dredd vs Death

Again with the tough calls! I like The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction a lot, but I’ll be honest and say that I’m more likely to pick up Outrun 2 for a quick blast than this, simply because it’s more of a direct time sink, and sandbox games have moved on a tad since then.

Next up: Bouncing. Of the second kind.

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