Hellboy: The Science of Evil

Common Sense Media says

A lukewarm side-story -- not movie-based.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Hellboy doesn't look like your typical hero, but he's the good guy who fights sinister adversaries.


Combat with punches, kicks, grenades, and guns against supernatural enemies and Nazis.

Not applicable

The occasional "damn" and "hell."


The Hellboy franchise also includes comics and films.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Hellboy dispatches countless waves of enemies (supernatural creatures and later Nazi soldiers) with a combination of weapons like guns and grenades, supernatural powers like magic, and an especially strong stone-like appendage nicknamed Right Hand of Doom. There's no gore, and the violence isn't particular graphic -- there's just a lot of it.

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What's it about?

Although timed to coincide with the release of the second Hellboy film (Hellboy II: The Golden Army), this Hellboy videogame for the PlayStation Portable entitled HELLBOY: THE SCIENCE OF EVIL doesn't actually follow the plot of the film. Rather, it's billed as a side-story, with cutscenes that feature a graphical style that more closely resembles the original Hellboy graphic novels than anything cinematic.

Superhuman demon hunter Hellboy is on the trail of a witch when he uncovers an even more sinister adversary in the form of Hermann Von Klempt, who has hatched a half-baked plot to take over the world. Hellboy must put a stop to it, which, for the gamer, translates into defeating endless waves of adversaries using combinations of punches, grabs, magic, and various weapons including Hellboy's trusty oversized pistol and grenades. Levels center mostly on combat with a few light puzzle-solving challenges and fetch-quests.

Is it any good?


There's nothing horribly wrong with the game, but Hellboy isn't the most agile character to control, and the design of the levels and enemies doesn't seem particularly inspired. Translation: the game is playable, but can get dull over long sessions and it doesn't demonstrate any particular creativity. Hellboy fans might find enough to sink their teeth into, but if it's a good brawler or dungeon crawl that you're after, there are better games out there.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the character of Hellboy addresses certain preconceptions about how people look versus how they act – he's the stereotypical red-skinned, horned "devil," but he's also the good guy who works to hunt down evil.

Game details

Available online?Not available online
Release date:June 24, 2008
ESRB rating:T for Fantasy Violence, Mild Language (PSP)

This review of Hellboy: The Science of Evil was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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