A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the subtext of this series revolves around releasing repressed rage and the desire that normally reserved, rational people have to solve their problems with physical violence. The Hulk destroys everything in his path, tossing cars, battling helicopters, and swinging a club in a gruesome game of human "baseball."
What's it about?
THE INCREDIBLE HULK ULTIMATE DESTRUCTION starts with the attempted assassination of Dr. Bruce Banner, who has hidden in the mountains to protect the world from the damage his mean temper can cause. Flushed out of hiding, Banner is forced to continue his research on the run, attempting to reverse the effects of the gamma radiation that causes his transformation into the Hulk. With the help of a fellow scientist, Banner implants instructions in his brain to direct the Hulk to accomplish tasks that support his experiments. But along the way Banner uncovers a secret plot to destroy the Hulk and quietly implement martial law to serve secret, sinister goals.
Players control the Hulk on his missions, leaping across rooftops in the sprawling city or dashing through the desert to gather materials. Along the way, Hulk uses an impressive array of attack moves to battle rocket-launching soldiers, tanks, helicopters, and robotic Hulkbusters.
Is it any good?
Parents may have trouble stomaching the scale of devastation their kids can wreak in the game. Innocent pedestrians are killed by Hulk's mere walking, while more grisly violence can be exacted with some effort (like holding a person in one fist while pummeling him with the other). Explosions are massive (and impressive) with much collateral damage. The only consolation is that the game features no blood.
But this a polished product: The city and buildings have amazing detail, with distinct neighborhoods, unique architecture, meticulous texture and features. Players will enjoy exploring the wide-open world and playing with some of the Hulk's powers: jumping across the city without touching the ground, stacking cars on top of a building, or swinging a club in a gruesome game of human "baseball." Players will quickly master the basic controls, but dozens of special moves may require some time to master.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why such widespread, wanton destruction is fun. Is there a sense of satisfaction that comes with such unfettered destructive power? Are games like this cathartic or do they glorify the worst of human nature? Why has this character been successful for so long (Hulk is more than 40 years old)? Why is the Hulk a sympathetic character if all he does is smash stuff?
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