Of course, the population – and especially the police – don’t take kindly to a huge green giant bashing his way through public property and leaving craters in the streets. Still, what do you care? Bah, puny humans. Punch them, kick them, grab them and throw them at each other. Break off a lamp post or a tree and swat them around with it. Crunch up one of their vehicles and send it flying. If they won’t go quietly and send in the troops and tanks, then cover your fists in steel and send them packing where they came from, or turn a bus into a handy skateboard and grind them into oblivion. It’s hardly the most public-spirited game, when you sit down and think about it but, boy, is it crazy, cathartic fun.
The game is structured around a central plotline, with Banner up against a sinister military agency and its Hulk-hating head, but the wonderful thing is that you’re not tied to it. The story missions are accompanied by a set of wild and often whacky challenge missions, which might be as simple as a checkpoint race or a car kicking competition, or involve something more complex like rescuing civilians from a burning building and dropping them off with an ambulance below. If you’re stuck on a mission or just fancy a quick blast around town, there’s always something to catch your attention and put a big cheesy grin upon your face.
Now, you might think that all that destruction is going to get dull after a while, but this Hulk effort is brilliantly paced. The more story missions you get through, the more numerous and difficult the enemies you face. You’ll need more moves to defeat them, but you can build up a bigger and more powerful selection by earning points in missions and challenges, then using them to buy a few more combos. More become available with each chapter of the game. Just when you think you’ve mastered one set of powers and cadre of enemies, there are new powers to learn and new, more dangerous opponents to fight. And after a few hours, the action switches to a new environment – a huge desert full of canyons, military bases and dusty towns – with its own challenge missions and enemies to fight. With two large maps to barrel your way through, you won’t be left wanting for places to go or things to do for some time.