Big Red and chums beating the sense out of nazis? It can only be Hellboy.
Is it worth spending your lunchbreaks and bus journeys playing it? Read the review over at Square Go (which is the official launch title of what was previously Fidget Magazine)
Hellboy: Science of Evil
Ok, so my hopes have been up recently. The last few games to come out on the PSP have been pretty good, and there have even been a few decent movie tie-ins over the last few months. So what went wrong?
Released in conjunction with the stonkingly good movie Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, the developers have devised a totally different, although typically Hellboy story about Nazi madmen seeking ancient relics of power and magic, presumably to give gamers a game which doesn’t slavishly follow the movie. Sadly, very little of the fun of either the movies or the comics has made it over to this game. Although the cut-scenes are done in a cool faux-comic book style, there are no voices or sound-effects to help it along. This is made all the more ludicrous when you unlock an interview with Ron Perlman, the voice of Hellboy, who doesn’t even feature in this version of the game.
The gameplay itself isn’t much better: continually slugging away at an identikit army of bads until you reach a mediocre boss does not a good game make. Also, despite having the Right Hand Of Doom, Red usually does more than just batter the hell out of mediocre henchmen. There is an element of detective work in the comics and movies which is utterly absent here. And where is Abe Sapien? Liz Sherman? Or any of his crew that help out in a tight squeeze? Hellboy’s all alone here, making it even less like the comics.
Bizarrely, the graphics aren’t bad, just a tad middling, and there is a nice thunking crunch as you lay the smackdown on each area’s generic bad-guy. This novelty wears thin once you’ve repeated it about twenty times within the first few minutes of play. The combat should have been improved by the additional weapons; but the grenades are slow to aim and go off and rarely do much damage, while Hellboy’s trademark ridiculously big pistol is decent but fiddly when you’re pressed for time, i.e. anytime you want to use it. So in the end you’ll just end up punching more or less everything, including the scenery to get hidden bonuses that are randomly placed in some background objects. The trouble here is that the fighting combos are rubbish, with the basic punch-punch-SMACK being the only useable one, despite the others that you can unlock later.
Worse still, in what is fast becoming the calling card of bad movie cash-in games, the story is indecipherable: jumping willy-nilly and apparently randomly between times and locations so often that you not only don’t know what’s going on, you simply don’t care when you suddenly skip to years earlier or another country without a word of explanation.