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Video Game: The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction

"There's a thin line between good and bad. I walk that line every single day. When I stray from it, people die. My name is Bruce Banner, and this is me. I'm not a person anymore, I'm the Hulk. I did this to myself, all in the name of science. This is me, all that I've become. I'm a big, green time bomb. And I'm ticking."

A video game based off the comic book The Incredible Hulk, developed by Radical Entertainment and released for the PS2, XBOX, and Gamecube in 2005.

Bruce Banner is struggling to rid himself of the Hulk persona, but he is dying slowly from the effects of the machine he is using to attempt to get rid of it. He is attacked by General Thunderbolt Ross and is forced to abandon his studies. He takes refuge with Doc Samson and continues to attempt to find a cure with his aid, but another force is hunting him along with the military...

The game was a follow-up, but not a sequel, to the lackluster game based off the 2003 movie. Unlike that game, which took place mostly indoors and omitted the three mile leaps, the designers took full advantage of various comic continuities and made the game into a Wide Open Sandbox, taking cues from the immensely successful Spider-Man 2 video game. Graphical power was traded for the ability to smash just about everything on screen in a variety of ways, which proved immensely entertaining and made the game a critical and commercial success. Many argued that it was the first video game to truly make players feel like the Hulk.

No sequel was ever announced, but here's hoping. The closest gamers may get is Prototype, made by the same development company with many identical gameplay features carrying over. The 2009 Incredible Hulk game made to tie in with the movie being released at the time may also be considered an attempt at a sequel to this game, but most consider it inferior to Ultimate Destruction.

This game provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Distillation: Unlike the previous game, this one takes advantage of the various comic book continuities.
  • The Alcatraz: The Vault, specifically designed to hold mutant and gamma powered prisoners, such as yourself.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Well, different kinds of Magic Pants, for the most part, but you also get a Grey Hulk, Joe Fixit (who talks!), Abomination and as a joke, "Savage Banner," who is as strong as the Hulk but the size of Banner.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Sometimes civilians will kill themselves in response to seeing you, running off high ledges or into traffic while fleeing from the big green monster.
  • Badass Boast: "Hulk is not afraid! Hulk is strongest one there is!"
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Bruce's ultimate plan is to build a machine that will let him face off against the Hulk in this manner. When the Devil Hulk emerges, the plan changes to using the Hulk to destroy the newer, even more destructive personality.
  • Big Bad: Emil Blonsky.
    • Big Bad Ensemble: Devil Hulk also qualifies, having manipulated Banner and the Hulk in certain missions and ultimately trying to take over. Defeating him is the goal of the game, while Blonsky is the main obstacle for most of it.
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: Commented upon: Women react differently to becoming gamma mutants than men. It even lampshades and provides a justification for the Most Common Superpower.
  • Book Ends: The opening and ending cutscenes include a scene of the Hulk running and leaping through a forest.
  • Cardboard Prison: The Hulk escaping from the Vault.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Hulk's supermoves; you can only use them when you've got more than a full health meter (unless you're at critical health).
  • Catch and Return: One of the moves available for purchase allows you to do this with missiles. He can also skip the catch part and simply punch them back.
  • Catch Phrase: Hulk drops one of them before his battle against the Devil Hulk. Notable in that it's his only spoken line in the entire game:
    Hulk: Hulk is not afraid. Hulk is strongest one there is.
  • Composite Character:
    • Devil Hulk: Here, he is a giant that towers the Savage Hulk several times over (and is larger than the Hulkbuster Destroyer and Titan), representing Banner's abusive father, and his own dark desires of anarchy. In the comics Devil Hulk only possesses evil desires; the abusive father representative is Guilt Hulk, a being who looks nothing like Devil Hulk.
    • Savage Banner: gameplay mechanics dictate that normal Banner with Savage Hulk's mind is just as strong as he would be as the green giant. In the comics, though, it was in reverse; Savage Banner is just as his name implies, a normal human who has gone savage, no super strength.
  • Contractual Immortality: The Abomination has this when you're chasing him at the end of the game, which intends for you to fight him at a series of designated areas. To make sure you don't kill him before he gets to any of them, you can't actually hurt him before he reaches them.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Zigzag, some enemies and bosses show signs of damage as they take a beating, mostly mechanical ones, but living things just die when they're life bars are depleted. Hulk is also just as capable at fighting at low health as he is at high health.
  • Critical Status Buff: At critical health (termed Adrenaline Surge in-game), Hulk has access to all his supermoves, but without the health penalties. However, it's only good enough for one critical attack until he gains enough health to get out of Adrenaline Surge.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Joe Fixit, an alternate costume of the Hulk, will consistently spout off one-liners and other things.
    • Bruce Banner himself comes across as this whenever talking with Samson, much to Samson's annoyance.
    Bruce: (After being told about a fetch quest) You want fries with that?
  • Death Seeker: Blonsky's implied to be one, as he implies that he'll let himself drown after he smashes the dam.
  • Deflector Shields: The Hulkbuster Titan piloted by Ross has these and will use them to throw the Hulk off if he grabs onto it.
  • Degraded Boss: Weaker versions of Destroyer Hulkbusters appear as MiniBosses after fighting the first one. Also done with the Titan Hulkbuster that Ross uses, but the weaker versions don't use all their weapons.
  • Despair Event Horizon: If being humiliated and on the run didn't convince Blonsky of deciding to let Abomination take over... Nadia's death certainly did.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Joe Fixit actually has unique lines for certain situations, like when he's fighting the Devil Hulk.
    Joe: Hey, DH! Long time no see. How's Sigmund?
  • Difficulty Spike: The missions at the start of the game are relatively tame, but the difficulty is ratcheted up when you have to defend a building from swarms of tanks. And it only gets tougher from there.
  • Disk One Final Boss: Devil Hulk. After he's defeated, there's still Abomination to deal with.
  • Disney Villain Death: The Abomination, who disappears into the flood as his smashes the dam, presumably allowing himself to drown.
  • The Dragon: General Ross, much to his annoyance.
  • Elemental Powers: Since the fight with Devil Hulk is a Battle in the Center of the Mind, he also displays powers that he probably can't use in the real world, manly throwing fire and freezing Hulk in ice.
  • Enemy Chatter: Tons. They'll talk about everything they're doing and everything you're doing. Blast away in a direction and they'll remark on that. Grab a weapon and they'll warn each other that Hulk is even more dangerous now.
  • Enemy Mine: Subverted. While the army can tell that Hulk and the Abomination are enemies, they decide to attack both of them.
  • Escort Mission: There are quite a few, but most of them are not as annoying as most due to the fact the military normally targets YOU, not the person/thing you are escorting.
  • Everything's Better With Cows: Not only can you smash your enemies with the various cattle roaming the badlands, but they're the only things in the game that don't eventually break from doing so, meaning you can conceivably go on a rampage using a single cow and nothing else.
    • The appropriately named "Cheese Gun" cheatcode that changes all missiles into cows. Suddenly an army of tanks is shooting a barrage of cows at you from a distance. Homing cows.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Abomination.
  • Evil Feels Good: Once he sees the kind of power he wields, Blonsky begins to accept it.
    • Devil Hulk WANTS Banner to embrace this.
  • Evil Is Bigger: The Abomination is presented as being noticeably bigger than the Hulk in this game, when he grows bigger by the end of the game, Hulk only comes up to his knee.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Devil Hulk and the Abomination.
  • Expy: The Combat Wardens (And their bigger cousin, the Capture Warden) are pretty much Hulk-sized Gundams.
  • Fictional Documents: The Blonsky Files, which reveal Blonsky's plan and chronicle his mental deterioration as the Abomination slowly takes control.
  • Foreshadowing: Blonsky's third personal log: "No Survivors." He repeats this line as he destroys the dam.
  • For Massive Damage: Certain moves are more effective against certain types of enemies; ground smash and shockwave work well against tanks, while the sonic clap defeats helicopters easily. Headbutts and the spear throw move work extremely well on Hulkbusters (the ones that are around Hulk's size, anyway). Hulk also has access to "critical" moves whenever he reaches critical mass.
    • Some attacks by enemies do this to the Hulk, such as Devil Hulk biting and gnawing on him, and the supersized Abomination grabbing him, leaping into the air and slamming him into the ground.
  • Freudian Excuse: Blonsky hates Gamma mutants because the research he and his wife did into the subject ended up turning her into one.
  • Godwin's Law: Comes out of absolutely nowhere in one of the Blonsky File discussions.
    Samson: Well, Blonsky's certainly convinced himself of his good intentions.
    Bruce: Yeah, well, so did Adolf Hitler.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Bludgeoning your enemies with invulnerable cows.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Blonsky comes to resemble the Hulk more and more as he transforms into the Abomination.
  • Hold the Line: "Defend The Church" and "Endgame"
  • Hulk Speak: Just one line, but right when it counts.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Hulkbuster mechs, though the commonly seen Combat Wardens are more like Power Armor. The, Destroyer, Titan and the Capture Warden are more traditional mecha.
  • Improvised Weapon: Boxing gloves made out of cars, shields made out of trucks, wrecking balls, boulders, cows... It's easier to list what isn't one. In fact, using anything and everything as a weapon is one of the main selling points of the game, with unique interpretations of objects turned into weapons being dubbed "weaponizations" in-game.
    • Turning a car into boxing gloves was so awesome that it made its way into the climactic fight of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Incredible Hulk movie.
  • In a Single Bound: You can jump across several city blocks all at once, and the "warp points" in the game are really just places where the Hulk can jump REALLY far to another location. Even in the contemporary Spider-Man 2 game, you couldn't jump this high.
  • It Can Think: "It's constructing a rudimentary weapon!"
  • Large Ham: Hulk, naturally.
  • Le Parkour: Hulk uses crude parkour moves to move up buildings and scale walls.
  • Lightning Bruiser: As Blonsky warns in the tutorial level, the Hulk is not only strong, but incredibly fast. The Abomination fits this description as well. Many of the later-stage Hulkbusters also fit this. They can use their jets to rapidly change direction (bordering on a Flash Step), put you into grapples, slam you into the ground, throw you into the air, and pretty much play Hulk Hackey-Sack.
    • Special note to the Abomination at the end of the game, where he grows much larger (before he was about a head taller than Hulk and a bit bulkier, at the end he's so big that Hulk only comes up to his knee) and is still just as fast as he was at the start of the game.
    • Destroyers can fly pretty quickly despite how big they are.
  • Limit Break: Collecting more health than the regular health bar can hold causes the Hulk to go into Critical Mass. In this mode, he is capable of unleashing Critical Mass Moves that deal massive damage to whatever gets in Hulk's way. They're also usable at critically low levels of health.
  • Madness Mantra: In Blonsky's third personal log, all he does is repeat "I've seen the color of my soul and it's black...", with the file just saying "No Survivors".
  • Mirror Boss: The first fight with the Abomination. Even when he's a giant, he still uses similar, or even the same, attacks though they do a lot more damage and his grabs include some with one hand. It's no wonder he's one of the unlockable costumes.
  • Morality Pet: Mission Directive, which is really Blonsky's mutated wife, whom he's trying to cure. When she dies, he allows the Abomination to take over completely.
  • More Dakka: The Hulkbusters Destroyer and Titan . The former has a pair of large missile launchers and Frickin' Laser Beams fired from its hands, the latter has a huge laser cannon one shoulder, a giant missile launcher on the other, two vulcan guns, and a set of tank cannons on its chest.
  • Motive Misidentification: Bruce believes Blonsky is interrogating him because he wants to know the secret behind the Hulk's transformation, only to find out he's after something different.
    Bruce: You can't break a man who's already broken. What if you get inside... and you don't like what you find?
    Blonsky: I know what triggers it, you freak. I know how strong you are to the nearest decimal point. I don't need to know how to become like you—I need to know how to control it!
  • New Game+: You can play through the story again, but with all of your costumes and upgrades.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: It isn't a good idea to follow Samson's, or should I say Devil Hulk's, orders into destroying Division buildings when in fact there's innocent people.
  • Now That's Using Your Teeth: Devil Hulk will try to bite Hulk with his giant pointed teeth if gets to close, which as one would expect, does a alot of damage.
  • Not So Different: Really, the only significant difference between the Abomination and the Hulk is that Blonsky gave in to the power, while Bruce didn't.
    • The Abomination and Devil Hulk are almost exactly alike. Both try to prod their host in mindless acts of destruction For the Evulz.
  • Punch Clock Villain: While their leaders may be of questionable sanity, the standard grunts in both the Army and Division just want to stop the Hulk from trashing people's property and ending their lives.
    • Mercy, who is fighting the Hulk because she's being forced by Blonsky.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Averted and played straight. The Abomination destroys the dam, trying to destroy the city, and the Hulk ends up canceling out the flood that was going to happen, rendering Abomination's self-destructive attack pointless. However, Hulk receives all of the blame for destroying the dam following the incident, and the part about him saving the city is conveniently not acknowledged. Although, granted, this is standard procedure for Banner.
  • Shield Surf: The most awesome possible: Hulk pounds a bus flat into a shield and can rush forwards to surf on it.
  • Shockwave Clap: Hulk has both normal and critical varieties. Particularly effective against aerial enemies like helicopters.
  • Shooting Superman: Let's face it: General Ross never learns that you can't beat the Hulk just by throwing more tanks and soldiers at him. The giant robots were a pretty good move, though...
  • Silliness Switch: Playing as the Grey Hulk, Joe Fixit, does this. Joe has lots of snarky things to say throughout the game, especially during boss fights.
    • A number of other cheatcodes do this, like turning every missile into a cow, putting gorilla balloons everywhere, flooding the streets with even more cars... and playing as un-Hulked Bruce Banner.
  • Spiritual Successor: The studio that made this game would go on to make Prototype—which lifts gameplay mechanics, move names, interface elements, and controls directly from this game.
  • Split Personality Takeover: Bruce fears that this will happen with the Hulk, and builds his machine in a desperate attempt to rid himself of the monster for good. Then the Devil Hulk appears and tries to take over as well. Bruce is able to avoid this fate, but Blonsky is not so lucky, and eventually gets subsumed by the Abomination.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: In one of the trailers, you can get a very brief glimpse of the Final Battle with the Abomination.
    • You can unlock several behind the scenes movies before certain plot points and boss fights. If you are one of those guys who watch these instantly when unlocked several spoil certain cutscenes like Mercy's death and the Defeat of Abomination.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Literally unstoppable, since the Hulk is so powerful that he overloads a machine designed to use his own strength against him.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: The Hulk can safely put down civilians with a friendly pat on the head.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Never before has the Hulk's potential for collateral damage been so fully realized in a video game. Just about anything you see can be smashed in a variety of entertaining ways. You can punt cars, swing a street lamp like a golf club to send soldiers flying, beat your enemies with invincible cows, and even surf through traffic on a flattened bus. It's not even possible to pretend that isn't awesome.
  • Wanted Meter: The threat meter determines how many enemies you face in free roaming mode. Get it all the way up and a strike team is sent to hunt you down. They don't know what they're getting themselves into.
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Legs: Several of the unlockable costumes are just pants with various country's flags on them. For some reason.
  • Wham Episode: "Without Parole", mostly because Blonsky is discovered as the Abomination.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: A much better design decision than the previous game, which featured largely indoor environments and didn't quite realize the scale of Hulk's conflict. Now the world is bigger, brighter, and more destructible than ever.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Grabbing Hulk-sized enemies enables powerful wrestling moves to be preformed on them, such as powerbombs and piledrivers. Hulk can also do an elbow drop while running up a building.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry: The line itself doesn't make an appearance, but Bruce does allude to it:
    Bruce: You can't break a man who's already broken. What if you get inside... and you don't like what you find?
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alternative title(s): The Incredible Hulk Ultimate Destruction
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