Konami Hellboy: Science of Evil
Have a devilishly good time
- Good mix of horror and humour; tons of action, level design and atmosphere are great
- Repetitive gameplay, controls could use a bit of refinement
Okay, so Science of Evil isn't going to reinvent the face of gaming or make you say "God of War what?" But really, who cares? It's a solid and enjoyable action title with enough action and plot to keep you interested over the long haul. Even if you don't like the comics or care about the upcoming movie, there are worse ways to spend a couple of hours. And who knows: you may even end up liking the big red guy enough to go check out his other adventures.
Price$ 109.95 (AUD)
A video game worthy of the devilishly good comic book that inspired it!
Hellboy: Science of Evil sort of reminded me of God of War: it puts you in the shoes of a tough-talking badass, pits you against hordes of supernatural baddies and arms you with the weapons you need to basically kick the living crap out them. But don't think Hellboy is just Kratos-Lite: he's got a style and charm all his own.
The upper hand
The basic gist of Science of Evil's gameplay is this: Armed with a revolver and his Right Hand of Doom, Hellboy punches and smashes his way through various levels with very little in the way of puzzle solving or platforming to distract him. You have access to some pretty cool moves but if you're the sort who'd rather mash buttons, you can get by without too much problem. Of course, if you take the time to master the combat, you'll pull off some awesome combos. There's also a ton of scenery to destroy and cool little interactive touches like tossing back your enemy's grenades to keep you busy.
The game's story is also strong, which is a testament to the strength of the source material: Herman von Klempt, a villain from the Hellboy comic book, has world domination on the brain and it's up to Hellboy and the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense to thwart his plan. Adding a nice counterpoint to Hellboy's gruff nature are playable characters such as Abe Sapien and Liz Sherman; also adding to the narrative's charm the strong level design and great sense of atmosphere that infects each level.
Unfortunately, Science of Evil suffers from a few problems that keep it from being a standout title. The game's camera, for one, works well most of the time but it sometimes creates blind spots that really left me gritting my teeth. And while the look and feel of this game is pretty impressive, the gameplay lacks any sense of imagination: You basically go from point A to B, stopping only to beat the hell out of whatever comes your way.
Also, for a game that relies so heavily on combat, you'd think they would have spent more time fine-tuning the controls. They're intuitive enough but they weren't as responsive as they should have been; consistency was also an issue as I could pull off certain actions flawlessly in one instance and struggle to get them off in another.
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