|System: PSP, X360, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Krom Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Konami||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 24, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Gunplay, inventory items, and objects that can be picked up and used as weapons attempt to add some much needed variety to this game's otherwise straightforward brawling experience. Hellboy's trusty Samaritan and a few obtainable items provide players with some much needed ranged attacks.
Although these aren't always incredibly useful, they do allow you to slow down distant enemies. Random objects such as rocks, boards, pickaxes, swords, hammers, and even tombstones can be picked up and used to deal considerably more damage than a standard attack. The only real downside of these objects is they are only good for one attack. Fortunately, since there is an overabundance of makeshift weapons littering this game's environments, when one weapon breaks it is incredibly easy to find another.
Visually, Science of Evil is also a departure from the upcoming Hellboy movie. With a decidedly more cartoony and bright appearance, this game has an authentic comic book look to it. The characters in the game look good for what they are, especially Hellboy, and are fairly well animated. Backgrounds and environments are much brighter than I would have expected from a Hellboy title but are adequately polished and fit in well with the cartoony visuals.
Hellboy's cinematics, however, are borderline terrible. The game includes two kinds of cutscenes, one being in-engine and the other playing out like a slideshow. The in-engine cinematics do an admirable job, and look fairly good. Unfortunately, the other included type of cutscene is fairly horrific. These involve static pictures of Hellboy and other characters sporadically changing to represent motion with lame sound effects filling in the missing pieces. However, the real travesty of these cutscenes, and the game in general, is there is no voice work from Ron Pearlman or the rest of the gang included. With storage limitations likely not playing a factor in this decision, it is incredibly unfortunate this game lacks these authentic voices.
Even with its many problems, Science of Evil manages to be a somewhat entertaining experience. Fans of Hellboy likely won't find this game to be a complete disappointment, although it honestly could have been much better. With its repetitive and sluggish gameplay, fairly short completion time, bad camera, lackluster cinematics, and complete lack of voice work, I would definitely caution eager fans to play the game before purchasing it. As it stands, when looking for a PSP brawler you could do better than Hellboy but you could also, unfortunately, do much worse.
CCC Freelance Writer