Hellboy: The Science of Evil Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PSP
Hellboy: The Science of Evil box art
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.

Hellboy: The Science of Evil screenshot

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.

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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.

By Adam Brown
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.5
Graphics
While not being the prettiest game I've ever seen, Hellboy's cartoony visuals do a pretty good job.
2.2
Control
Controlling Hellboy isn't necessarily a problem, that is, unless you actually expect him to respond quickly to your button presses.
2.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
With no voice work present, players are left with frequently annoying sound effects to round out their audio experience.
2.7
Play Value
Although it feels somewhat clunky, shallow, and doesn't take an incredible amount of time to complete, brawling with Hellboy is still moderately enjoyable.
2.6
Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Original storyline set in the Hellboy universe, filled with classic characters from the comic book.
  • Stunning dynamic lighting effects bring Hellboy to life like never before.
  • Explosive battle system with contextual grappling commands lets players experience Hellboy's supernatural might. Charge up your attacks for big hits or use Hellboy's agility to unleash a flurry of quick strikes.
  • Use strategy to take down hordes of enemies, toss a straggler into the crowd, or take out the leader to thin the ranks of an angry mob.
  • Fully destructible environments: Bring down the house on top of your enemies or use the wreckage as weapons.
  • Play as series favorites Abe Sapein and Liz Sherman in cooperative multiplayer modes.
  • An entirely new experience on the PSP system with unique comic book style visuals, specific battle areas, and remixed level design.
  • Creative direction from Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and movie director Guillermo del Toro.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Hellboy: The Science of Evil screenshot - click to enlarge Hellboy: The Science of Evil screenshot - click to enlarge Hellboy: The Science of Evil screenshot - click to enlarge Hellboy: The Science of Evil screenshot - click to enlarge Hellboy: The Science of Evil screenshot - click to enlarge Hellboy: The Science of Evil screenshot - click to enlarge Hellboy: The Science of Evil screenshot - click to enlarge Hellboy: The Science of Evil screenshot - click to enlarge Hellboy: The Science of Evil screenshot - click to enlarge Hellboy: The Science of Evil screenshot - click to enlarge Hellboy: The Science of Evil screenshot - click to enlarge Hellboy: The Science of Evil screenshot - click to enlarge

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