|System: X360, PS3, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Krome 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|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
Since I am a considerably crazed Hellboy fan girl, you could say I was pretty darn excited for the new Hellboy game, Hellboy: Science of Evil. Sure, it was coming out right before the new Hellboy movie, but I figured since the two were basically unrelated in terms of storyline, Hellboy: Science of Evil would not fall prey to the dreaded curse of the movie inspired game. I mean, this was a game inspired by a comic book, which also shares its name with a movie, right?
Well, that's how I thought of it until I actually played the thing. Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed with how poor of a title this turned out to be. I almost wished it was a movie inspired title.
One of the first issues you will have with Hellboy: The Science of Evil is the story, or lack thereof., You begin the game by walking though a graveyard and hunting down a witch and then free a trapped spirit. Then you're suddenly in Japan and are fighting robotic gorillas. Somehow this is all tied together by the presence of Nazis. Cinematic scenes really don't make sense, even if you're a fan of the comic book series, and you'll find yourself wondering if there really is a story to this game at all. The back of the box says series creator Mike Mignola as well as movie director Guillermo Del Toro were on staff for this title, but it is painfully clear neither of them had anything to do with the actual storyline of the game.
Another huge issue I have with Hellboy: Science of Evil is the game's level design. Levels are completely linear and feel almost like an old Crash Bandicoot title. You'll frequently find yourself following a path to nowhere, unsure of where you're going, armed only with the knowledge that if you try to deviate from the path, you'll find yourself boxed in by an invisible wall. Many times however, the game attempts to break from its linear nature, and the paths will disappear. However, this attempt largely fails, as the invisible walls will remain in place and you'll just end up walking around banging your head against an invisible wall until you find your way. The level design really is nerve-racking and is a source of countless time spent in painful frustration.
Those of you unwilling to believe that this game could be all bad might look for solace in the battle system. Sure, it may be a real clunker in the story department, and the level design is extremely frustrating, but the brawling has to be okay, right? Well the fighting aspect of this game, while not fundamentally broken, is quite repetitive and a little less than intuitive. For basic attacks you will use two of the face buttons and one button dedicated to finishing moves. However, the complication comes in with the introduction of the grapple button, which occupies the right trigger.