Hellboy: Science of Evil – Reviewed – XBox 360

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By Werner Dohse

Hellboy

Science of Evil? It’s more like Science of Boredom. This is hands down the most boring-est (yes… I had to create a word to express my true feelings) game I have played in a long time. I even found myself thinking that I should go wash my car, rather than playing (a chore I might add that I hate with a passion). Even Hellboy agrees and regularly shouts “Crap” while bashing in creatures heads.

You would think that a game based on a comic hero would at least have some sort of tangible story, but alas it is not so. At first Hellboy has some issue with a witch, who likes to talk about herself in the third-person. The first three-quarters of an hour are spent running after her trying to kill her when all of a sudden you decide that the real enemy is troop of diabolical gorillas. The story is a confusing and convoluted series of events strung together in such a way that makes no sense. One moment you are playing in the present and the next you are, without explanation, thrown into a flashback 50 years ago.

Hellboy

The control system is very straight forward. Analog for movement, buttons for actions. It’s so simple and straight forward that you can run around the whole time and just bash away at the X button. For some variation you can always press the Y button to see a more “powerful” swing. I say “powerful” because the only real difference I could see was the animation, I still had to bash the button the same amount of times to kill a creature. The basic idea of the game is to run into an area, eliminate all of the creatures before you are allowed to the next area… rinse and repeat. The camera is fixed perspective, which is a very big bother. On various occasions I found myself in the middle of a fight, I would move past a certain point that changes the camera perspective and controls. This just mucked everything around because you would suddenly find yourself looking in a different direction, bashing away at air, a tree or a random unbreakable fence (you can break crypts, stones and doors but not these super fences). You also have a blue meter that if filled up allows you to unleash Hellboys pyrotechnics. Pressing both sticks sets fire to Hellboy’s hand and allows a bit more powerful attack.

The graphics are not great and looks like it would be more at home on the original Xbox. When there’s a lot of action on the screen (and even when there were none) the framerate would drop drastically.

The original cast from the movie was used to voice the characters, but what could have been something to rave about turned into something not too. All you ever really hear Hellboy say is “Crap”, “Hey” and “That was easy” (yes, you’re right, it was).

Hellboy

The online & offline co-op multiplayer isn’t really anything to write about. You can join in with Liz or Abe. The game difficulty doesn’t increase and the game is even easier… at least you can share the pain of the game with your friends. The extras are horrible; none of the interviews are in HD so the quality is very low.

This game doesn’t help the movie tie-in slump at all. The game is rated 16+ so you can’t even buy it to keep the kids busy. The gameplay is repetitive and there’s no replay value. If you are a Hellboy fan, stay away… you’ll only be disappointed.

Scoring:
Gameplay: 2/10 [Boring, boring, boring]
Presentation: 3/10 [Looks like it was developed for the XBox original]
Sound: 3/10 [Saying “Crap” over and over doesn’t help the cause]
Value: 1/10 [None at all]
Overall: 2.5/10 [Movie tie-ins: 0 – Bored players: 100]

Last Updated: September 19, 2008

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