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"There's a thin line between good and bad. I walk that line every single day. When I stray from it, people die. My name is Bruce Banner, and this is me. I'm not a person anymore, I'm the Hulk. I did this to myself, all in the name of science. This is me, all that I've become. I'm a big, green time bomb. And I'm ticking."
Bruce Banner is struggling to rid himself of the Hulk persona as he is dying slowly from the effects of the machine he is using to attempt to get rid of it. He is attacked by General Thunderbolt Ross and forced to abandon his studies. He takes refuge with Doc Samson, and continues to attempt to find a cure with his aid, but another force is hunting him along with the military...
The game was a follow-up, but not a sequel, to the lackluster game based on the 2003 movie. Unlike that game, which took place mostly indoors and omitted the three mile leaps, the designers took full advantage of various comic continuities and made the game into a Wide Open Sandbox, taking cues from the immensely successful Spiderman 2 video game. Graphical power was traded for the ability to smash just about everything on screen in a variety of ways, which proved immensely entertaining and made the game a critical and commercial success. Many argued that it was the first video game to truly make players feel like the Hulk.
No sequel was ever announced, but here's hoping. The closest gamers may get is Prototype, made by the same development company with many identical gameplay features carrying over. The 2009 Incredible Hulk game made to tie in with the movie being released at the time may also be considered an attempt at a sequel to this game, but most consider it a pale imitation.
- Adaptation Distillation: Unlike the previous game, this one takes advantage of the various comic book continuities.
- The Alcatraz: The Vault, specifically designed to hold mutant and gamma powered prisoners, such as yourself.
- And Your Reward Is Clothes: Well, different kinds of Magic Pants, for the most part, but you also get a Grey Hulk, Joe Fixit (who talks!), Abomination and as a joke, "Savage Banner," who is as strong as the Hulk but the size of Banner.
- Artificial Stupidity: Sometimes civilians will kill themselves in response to seeing you.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: Bruce's ultimate plan is to build a machine that will let him face off against the Hulk like this. When the Devil Hulk emerges, the plan changes to using Hulk to destroy the newer, even more destructive personality.
- Big Bad: Emil Blonsky.
- Bigger Bad: The Abomination, who entices Blonsky with power and eventually takes control.
- Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: Commented upon: Women react differently to becoming gamma mutants than men.
- Cardboard Prison: The Hulk escaping from the Vault.
- Cast From Hit Points: Hulk's supermoves, you can only use them when you've got a full health meter anyway (unless you're at critical health).
- Catch and Return: One of the moves available for purchase allows you to do this with missiles.
- Catch Phrase: Hulk drops one of them before his battle against the Devil Hulk.
Hulk: Hulk is not afraid. Hulk is strongest one there is.
- Composite Character:
- Devil Hulk: Here, he is a giant that towers the Savage Hulk several times over, representing Banner's abusive father, and his own dark desires of anarchy. In the comics Devil Hulk only possesses evil desires; the abusive father representative is Guilt Hulk, a being who looks nothing like Devil Hulk.
- Savage Banner: gameplay mechanics dictate that normal Banner with Savage Hulk's mind is just as strong as he would be as the green giant. In the comics, though, it was in reverse; Savage Banner is just as his name implies, a normal human who has gone savage, no super strength.
- Critical Status Buff: At critical health, Hulk has access to all his supermoves, but without the health penalties.
- Deadpan Snarker: Joe Fixit, an alternate costume of the Hulk, will consistently spout off one-liners and other things.
- Bruce Banner himself comes across as this whenever talking with Samson, much to Samson's annoyance.
Bruce: (After being told about a fetch quest) You want fries with that?
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Joe Fixit actually has unique lines for certain situations, even when he's fighting the Devil Hulk.
Joe: Hey, DH! Long time no see. How's Sigmund?
- Despair Event Horizon: If being humiliated and on the run didn't convince Blonsky of deciding to let Abomination take over... Nadia's death certainly did.
- Difficulty Spike: The missions at the start of the game are relatively tame, but the difficulty is ratcheted up when you have to defend a building from swarms of tanks. And it only gets tougher from there.
- The Dragon: General Ross.
- Enemy Chatter: Tons. They'll talk about everything they're doing and everything you're doing. Blast away in a direction and they'll remark on that. Grab a weapon and they'll warn each other that Hulk is even more dangerous now.
- Escort Mission: There are quite a few, but most of them are not annoying due to the fact the military targets YOU, not the person/thing you are escorting.
- Everything's Better with Cows: Not only can you smash your enemies with the various cattle roaming the badlands, but they're the only things in the game that don't eventually break from doing so, meaning you can conceivably go on a rampage using a single cow and nothing else.
- Evil Counterpart: The Abomination.
- Evil Feels Good: Once he sees the kind of power he wields, Blonsky begins to accept it.
- Expy: The Combat Wardens (And their bigger cousin, the Capture Warden) are pretty much Hulk-sized Gundams.
- Fictional Documents: The Blonsky Files, which reveal Blonsky's plan and chronicle his mental deterioration as the Abomination slowly takes control.
- Foreshadowing: Blonsky's third personal log: "No Survivors." He repeats this line as he destroys the dam.
- For Massive Damage: Certain moves are more effective against certain types of enemies; ground smash and shockwave work well against tanks, while the sonic clap defeats helicopters easily. Headbutts and the spear throw move work extremely well on Hulkbusters (the ones that are around Hulk's size, anyway). Hulk also has access to "critical" moves whenever he reaches critical mass.
- Freudian Excuse: Blonsky hates Gamma mutants so much because the research he and his wife did into the subject ended up turning her into one. His motives are essentially the same as Mr. Freeze.
- Godwin's Law: Comes out of absolutely nowhere in one of the Blonsky File discussions.
Samson: Well, Blonsky's certainly convinced himself of his good intentions.
Bruce: Yeah, well, so did Adolf Hitler.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: Bludgeoning your enemies with invulnerable cows.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Blonsky comes to resemble the Hulk more and more as he transforms into the Abomination.
- Hold the Line: "Defend The Church" and "Endgame"
- Hulk Speak: Just one line, but right when it counts.
- Humongous Mecha: The Hulkbuster mechs, though most of them are more like Power Armor. The Titan and the Capture Warden are more traditional mecha.
- Improvised Weapon: Boxing gloves made out of cars, shields made out of trucks, wrecking balls, boulders, cows... It's easier to list what isn't one.
- Turning a car into boxing gloves was so awesome that it made its way into the next Incredible Hulk movie.
- In a Single Bound: You can jump across several city blocks all at once, and the "warp points" in the game are really just places where the Hulk can jump REALLY far to another location. Even in the contemporary Spider-Man 2 game, you couldn't jump this high.
- Le Parkour: Hulk uses parkour moves to move up buildings and scale walls.
- Lightning Bruiser: As Blonsky warns in the tutorial level, the Hulk is not only strong, but incredibly fast. The Abomination fits this description as well. Many of the later-stage Hulkbusters also fit this. They can use their jets to rapidly change direction (bordering on a Flash Step), put you into grapples, slam you into the ground, throw you into the air, and pretty much play Hulk Hackey-Sack.
- Special note to the Abomination at the end of the game, where he grows much larger (before he was about a head taller than Hulk and a bit bulkier, at the end he's so big that Hulk only comes up to his waist) and is still just as fast as he was at the start of the game.
- Madness Mantra: In Blonsky's third personal log, all he does is repeat "I've seen the color of my soul and it's black...", with the file just saying "No Survivors".
- Morality Pet: Mission Directive, which is really Blonsky's mutated wife, whom he's trying to cure. When she dies, he allows the Abomination to take over completely.
- Motive Misidentification: Bruce believes Blonsky is interrogating him because he wants to know the secret behind the Hulk's transformation, only to find out he's after something different.
Bruce: You can't break a man who's already broken. What if you get inside... and you don't like what you find?
Blonsky: I know what triggers it, you freak. I know how strong you are to the nearest decimal point. I don't need to know how to become like you--I need to know how to control it!
- Mirror Boss: Most of the Abomination fights. Even when he's bigger than the Hulk, he still uses similar, or even the same, attacks. It's no wonder he's one of the unlockable costumes.
- New Game+: You can play through the story again, but with all of your costumes and upgrades.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: It isn't a good idea to follow Samson's, or should I say Devil Hulk's, orders into destroying Division buildings when in fact there's innocent people.
- Not So Different: Really, the only significant difference between the Abomination and the Hulk is that Blonsky gave in to the power, while Bruce didn't.
- The Problem with Licensed Games: Not just averted, but smashed to pieces by the game's outstanding combat engine, entertaining story, and a design team that knew their source material and weren't afraid to make use of it. Many critics said that the game actually succeeded in making them feel like the Hulk.
- Punch Clock Villain: While their leaders may be of questionable sanity, the standard grunts in both the Army and Division just want to stop the Hulk from trashing people's property and ending their lives.
- Pyrrhic Victory: Averted, the Abomination destroys the dam, trying to destroy the city, and the Hulk ends up canceling out the flood that was going to happen, rendering Abomination's self-destructive attack pointless.
- Shield Surf: The most awesome possible: Hulk pounds a bus flat into a shield and can rush forwards to surf on it.
- Shooting Superman: Let's face it: General Ross never learns that you can't beat the Hulk just by throwing more tanks and soldiers at him. The giant robots were a pretty good move, though...
- Silliness Switch: Playing as the Grey Hulk, Joe Fixit, does this. Joe has lots of snarky things to say throughout the game, especially during boss fights.
- A number of other cheatcodes do this, like turning every missile into a cow, putting gorilla balloons everywhere, flooding the streets with even more cars... and playing as un-Hulked Bruce Banner.
- Spiritual Successor: The studio that made this game would go on to make Prototype--which lifts gameplay mechanics, move names, interface elements, and controls directly from this game.
- Split Personality Takeover: Bruce fears that this will happen with the Hulk, and builds his machine in a desperate attempt to rid himself of the monster for good. Then the Devil Hulk appears and tries to take over as well. Bruce is able to avoid this fate, but Blonsky is not so lucky, and eventually gets subsumed by the Abomination.
- Trailers Always Spoil: In one of the trailers, you can get a very brief glimpse of the Final Battle with the Abomination.
- You can unlock several behind the scenes movies before certain plot points and boss fights. If you are one of those guys who watch these instantly when unlocked several spoil certain cutscenes like Mercy's death and the Defeat of Abomination.
- Unstoppable Rage: Literally unstoppable, since the Hulk is so powerful that he overloads a machine designed to use his own strength against him.
- Video Game Caring Potential: The Hulk can safely put down civilians with a friendly pat on the head.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Never before has the Hulk's potential for collateral damage been so fully realized in a video game. Just about anything you see can be smashed in a variety of entertaining ways. You can punt cars, swing a street lamp like a golf club to send soldiers flying, beat your enemies with invincible cows, and even surf through traffic on a flattened bus. It's not even possible to pretend that isn't awesome.
- Wanted Meter: The threat meter determines how many enemies you face in free roaming mode. Get it all the way up and a strike team is sent to hunt you down. They don't know what they're getting themselves into.
- Wearing a Flag on Your Legs: Several of the unlockable costumes are just pants with various country's flags on them. For some reason.
- Wham! Episode: "Without Parole", mostly because Blonsky is discovered as the Abomination.
- Wide Open Sandbox: A much better design decision than the previous game, which featured largely indoor environments and didn't quite realize the scale of Hulk's conflict. Now the world is bigger, brighter, and more destructible than ever.
- You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry: The line itself doesn't make an appearance, but Bruce does allude to it:
Bruce: You can't break a man who's already broken. What if you get inside... and you don't like what you find?