Review: Hellboy: The Science of Evil

Aaron Stack | 10 Jul 2008 21:00
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Making a game that mirrors Mignola's art style is a difficult task, so the developers didn't even try. The game doesn't look bad, but there's nothing memorable about it, either, and when the action heats up, frame rates will drop well below 30 FPS during hectic fights. Underground/enclosed areas are always darkened to the point of being pitch black, making running into walls and getting stuck one of Hellboy's infernal powers. The game's fixed-perspective camera, mercifully, is serviceable, but it occasionally tries for artistic angles that become maddening when you're trying to, say, cross a narrow bridge without stumbling over the edge or finding a pathway that isn't shown from the current perspective.

The best thing about this game is how it sounds, and even that positive is muffled by an overwhelming lack of impressiveness. The music, while wonderful at establishing an initial mood, quickly loses its impact when the loop cycles every three to five minutes during level progression. The voice acting is actually quite good thanks to the participation of the films' stars.. Naturally, Ron Perlman delivers his lines beautifully, but most of the dialogue is pretty brief, and neither Selma Blair nor Doug Jones can be heard outside of the multiplayer mode.

I wanted to like Science of Evil since it delivers a decent original story, but I never found myself actually enjoying it. The Science of Evil's biggest sin, though, isn't the fact that's it's repetitive, that it's shallow, or that it's stupefyingly easy. No, its biggest violation is that it manages to take the talent of Mignola, Del Toro, and Perlman, and turn that combination into something dull and broken.

Bottom Line: Based on the talent involved, this should have been something much better. As it is, though, it's just another crappy tie-in game that isn't worth your time; sadly, it's still the best Hellboy game out there.

Recommendation: Do something awful to it: This isn't worth your time, even if you're a huge Hellboy fan. Use it to build a fire and then read one of the comics by the light provided.

This review is based on the Xbox 360 version of the game.

Aaron Stack isn't really here. He's just a product of your imagination, telling you what you should already know.

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