Hellboy: The Science of Evil

Somebody just stepped on the big guy's tail...

Right now we can hear a collective roar of 'oh crap!' from the Hellboy fanbase. Their beloved big red guy has been sullied once more for consoles.

See, there are movie tie-ins that are wheeled out to hit specific dates right next to their big-budget big-screen counterparts (which almost always turn out to be awful), and then there are games like this - an offence to anyone who gets caught up in its path of character-butchering and dreadful plot.

Hellboy's six beat 'em up missions last just over an hour each, so the burly hero's trip from the Carpathian Mountains to von Klempt's castle is over in an afternoon. The art direction is so-so but drenched in shadow, making it an almost impossible task to see certain parts of the level, leaving little room for exploration.


The game's monsters range from genetically modified apes to cavern-filling worms and demonic pixies (you do get to yank their heads off, which is a cathartic reward in itself for the frustrations you'll encounter). Sadly, there's little to do with all these ingredients but pummel foes until the next magical barrier lifts. And there's absolutely no shortage of them. Ever.

With 11 combo attacks (only one of which stands out - the head yank), short-lived melee weapons pulled from the environment (like tombstones) and nine unusual brands of handgun ammo, Hellboy is pretty well armed. One of the game's main problems, though, is that any attempt at combat depth dies when monsters can't negotiate the simplest of obstacles, let alone put up meaningful resistance.

Co-op, meanwhile, actually manages to make the game less enjoyable, as neither Abe Sapien nor Liz Sherman is much fun, Also you have to unlock the same levels all over again for no apparent reason.

Only the most diehard Hellboy fans might forgive this game. Everyone else should just forget about it.

The verdict

Fork out 40 quid for Hellboy? Hell no!

  • Yanking demon heads off feels good
  • Incredibly repetitive combat
  • Monsters are about as smart as bricks
  • Co-op makes the game even worse
  • It's needlessly too dark
Xbox 360
Beat 'em Up, Action