|The Incredible Hulk:|
The Pantheon Saga
North American PlayStation cover art
|Developer(s)||Attention to Detail|
|Platform(s)||PlayStation, Sega Saturn, MS-DOS|
The Incredible Hulk: The Pantheon Saga is a video game that was developed by Attention to Detail and published by Eidos Interactive for the PlayStation, Sega Saturn and MS-DOS in 1996. The single-player, side-scrolling action game is loosely based on storylines from the early 1990s issues of the Incredible Hulk comic book series.
In the 1990s, the Incredible Hulk comic book series featured the Hulk (now with the Bruce Banner and Hulk personalities merged into a functional whole) being kidnapped by the Pantheon superhero team/family, and eventually agrees to lead the team to combat global problems such as terrorism and war in the Middle East. The video game only loosely draws upon the Pantheon storyline, borrowing characters but not plot elements from the original comic book.
The video game begins with the Hulk being captured by the Pantheon and breaking free just as their cargo ship lands in their mountain headquarters. In the first four levels, the Hulk battles inside the Pantheon secret headquarters, until the Pantheon members Atalanta, Ulysses, Ajax and Hector are located and defeated. After defeating them, they become the Hulk's allies. The storyline shifts to battles with super-villains such as Piecemeal, Trauma, Lazarus, the U-Foes and the Maestro.
The Hulk can jump, punch, kick, and pick up certain large objects to throw as projectiles. Aside from the normal health bar, the Hulk also has a gamma energy bar that is depleted whenever the Hulk uses one of his special fighting moves. Several levels require the Hulk to solve a puzzle (i.e. locate and smash control panels in a certain order) to proceed.
The game includes a password feature to save progress.
The Incredible Hulk: The Pantheon Saga has received generally negative reviews. GameSpot gave the PlayStation version a 2.4/10, citing a confusing storyline, choppy animation, a mediocre soundtrack, and overly easy gameplay. IGN gave it a 5/10, saying that the gameplay is tedious, but the game as a whole "isn't as bad as most Acclaim games of the same formula". Mister Blister of GamePro wrote in a brief review that "average-looking 3D environments ... are hindered by an overuse of shading that hides details. With animation and sound effects that are as ragged as the Hulk's clothes, the whole incredible experience soon becomes repetitive." Sega Saturn Magazine gave the Saturn version a 15%, calling it "an embarrassment to Eidos, to the developers, to Marvel, and to the Saturn" and "the worst ever game officially released for the Saturn." He cited the dull environments, extremely low draw distance, poor animation, mediocre soundtrack, disconnect between the controls and the player character, and the Hulk's lack of the abilities he had in the source material, in particular that the gameplay is based around finding switches to open doors and activate lifts, when in the comics the Hulk could simply smash through doors and jump up lift shafts.
- Fulljames, Stephen (April 1997). "Review: Incredible Hulk". Sega Saturn Magazine. No. 18. Emap International Limited. pp. 64–65.
- (April 10, 1997). PlayStation version review, GameSpot. Retrieved May 16, 2014.
- (September 2, 1997). Game review, IGN. Retrieved May 16, 2014.
- "PlayStation ProReview: The Incredible Hulk: The Pantheon Saga". GamePro. No. 104. IDG. May 1997. p. 88.