Hellboy: The Science of Evil (Video Game)


After the success of the 2004 film by Guillermo del Toro, Hellboy was slowly becoming more of a household name, with a clear sense that del Toro was the man to bring the characters and the world of Hellboy comics to life. In 2008 there was hype for the next instalment of the Hellboy films, and so it seemed like the perfect time to release other media to help push the promotion of the film.

Developed by Krome Studios (PS3 & Xbox 360) and Big Ant Studios (PSP), published by Konami (known for such games as Silent Hill and Castlevania) and written by Guillermo del Toro under the creative direction of Mike Mignola himself, Hellboy: The Science of Evil felt like it would be one of the greatest games released in 2008 because it even included Ron Perlman, Doug Jones and Selma Blair reprising their roles as the voices of Hellboy, Abe Sapien and Liz Sherman. What could go wrong?


Hellboy: The Science of Evil is set out into six chapters. There’s the “modern day” timeline as well as flash back chapters that take us from our primary location in Romania 2007, to Japan 1982, back to Romania and then to Tunisia 1967, and finally back to 2007 but instead of Romania, we are transported to an unknown location in Europe. This idea of playing in different timelines is a great mechanic because it breaks down the plot a little as well as giving us the experience of playing through Hellboy’s other missions to give us a sense of how long he’s been doing the job. The locations also give the game a chance to introduce new enemy types, so that the player doesn’t become bored fighting the same enemy types for the 5-6 hours of campaign game play.

Game Play:

In single player, the player controls Hellboy through his missions in a series of horde attacks that you must complete before progressing, similar to old arcade games. Your weapons include the right hand of doom, which can be used for heavy and light melee attacks which can be combined for a variety of combos, as well as Hellboy’s infamous gun known as The Samaritan, which is a four shot revolver, and the game gives you nine types of different ammunition to use against certain enemy types or for certain situations.

In multiplayer, whilst the host is forced to play as Hellboy, the second player has a choice of playing as either Liz Sherman or Abe Sapien, each of whom come with their own move sets and abilities. Abe has a series of martial arts combat moves whilst Liz Sherman has her pyrokinesis ability. Multiplayer can be played both online or in local co-op mode using a second controller on the same console.

Abe Sapien, Hellboy and Liz Sherman


Whilst the game runs smoothly with easy to learn controls, it feels like much of the game play is repetitive. There are loads of walls that need to grappled and beaten by repeatedly pressing the X button (on Xbox 360) in order to progress further through the level, and there are constant moments where you turn a corner and can no longer progress until you’ve faced yet another horde of monsters. I enjoy the game a lot but it can feel dull at times when you feel like you’re moving through a level at a snails pace because of the constant stopping to fight before moving on.

One of the mechanics that truly annoys me is that the Samaritan is a four shot revolver, yet the game designers decided to make it a one shot shotgun style weapon with the look of The Samaritan. You get one shot before you reload every time, and the reload takes a second to reload but in certain situations it can feel like it takes forever. Why would you make a four shot revolver only shoot once before reloading? There’s no way it can shoot all four bullets at once!

One mechanic that I love is the variety of objects you can wield such as drainpipes that you rip off the wall, swords, hammers and clubs that you find lying around in caves or you can destroy statues to take them, wooden crates, wheelbarrows, shovels, boulders, spiked fence poles and other tools that you can find lying around the maps that you can use to either beat your enemy until the weapon breaks or throw them at enemies for a singular powerful attack.

Enemy Types and Boss Battles:

There are a variety of enemy types from mini undead creatures, to werewolves, Japanese Oni demons and even Nazi’s both alive and undead. There are an array of bullets you can find which help with the different types of enemies, but even with these bullets, some of these enemies, in fact many of them, feel like they take way too long to defeat, with some being harder to defeat than the actual boss battles.

Some of the bosses battles are too easy and end quickly, whilst others require alternate tasks such as destroying pillars to bring down a building, or destroying an altar to bring down a platform. The game gives you advice on what to do at the beginning of the fight but if you miss the text, it can sometimes feel like you are doing something wrong or missing something because you hit the boss over and over again with no progression. I would have liked some option to have hints appear every so often if you don’t know what to do. Perhaps some sort of locator guide like the wind in Ghost of Tsushima or the glowing trail in the Fable franchise. Something you can activate if you get stuck, because some of the maps require certain tasks before you even get to boss battles and the game gives you zero indication which some might refer to as the puzzle side of the game but personally I think it is simply a missing mechanic.

Speaking of missing mechanics, if you were hoping to 100% the trophies of achievements of this game, I am sorry to say that it is impossible, since one of the achievements requires you to play as Lobster Johnson but sadly the planned DLC that would have enabled you to get this was never released so there is no way to get that final achievement/trophy.


Hellboy: The Science of Evil is available on PS3, Xbox 360 and PSP. The plot of the game is the same throughout but apparently the PSP version has some changes to some of the mechanics, though I cannot say what as I have not played it on that console so I guess you could Google it.


Okay so by this point you may have thought “there’s a lot of negative points here” but whilst the game has many flaws, I still consider it an enjoyable experience. I can’t say that it would be a game you want to go back to over and over again, but as a singular experience or as a way to play a semi-decent Hellboy game, The Science of Evil is a game that delves into the world of Hellboy with the cast of the movie voicing their respective roles, as well as new characters not seen in the movies. The graphics look decent and the design choices mix the comic art style of Mike Mignola with the Hellboy Animated designs to bring a unique art style. If they were to remaster this game or release a new Hellboy game inspired by this, I would absolutely play it, but that’s just me. It is up to you to decided if you really want to play, so I would recommend watching a playthrough on YouTube before you decide.

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KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life

Keith R.A. DeCandido's mad ramblings

The Joker’s HQ

News, reviews and opinions on all things geek!

DCs Earth-9

Travelling the Multiverse

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