Mod of the Week: HULK, for Grand Theft Auto IV

Christopher Livingston

Having recently played as Iron Man in a Grand Theft Auto IV mod, I was pretty excited to spot another of Marvel's heroes arriving in Liberty City to destroy everything save the day. In HULK Mod , created by JulioNIB (with a skin made by ac.amir), our favorite green Goliath punches and stomps, swings lampposts and hurls vehicles, leaps onto helicopters, climbs up buildings in a cloud of rubble, and even catches rockets in mid-air and throws them back. Glorious. Hulk smash? Try Hulk IS a smash! Also, though, Hulk smash.

As Iron Man, my path to heroism was simple . Iron Man is a willing superhero, so I patrolled Liberty City until I found some crime (or at least pretended to find it) and then fought it (killed people). Hulk is a different story. Tony Stark wants to be Iron man, but Bruce Banner doesn't want to be the Hulk. Bruce wants to be Bruce, and Bruce remains Bruce unless something angers him so much that Bruce turns into the Hulk.

Bruce Bellic, scientist (note the glasses). Manner: mild.

So, from a role-playing standpoint, I'm definitely not looking for crime. I'm not looking for any excitement at all. I'm just walking around Liberty City as mild-mannered Bruce Bellic. So long as nothing makes me angry, I won't have to worry about turning into, y'know, the other guy.

Rude. Second-hand smoke... Find your happy place, Bruce.

At a street corner, a woman blows cigarette smoke directly into my face. Rude, even irritating. But I don't let it get my gamma-ray goat. My manner remains mild. A little while later, I'm jostled by a fellow pedestrian. Okay, that's annoying, but he apologizes, so no need to go shopping for new purple pants just yet. A cop says something nasty, a couple of cars rudely honk, but, overall, it's a lovely day and there's no need for Bruce to get bent out of shape and into a much larger, far more muscly shape.

I continue my walk. Long minutes pass and nothing dramatic or enraging happens.

So, that's my column! Thanks for reading. I'm just going to buy a hot dog, walk back to my apartment, and log off. I stop at a street vendor's cart, and notice the price of a hot dog.

Five dollars? For a hot dog? In THIS economy? rrrrrrRRRRRAAAAAAAGGGGHHH

That's the final straw. How can one man contain so much anger? It's simply impossible. I tap the H key. The screen goes dark. When it returns a moment later, I have transformed into the Hulk.

HULK BET YOU CHARGE EXTRA FOR CONDIMENTS, TOO

I take an angry swipe at the hot dog vendor and send him careening against a bench, through a planter, and across the street where he flops into a bloody heap. People scream, and moments later I hear sirens. Time to skedaddle before the cops arrive!

URGH. OOF. HULK NEED FIND THINGY TO ADJUST CAR SEAT.

Er, wait a second. What am I doing? Getting into cars and driving cars are not the things the Hulk does with cars. How about this instead?

NEVER MIND THINGY. HULK ADJUST WHOLE CAR INSTEAD.

It's not long before the streets are swarming with cops, who seems to have mistaken me for some sort of common street tough instead of the type of enormous green monster who can lift cars over his head. I throw some cars at them and they die, but not before they learn an important lesson about misjudging giant irradiated monsters. As more cops foolishly rush in, I grab a lamppost and start swinging more wildly than Dan Uggla facing Yu Darvish.

SHUT UP, PUNY WRITER. HULK NOT GET CRUDE BASEBALL JOKE

As more cops arrive, I try out some of Hulk's other moves. His famous "thunder clap" attack involves him slamming his mighty palms together, creating a massive shockwave that sends cars and people scattering before him. Best of all, after performing this attack, Hulk will bellow and roar, though this tends to fall on deaf (dead) ears. To change things up, Hulk can also perform a mighty footstomp, leaping straight up and then landing with a massive crash that sends everything nearby spinning into the air.

HULK TURN CITY INTO BOUNCY CASTLE. NO NEED THANK HULK. HULK JUST DOING JOB.

Moments later, helicopters begin to arrive. Oh, when will they learn. Do not send helicopters after Hulk. There are a couple ways to take down the buzzing choppers. You can target them, then leap into the air and land directly on top of them, which is great fun and highly recommended. If they're a bit out of range, no matter. Hulk can pick up a car, power up his throw, and chuck the car right into the choppers. Puny choppers.

WOW. HULK HIT CHOPPER WITH CAR ON FIRST TRY. HULK WISH SOMEONE AROUND TO SEE THAT.

The cops are bringing in more firepower. They begin firing rockets, which do hurt the Hulk, unless he's quick enough to snatch them out of the air. With a rocket in his hand, he can throw it back or, even more fun, walk up to something like a truck and punch it while holding the rocket, giving the powerful blow just a little added oomph. Either way, the lesson is clear: the only rockets you should be firing at the Hulk should be those launched from distant submarines.

THIS NOT JUST ABOUT HOT DOG PRICE. HULK STILL UPSET ABOUT EDWARD NORTON VERSION OF LIFE STORY

As tough as the Hulk is, even he can get overwhelmed after a while. Luckily, he can do more than just punch and throw. Hulk can run. Hulk can run quite fast. And, of course, Hulk can jump. Bounding across the city, I flee from the choppers and trucks, sailing through the air. Even buildings don't stop me: if I crash into one, I can climb it in cloud of rubble and leap off it when I reach the top. Can anything stop the Hulk?

THIS GOING TO HURT HULK AS MUCH AS HURT YOU. JAY KAY. THIS NOT HURT HULK AT ALL.

Well, yes. Enough bullets and rockets and explosions can, eventually, stop the Hulk. When they do, you just wake up outside the hospital with a fraction of your health, though it slowly recharges over time. Or, you can tap the H key to return to normal, then Hulk-out all over again with a full health meter.

HULK FEEL MUCH BETTER. ALSO TERRIFIED DOCTOR GAVE HULK ALL THE LOLLIPOPS.

Installation : Of course, this being a GTA mod, it's not a simple one-click installation. However, the modder's page gives you step by step instructions on installation, though read them carefully: you need to download and install the Hulk mod and the Hulk skin separately, and you'll want to be using OpenIV to make the whole thing easier. That same page also lists all the hotkeys you'll need to unleash Hulk's various powers. Happy smashing.

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