Hellboy is exploring a desolate Eastern European village, in search of a witch. Smashing his way into a ruined house with his giant stone hand, he discovers a skeleton slumped in the corner. "You've seen better days," he quips. "I've seen worse" deadpans the skeleton.
This is one of the few moments where Konami's adaptation of the cult comic, by way of the recent movies, truly finds the pulse of Mike Mignola's esoteric supernatural world. Needless to say, it's a cut-scene. In fact, most of the best bits of this game occur in cut-scenes, where the offbeat mix of pulp action, Nazi intrigue and earthy folklore has room to find its feet. The bulk of the game - you know, the bit you actually play - is just another predictable and characterless brawler to add to the pile.
Things don't really change from the first level to the last. You have strong attacks, you have fast attacks and you have grapple attacks. Stunned enemies can be dispatched with pre-rendered finishing moves, and Hellboy's gun can make use of various different ammo types depending on the situation. Combos are of the expected fast-fast-strong variety, while melee weapons can be picked up from the scenery.