Disclaimer: This is a fictional take on an alternate universe in Avengers: Infinity War, and is no way an accurate indication of the movie plot.
(continued from an earlier fight between Thanos and the trio of Iron-Man, Star-Lord, and Gamora)
War rages on. At one end of the map, the singed smell of gunpowder, Power Blasts, and taut tension hangs in the air. Iron-Man and Thanos are locked in a faceoff, still going strong with blunt strikes, sharp thrusts, and quick dodges. Star-Lord and Gamora lay injured on the ground, their expressions grim but determined. A few moments later, they pick themselves up, ready to enter the fray once again.
A whirlwind of action, then rapid bursts of lasers. A strong charge of Power Blast follows up, and a mushroom of thick smoke billows into the sky above.
Gee, sure looks like fun over there, the Outrider thinks.
He loads up another cannonball, swivels a little to the right for the right angle. The small village houses stand proud and peaceful amidst the chaos, and he looks across the horizon while steadying his aim. Let the show begin.
The destructive sphere is launched, thrusting forward with terrifying speed. The fertile soil, boasting crops of all kinds, is soon to be painted with the blood of innocent civilians. A change in trajectory, and the cannonball crashes heavily into the clustered homes, leaving vast devastation in its wake. Screams, gasps, and horror ripple through the air; the outrider ignores them in favour of loading up more ammunition.
The column of dense smoke and deafening roar of explosion catches the attention of the Hulkbuster. Veering off the path to Iron-Man and the Guardians duo, he stops, turns, and flies into the village’s vicinity. A tall black piece of machinery rises above the rest, and the armoured hero sticks out an arm to test the power of his punch.
Kamehameha…oops, wrong show.
As another cannonball whips through the air, liquid rage fills the veins…uh, the metallic tubes of the Hulkbuster. Running on a solid pack of power, it raises a heavy fist above its head, and reels it back in preparation for a circular arm motion. Momentum is built, and it’s time to strike hard.
The Hulkbuster darts forward, intending to bring the apparatus down with a snappy, brutal smash. It’s built for great mobility, however, and the Outrider easily dodges the blow with shuffled movement to the left.
In fierce retaliation, the man drives his third cannonball straight into the direction of the chest area, but a powerful counter blast thwarts his effort. The impact of the clashing forces shorts the circuit board temporarily, and the head gear lifts up to reveal…Dr Bruce Banner?
Confusion flits across the Outrider’s face. Shouldn’t Tony Stark be manning the suit? No matter, the giant’s going down either way. A smirk makes its way to his face as prepares to load up the gun turret with fresh rounds, maneuvering away for to widen the gap between him and angry Banner.
A smashin’ good time, baby!
Meanwhile, the Hulkbuster shakes off the last remaining shocks of the earlier blast. Banner leverages upon the pleasant surprise (Stark, you’re the man!) and suits back up. With a forward burst, he reaches forward to rain a flurry of blows upon the poor, evil soul that is the Outrider.
Momentum interrupted, he’s rendered useless without a line of defence. As the strikes continue, the gun turret collapses, and its legs lay in splintered pieces on the ground. The man gets pinned under the wreckage; score one for the Hulkbuster.
Proxima Midnight, arguably one of Thanos’ more reliable henchmen, bears witness to the defeat. With her trusty spear in hand, she approaches the fallen figure on the ground
– not to help him, mind you, but to get hold of the Soul Stone that was initially nested in the gun turret’s rear compartment. Halfway en-route to the Black Order warship with the Infinity Stone in hand, she spots a very familiar pair of wings spread across the sky.
Finally, she thinks, about damn time for some action!
A master combatant, she’s deadly confident in her skillset. She prowls around the vicinity, waiting to pounce on Falcon as he lands. First place to attack? The connecting hinges of the metallic wings – after all, no wings means no more flying and escaping; it’s easy work.
Okay, so it seems Midnight Proxima misses her mark. Falcon, with more skill than luck, or quite possibly a combination of both, dodges past her outstretched spear to manage a perfect landing. He scans the environment carefully, then whirls around to face his attacker.
Surprise, surprise, it’s one of Thanos’ forces. Falcon’s eyes land on the orange gem in her hands, and comes to realise it as one of the elusive Infinity Stones that the Purple Titan is hell-bent on collecting.
Oh no, you’re not getting that.
The duo enters a heated exchange of sarcastic quips, witty replies, and physical blows. Both are matched quite evenly, a whirlwind of spear thrusts and gunfire; no punches are pulled, and the faceoff quickly reaches a deadlock.
Leveraging on his advantage of flight, Falcon executes a feign, which Midnight Proxima falls for, and the window of distraction allows him to snag the gem and swoop off in one smooth motion. Rightfully satisfied, he lets a small smile creep onto his face, before dropping it in favour of a critical expression as he heads over to Iron-Man’s area of combat.
With a victory from each side of the battle, the beginning of the end has dawned. War rages on, still.
With more interactive elements, the Hulkbuster LEGO set is perfect to keep the young ones occupied, although there is less satisfaction derived from the building of fewer bricks. At the price of S$69.90, it’s quite the deal for a package of finely-crafted details and the enjoyable fun that comes with all the shooting and arm hammering.
Design - 7/10
Playability - 8/10
Value - 8.5/10
Geek Satisfaction - 7/10