Destroy All Humans (2020) Review
The original Destroy All Humans released way back in 2005, a much simpler time. A year I spent playing Jade Empire and The Movies (do you remember that game? Classic). Anyway, in today’s industry, remakes and remasters are all too common, sometimes only waiting a couple of years before attempting to cash in on something barely old enough to be nostalgic.
However, for every hardly noticeable remaster, there’s been a classic restored to its former glory with all the bells and whistles of the latest this console generation has to offer: Crash Bandicoot, Resident Evil 2, and Shadow of the Colossus to name a few. Does Destroy All Humans take its place alongside the remastered greats, or does it struggle to impress 15 years later? Covering some of these remasters makes me feel so old…
Destroy All Humans (2020) Review
Destroy All Humans follows the story of Crypto and Orthopox, a couple of galactic bullies hellbent on enslaving the human race in the name of the infamous Furon Empire. After generations of wiping out civilizations, planet after planet, the Furons were left unable to reproduce – a side effect of the genetic weaponry used to vaporize their foes. Thus, these less-than-cuddly little grey men set out to dominate the human race, relying on dormant Furon DNA locked deep within human brains. With each Furon clone sent to battle, the gene pool deteriorates. It’s a race against time to overtake Earth, but when they arrive, the Furon realize that the job is already half done.
Orthopox, leading the charge for global domination from orbit, quickly learns that the monkey people of Earth are already halfway to destroying themselves before a Furon even fired a shot. Experimenting with mind-controlling television, poisoning food supplies to pacify the population, toying around with nuclear weapons, breeding exploding green cows – if it wasn’t for the fact the humans needed to be alive to extra the DNA, it would be the perfect storm for the Furon Empire.
The story is as wacky and out of this world as it sounds. It’s completely over-the-top and never takes itself seriously, even for a second. Whether you’re sucking the brains out of scientists, finding secret formulas to drugged ice cream, or using telekinetic powers to hurtle exploding cows into mech-like robots, the game offers a level of comedic value rarely seen in today’s comedy-inspired games. None of the jokes feel forced, it doesn’t rely entirely on potty humor, and yet it still manages to have plenty of laugh-out-loud moments throughout the game.
Unfortunately, while both the dialogue and excellent voice-acting have more than stood the test of time, many of the games fundamentals struggle to keep up. The gameplay revolves around two specific segments: a third-person style shooter on foot and a destroy-everything-that-moves approach in your own flying saucer. The flying saucer segments are fun, although too few and far between. Zipping around blowing up buildings with massively powerful alien weapons is mindless, but incredibly satisfying and great fun.
The third-person segments lack a lot of this impact, especially in the earlier levels. Crypto’s starting arsenal is very limited, restricting the player to using stealth a lot more than expected in a game titled “Destroy All Humans.” The stealth works great, with players taking the form of a human target and gaining clearance to restricted areas in order to complete objectives. It works well and it’s good fun the first few times, but that same approach to mission objectives is used throughout.
As the game evolves and you earn enough Furon DNA to purchase upgrades, the explosive potential of Destroy All Humans grows exponentially. The flying saucer upgrades are far more powerful and a hell of a lot of fun, but as it’s used less frequently, you’re funneled into some of the more mundane upgrades for Crypto’s abilities and weapons. The game does offer more variety and a better mission structure towards the latter stages of the game, but the overall simplicity and repetition of some objectives may be a little too mindless for some.
If you have not played the original Destroy All Humans, and the mindless destruction of the human race is appealing to you, the 2020 remaster is a must-play. While some of the gameplay fundamentals show their age, the fantastic dialogue and voice-over work, especially with Crypto and Orthopox, is entertaining, funny, and top-quality throughout.
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