There was a time in the not so distant past where alien invasion movies were all the rage. The special effects were pure cheese even for their time but there’s something really special about that little slice of Americana. Even Tim Burton’s incredible Mars Attacks is an incredible big budget, yet perfect, nod to those films and it’s easily my favorite of Burton’s films.
15 long years ago, I stumbled on Destroy All Humans! at my local EB Games and just from the box art and knowing it was paying homage to those old movies from the 50s, I had to have it. I remember really enjoying the game as a whole but I also recall there being some incredibly frustrating gameplay mechanics and bugs. When THQ Nordiq announced that Destroy All Humans! was getting the full blown remake treatment by the team at Black Forest Games, I couldn’t be he happier. So how did they do?
For the uninitiated, Destroy All Humans! is an open world action adventure set in a satirical version of USA in the 1950s during a Cold War. Absolutely the perfect setting considering the movies the game draws inspiration from. Players take on the role of Crypto 137 who is sent down to Earth to find his brother in clone Crypto 136 who crash lands on the big blue marble we call home and to gather Furon DNA which is locked inside human brains, to save the Furons from going extinct.
As far as remakes go, Destroy All Humans! feels like a complete recreation of what existed with some tweaks here and there, far superior graphically the bugs have been ironed out and we get some extra missions. From a gameplay mechanics perspective it doesn’t feel any different than when it first launched so many years ago. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I didn’t find the controls from 15 years ago to be particularly bad at all. The controls could perhaps have been tightened up a bit and I must admit I struggled with the telekinesis and picking people/objects up and moving them was a chore. It was cumbersome in the original and that hasn’t changed one bit.
The graphical upgrades are without a doubt the biggest change to Destroy All Humans! Each character model, building and texture just looks awesome and really fits the tone of the game. Crypto and the explosions look particularly incredible. Each city acts as it’s own open world mini map and the buildings are bright and vibrant and the environments are so pretty it’s hard to not stop and admire things when given the opportunity.
Another large improvement is the addition of a lock on mechanic which works pretty well and allows for a really great time of locking on anal probes, popping brains and zapping people during the more action intense moments. Which actually brings me to my next point – the number of skills is changed in this one. We now have a much wider variety of options to utilize while taking over the planet. After each level or side mission, you’ll earn DNA. The DNA can then be spent on upgrading Crypto’s abilities or the ships. Things from the typical shield boost to something as hilariously fun extraction chain ability where you chain a number of humans and pop their brains out. The results are incredibly satisfying hearing the pop pop pop as 3 heads explode and the brains land on the ground.
Some of the dialogue is absolutely hilarious and I’ll be completely honest, I’m rather surprised that some of it even made the cut in 2020. Crypto reminds me of a mix between Jack Nicholson and John “the Duke” Wayne with a great deal more “sassiness” as my daughter likes to say. The voice acting is top notch for every charater and really lends itself nicely to the overall feel and aesthetic of the game.
Black Forest has done a wonderful job remaking this hidden gem of a title from 15 years ago. The graphical updates are superb, the characters are all just as fun today as they were back then and I really hope this results in a full on reboot of the franchise as we head into next gen. Personally, I’d love to see more of Crypto and his war on humans. All in all Destroy All Humans! is a fantastic time to be hand by all.
Graphics are beautiful
New abilities really add to the experience
Awesome voice acting all around
They really captured the era of sci-fi films that the game is inspired by
Controlling could be tightened up a bit.
Throwing people/objects was unreliable
Destroy All Humans! review code for Xbox One provided by the publisher.
Destroy All Humans! will be available on Xbox One, PC, and PS4 from 28th July.