Following in the footsteps of dearly beloved PS2 games like SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom- Rehydrated, Destroy All Humans! is back, and boy was I excited. Initially released in 2005, is this game one giant leap for remake kind, or should this game have stayed in the past?
The game begins when one of the game’s alien race has been captured by humans. Our protagonist, Cryptosporidium 137, nicknamed ‘Crypto’, is tasked with rescuing his captured brother and learning all that he can about the human race. Set in a caricature of 1950s America, you explore from the east coast to the west coast and everything in between. The commentary this game makes about 1950s America is hilarious. Every character in the game is blinded by patriotism, and all the other-worldly events are blamed on the Communists. I have often found this type of satire hilarious, and this game is no exception. The constant back and forths between Crypto and his leader are highly entertaining, and while gameplay is key in this type of game, the dialogue had me chuckling to myself as I rampaged through America.
I’m big on performance, something that my early years of PC gaming and fandom of TotalBiscuit have brought on, and I’m happy to say the performance is pretty solid. I played on a PS4 Pro, and there were only a few frame drops when the gameplay got really hectic but nothing that ruined my experience.
The presentation is fantastic. The locations all have their unique style that make them stand out from one another. You start off exploring a farm in the mid-west, then Santa Modesta, a ripoff of the sunny shores of Santa Monica, and finish up in Capitol City, a parody of Washington, D.C., with all the monuments to boot. Where the game shines is the lighting (pun intended). While the individual texture work isn’t much to write home about, the environments as a whole are beautiful to look at. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the character models. I think they fit with the theme of the game more than the original, but I think they strayed a bit too far and look like cheap Barbie imitations. And speaking of characters, the voice acting is superb, from the Mayor Quimby-esque parody of JFK or the strong Southern accent, it’s a complete exaggeration of the accents but fits perfectly with the vibe that the game is trying to create.
I can harp on about the story and graphics all day, but we all know why we play Destroy All Humans!, and that is as the title suggests, to destroy all humans. Sometimes we just want to switch off our brain and blow some crap up, and I can’t think of a better example of this style of game. For anyone unfamiliar with the original game, Crypto is equipped with a sizable arsenal to probe, electrocute, burn, mind control, basically to do whatever he wants to the unsuspecting population of the United States.
The game is broken up into 6 areas with plenty of missions, side objectives, and a free roam mode. The missions show the game’s age, mostly go to area A, blow up something, and defeat a wave of enemies. There are a few stealth missions that add a small bit of variety. But worst of all, this game has a few Assassin’s Creed-style tailing missions. Luckily, they were short and sparse, but they were as boring as ever. The fun comes in Crypto’s weapon set. In the beginning, it’s pretty limited, but by the end, you’re skating from one enemy to the next, mind-controlling one, electrocuting another, and telekinetically throwing an exploding barrel at the final one. There’s a certain flow to the combat that makes it a wonderfully enjoyable experience, and that’s not even mentioning the spaceship combat. Have you ever wanted to abduct a cow while lighting a barn on fire all while dodging missiles from SAM turrets and tanks? Well, now you can do just that. Well, you could do it back in 2005 as well but not in full 4K glory.
Behind all of this is an engaging skill tree that offers a clear sense of progression. The initial gameplay was very basic, almost boring, but once you get into the skill tree, you very quickly become a force to be reckoned with. As a gameplay experience, Destroy All Humans! is a must for anyone who prizes gameplay above all. While it shows its age in some places, the game is a kinetic, turn your brain off, action romp that most would find fun.
I thoroughly enjoyed my playthrough of this game. Some may think the $40 price point for such a short game is too steep, but for me, that wasn’t the case. With a fun platinum trophy and plenty of exploration to do in the areas, the game has enough content in my eyes to warrant the price. It’s a fantastic remake of an already great game, and I hope it opens people’s eyes to this brilliant franchise. I’m loving what THQ Nordic is bringing to the table, and I can’t wait for their future offerings. What do you think of this remake?
Developer: Black Forest Games
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: 28th July 2020