Destroy All Humans!
Developer: Black Forest Games
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Genre: Action-Adventure, Third-Person Shooter
Platform: XB1, PS4, PC
Age Rating: T (Teen) / PEGI 12
Release Date: July 28th, 2020
Price: $39.99 / €39.99 / £34.99
A code was provided for review purposes.
The year is 2020 and yet the world is not at its peak; therefore, many individuals look to nostalgia to remind them of happier, better times. The current generation is one of remakes and remasters aplenty, and THQ Nordic is capitalizing on that. Not long after the release of their remake for SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom (which was a flop), they follow with a remake for Destroy All Humans!.
Originally released in 2005 for Xbox and PlayStation 2, Destroy All Humans! is a semi-open world, action-adventure, shoot-em-up, kill-em-all, third-person role-playing game. Phew, what a mouthful. As a reminder, when the team behind this release says it’s a “remake,” that means the game has been completely overhauled, upgraded, and optimized from scratch for its new version (instead of a remaster, which is merely a polish of the original material).
The story remains the same – an alien by the nickname of Crypto is sent to Earth (namely, the United States) in order to harvest human DNA, with a personal goal of saving another alien friend who has been captured and locked up by the army. With the help of a more intelligent alien named Orthopox-13, Crypto targets certain areas of the country in order to pursue these goals and annihilate the army standing in his way.
There are six major locations the player will invade, each with their own storyline missions and side challenges. Aside from Capitol City obviously being representative of Washington DC and Area 42 depicting Area 51, the other four locations are loosely based on where they’re located, such as rural farmland in the south and sunny beaches along the western coast. The main line of missions will bring the player around the country to and from these locations, following Orthopox-13’s master plan. Each main mission also offers bonus objectives to help the player get creative and earn additional DNA.
Apart from the main missions, the player can liberally explore each location. In a sort of sandbox fashion, one can kill off humans for DNA (used to upgrade Crypto’s weapons and spaceship), search for hidden collectibles, or work to complete the aforementioned side challenges. These challenges award the player with DNA for completing them to a certain level of satisfaction, and include the tasks of abduction, racing, on-foot rampaging, or in-air mass destruction. They’re not too easy, and will require the player to both refine their alien skills and upgrade their arsenal and abilities.
Speaking of arsenal, Destroy All Humans! offers a lot of variety. The starter weapon is an electric shock ray, followed by the disintegration gun, an anal probe, and a massive ion detonator that serves as a grenade launcher. Additionally, the player has telekinetic powers that allow them to lift objects, disguise themself as a human, or to manipulate a human’s mind. On top of all that, there’s the UFO that has its own arsenal of weapons like a death ray, shock wave, and more. Almost forgot, the player has a jetpack for hovering and a shield for protection too! All the trappings of the perfect alien soldier.
Gameplay is rather to-the-point. Objectives are mostly “destroy this” and “destroy that” or sometimes “abduct him/her” and whatnot, typical alien stuff. Most of the main missions are short, but the story thankfully produces enough of them to satisfy most players. Basically, it appears as if the emphasis is more on the sandbox elements than the actual narrative. It does have to be said though, it never gets tiring to quite literally destroy all humans.
On a technical standpoint, the game has earned its rank as a proper remake. Graphically, the game looks stunning and modern, all cleaned up and polished. There is the small problem of hang time when there’s too much happening at once (or objects moving too fast), but it’s a rare occurrence. Beyond that, the game performs very well and has no glaring issues.
Destroy All Humans! has so much personality behind it, and that’s one of its strongest components. The storytelling is carefully and charismatically twisted in a way so outlandish that it sounds like an accurate representation of current day political ignorance; basically, it’s the best form of satire, but still manages to feel realistic. The dialogue is always hilarious, even if a bit raunchy at times; moreso, even the NPCs make comments that’ll have a player entertained at every turn. The blend of 1950’s culture with modern day flare makes for an enjoyable environment, and that really helps to enhance the experience of this game.
Unfortunately, there are no major additions of content for this release. A few small adjustments to abilities and upgrades for Crypto were implemented for refinement and fluidity. Plus, there is one mission in the middle of the campaign that never found its way into the original entry. The development team found it lost in the source material and have added it to the remake; however, that seems to be the only noteworthy expansion to the game.
Destroy All Humans! became such a worshipped classic over the years for many apparent reasons. This remake absolutely did the name justice. It’s certainly going to please long-time fans of the series looking to relive their experiences, in addition to new players looking for an explosive new game to play. Frankly, it’s out of this world!
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.