Destroy All Humans!
Developer: Black Forest Games
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 16
Release Date: June 29th 2021
A code was provided for review purposes
Destroy All Humans! is a semi-open world game set in a fictional 1959 where Cryptosporidium 137 (or Crypto for short) is sent to Earth by his leader, Orthopox 13. His task is to find out what happened to his predecessor Cryptosporidium 136, who disappeared in 1947 after he was sent to Earth for a similar mission. Orthopox 13 (a.k.a Pox) asks our grey little protagonist to harvest human brain stems to prevent his Furon species from going extinct. Why do you ask? Well, a long long time ago, after an encounter between humans and Furon warriors, the human DNA now contains particles of the Furon DNA. Unfortunately, a shadowy government organization called Majestic, and led by Silhouette stands in the way of Crypto’s mission.
As Crypto, players are tasked to run around and complete objectives that his leader Pox will ask him – correction – yell into his invisible ears. Each mission is a smallish open-world area that players can roam around and explore before tackling any story or optional missions. One of the game’s strong points is definitely the stealth mechanic as our grey little hero can shapeshift into any human he comes across thanks to his Holobob ability; the little addendum is that you need to scan other humans’ brains to keep the Holobob ability alive.
While stealth is one of the game’s beneficial mechanics, Crypto is equipped to fry the human race. The protagonist’s default weapon is the Zap-O-Matic, a gun that lets you zap humans dead. Although it doesn’t need to reload per se, you need to let the weapon cool down after a while. But that’s not all. There’s also the… umm… Anal Probe which (I hope) is pretty self-explanatory, the Ion Detonator which acts as a remote explosive and then the best one (in my opinion) the Disintegrator Ray which fries targets.
Obviously, being an extraterrestrial creature, Crypto also has a few special powers. Crypto 137 can brainwash humans and have them follow him, and also has a Telekinetic power which allows you to pick up and throw reasonably sized things. In addition there’s the Brain Extraction ability which sucks out the brain out of the skulls of Crypto’s enemies for DNA points and also regenerate our hero’s health/shield.
And yes, the extraterrestrial being is always connected to spaceships and Crypto does have a spaceship at this disposal. Unfortunately, controlling it is pretty clunky as the left joystick is used to move around and the right one lets players aim and also control the altitude. It proves especially frustrating against the final boss. The ship has its fair share of weaponry with the Death Ray, the Sonic boom, and Quantum Deconstructor.
Completing main and optional objectives rewards players with DNA which allows players to upgrade Crypto’s skills and his spaceship in between missions. It is highly recommended to upgrade your weaponry as most of your arsenal has limited usage, but upgrading them will increase their firepower and capabilities. Once missions have been completed, you can revisit each area to complete any optional missions that you might’ve missed and/or failed.
Houston, We Have a Problem
Nothing is perfect, however. The game’s difficulty is pretty inconsistent; some missions will be too easy while the next one can be hair-pulling, rage-inducing – especially if you haven’t upgraded anything. The flying saucer also controls poorly as mentioned and sometimes the camera is so close to the spaceship that you can barely see enemies on the ground scurrying to shoot you down.
The Switch version of last year’s remaster of Destroy All Humans! looks great overall… unless you start looking at the background and far-off objects. Up close, everything looks great; environments and characters. But when you look at characters from far off or during cutscenes, things look a bit pixelated. On the audio side of things, everything’s fine. Nothing really noteworthy, however Pox gets annoying by sometimes yelling at Crypto. Aside from that, voiceovers are really interesting and overall well-delivered.
So the question is: is Destroy All Humans! on Switch worth it? Definitely. This game is a great addition to the already impressive Nintendo Switch library. Controls hold up pretty well overall (ship controls aside), it looks great as a whole and the gameplay itself is addictive and easy to pick up and play. Sure, not all is perfect, but this is definitely one of the best (semi) open-world games available on Nintendo Switch. Don’t let is slip between your fingers.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Destroy All Humans! for Nintendo Switch starting June 29th 2021 here.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.