Developer: Black Forest Games
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Reviewed on: PS4 Pro
Also available on: Xbox One, PC
Release: July 27, 2020
Destroy All Humans is a semi-open world action adventure game, developed by Black Forest Games, published by THQ Nordic and is a remake of the 2005 original of the same name. Played from a third person perspective, Destroy All Humans drops the player, Cryptosporidium 137, (also known as Crypto) on earth in 1950s America. Crypto’s job is to “Destroy All Humans in an attempt to harvest their DNA, which is necessary to the continuation of the Cryptosporidium race. Equipped with an array of weapons and gadgets, including a flying saucer and an anal probe, Crypto embarks on his journey of world domination.
It's obvious to see that Destroy All Humans was originally created in a much simpler time, a time when games didn’t have to necessarily “make sense”; a time when games could just exist for the sake of existing, without a heavily story driven backbone. I guess what I'm saying is, don’t expect Destroy All Humans to be a cinematic masterpiece, because it's not. Simply put, it's a fun, casual time consumer.
Growing up, games like Destroy all Humans were my bread and butter, I’d sit for hours with my brother destroying everything in our path, having 90% of the dialogue go over our heads. In 2020 though, this rampage of world domination does seem a little outdated and the dialogue (which I finally understand) is a little corny. There’s definitely a big novelty factor and a massive sense of nostalgia when playing this game, nostalgia that I think is a bit skewed from reality. I think I expected this game to be something it isn’t, which ultimately left me a little disappointed. I remember now, that while I did enjoy the original, I think it was more so the fact that the idea of being an alien killing the human race was a brand new concept and a somewhat amusing direction to be taken in as a young gamer.
The story behind the game is clearly very 2005. The stereotypical characters and the rather controversial assumptions of characters based on their gender or profession; while funny, I would suggest that if being made from scratch in today’s climate, Destroy All Humans wouldn’t be made this way. The thing I do love about it, is that it owns it, it knows the jokes are inappropriate and it unapologetically owns that fact.
Graphically, whilst obviously being lightyears ahead of the original (pardon the pun), is still not quite what you would expect from a recent release. I'd have preferred a complete remake rather than a remaster on this one, as character models especially looked very outdated. The environments are exactly what you’d expect and the semi-open world maps were much bigger than I remember. However, the character models and general look of things didn't quite live up to expectations.The cutscenes were probably the biggest example of this. To put it nicely, they were pretty poor.
Comparison image thanks to Reddit user InfiniVid
In the game you have 3 main mission types: there's all out warfare, infiltrating military bases to destroy earth's defences, and finally you get to disguise as a human to sabotage a public speech etc. The lack of variety meant that the gameplay got very repetitive very quickly. The game also had issues with difficulty spikes; the destruction missions on the whole were fairly unchallenging, yet when it came to the stealth missions I found myself dying, A LOT! I found myself trying again, and again, and this cycle of repetition kept going for quite some time until I finally cracked it. A testament to just how addictive this game was, despite the fact that it was repetitive, it wasn't quite enough to get me to quit.
Overall, there's no doubt that Black Forest and THQ Nordic have done a great job with the remaster, I just feel that Destroy all Humans gameplay is a little outdated and offers very little replay value. Despite the flaws mentioned, Destroy All Humans still managed to entertain me. There's definitely something to be said for being an alien and being able to destroy every human in your path. THQ Nordic seem to have a knack for bringing games back from the dead and giving them a spot in a new generation. If they continue down that path, I can only imagine what they will breathe new life into next.