Step back into the shoes of Cryptosporidium 137 (better known as Crypto) as you fight to bring down humanity in a brand-new remake of the cult classic, Destroy All Humans!. Armed with his trusty Anal Probe, his UFO, and a variety of other outrageous abilities and weapons, Crypto will fight his way through 30+ missions in an attempt to take control of Earth and rule humanity. With over fifteen years and multiple spin-offs under its belt, the Destroy All Humans! franchise has built quite a legacy. Can Black Forest Games’ remake of the iconic alien invasion adventure live up to the legend its predecessors left behind?
Little green men from space!
Destroy All Humans! originally released in 2005 but was brought to the latest generation of consoles in 2016. 4 years after bringing the franchise to the PS4 and Xbox One, THQ Nordic is taking players back to where it all began with a complete overhaul of the original. Everything is pretty much the same – from the dialogue to the missions and even the cutscenes, but the gameplay is a bit more refined and the visuals are a lot crisper than we’ve seen from the series so far.
In Destroy All Humans! players take on the role of Crypto, the latest in a long line of clones responsible for being the henchman of the Furon Empire. After his previous iteration goes missing, Cryto 137 and Orthopox 13 (better known as Pox throughout the series) grab the Mothership and head to Earth to take full control of the planet. What ensues is over 30 missions of absolute chaos and humor.
The game retains pretty much all of the original storytelling, including all of the cheesy jokes that probably hit a lot better in 2005. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with telling the same jokes, but they definitely feel a lot more dated now than they did back then. Still, hearing Crypto and Pox exchanging dumb one-liners throughout the course of the campaign brought a smile to my face.
The gameplay itself is smooth for the most part, though it does fall into some of the same pitfalls that plagued games of that time period. One such issue is very prevalent during the escort style missions that are spread out across the game – and boy are there quite a few of them. Not only is the player responsible for killing many enemies during these situations, but you can easily mess up due to the game’s auto-lock-on system, which can often cause you to target the character that you’re escorting, dealing damage to or even killing them in the process. It’s a pretty big issue that I ran into quite a bit during my playthrough, and one that could have done with some fine-tuning of the lock-on system.
This auto-lock-on system becomes an issue in other situations as well, often leading me to target the wrong person for things like Cortex Scans and even Anal Probing. This isn’t a huge deal for the most part, but it can cause you to kill key targets when you aren’t trying to, thereby forcing you to have to restart the entire mission all over again.
Blast from the past
When it comes to remakes, Destroy All Humans! is sleek as hell and fun to play. The original formula was always a joy to dive into and Black Forest Games has done an excellent job of porting over the basic gameplay to a much more impressive engine. The visuals are top-notch and Crypto has never looked better. Every part of the world is absolutely beautiful and smooth, from the small towns to the indoor areas. It all looks great and still captures the same feeling and tone as the original.
I played through the game on PC and while performance overall was pretty solid, I did notice a few drops here and there where the game would just kind of stop for a second before moving on. My frames never saw too much variation overall, but I did notice a bit of pop-in on some graphics, especially during some of the cutscenes. Some of the shadows do look a little odd depending on the angle that you approach them from, but honestly none of it really detracted from the bigger package. There are some new features like multitasking as well as some new abilities. There's also a brand-new mission, but if you didn't know it was new you wouldn't realize it.
Overall, Destroy All Humans! does a really great job of recapturing the spirit of the original. But, in a time where we’ve seen some developers take the originals and expand on them greatly, often adding new features altogether, the remake for Destroy All Humans! feels like it missed the boat. I really feel like the developers could have experimented with new things a bit more and really made the game standout a bit better in the current generation of games. Still, though, if you’re looking for a fun romp through one of the best games of the early 2000s, then Destroy All Humans! hits the spot.
This review is based on a digital PC copy of the game provided by the publisher. Destroy All Humans will be available on Xbox One, PS4, and PC on July 28, 2020.
Destroy All Humans!
- Absolutely beautiful
- Retains pretty much all of the original's charm
- Fun and addictive gameplay and abilities
- Some performance hiccups here and there
- Texture pop-in
- Many jokes feel dated