Destroy All Humans! Review (PS4)
''A blast from the past!''
Destroy All Humans! is an action adventure comedy game developed by Black Forest Games and published by THQ Nordic. Pulling out a cult classic from the vault,THQ Nordic and Black Forest set out to remake the original game in all its glory and aim to bring it into the more modern era of gaming. Do they succeed or was this better off left in the past?
The year is 1959, all is well in America except for those damn commies trying to steal our freedom. One day a spaceship crashes on earth and Crypto-136, a member of the Furon alien race, gets captured and is now in the governments control. You as the main character known as Crypto-137, must now take it upon yourself to save your fellow Furon from their enslavement,cause after all,its your identical clone. Take on the government and secret agency known as The Majestic,as you probe them for information and uncover their secrets,as well as the whereabouts of your sibling,Crypto-136.
Destroy All Humans is an open world'ish adventure game with an emphasis on being chaotic. Although open world isn't really the word I would use to describe it if i were being honest as its more about open hub areas,rather than literal open world. You have free reign to move within a set limit area of each hub,all of which have thriving communities that you can interact with or well,destroy. The choice is down to how you want to play the game, whether you want to push through the story missions, complete side quests and challenges or if you are just feeling like a jerk, you can destroy everything and everyone.
Through the main story of the game you will make it to six hub areas, each area with vastly different setups and scenery from the next, ranging from being in the heart of Washington D.C. to the beaches of California, or heading out to small midwest america to mess with some of the country folk and farmers out in that area. All areas offer you more than just the main story,cause you know it would be boring to have all that open area with nothing to do,right? Well thankfully in each area, you unlock side quests and challenges that you can play and complete in order to get the most of your game. These challenges range from Abduction,Armageddon,Race,Rampage.
Most of these you can understand what they do just by their names,such as Abduction,its as self explanatory as it gets. The goal here is to abduct the humans themselves and bring them back to your ship or even abduct poor little cows who are just minding their own business and grazing grass. Other such challenges will also range from racing a drone to just utterly destroying everything and anything in your path,which is extremely fun. Watching things go boom, who can dislike that? Savages,that's who,savages.
As you play through the main story, your character Crypto will have multiple ways to get around humans or achieve his objectives without being killed or compromised,after all,you're an alien being from another world, you can't just freely walk out in the open. This is why its essential to use your holobob ability whenever and wherever you can because it allows you to disguise yourself as any civilian for a limited amount of time. Once disguised you can use your new flesh to gain access to pool parties,political press conferences or even military bases if you take the flesh of someone higher up in the military. However, you must be careful to avoid The Majestic, they're the ''men in black'' of this earth and can easily jam your holobob and expose you.
Be warned though, you can't just spend your time being stealthy and not reaping the rewards for your efforts,that would be out of this world. Humans many millenia ago were infused with Furon DNA and there are still traces of it left within the human species and this is where brain harvesting comes into play and the use of your growing arsenal will come in handy in your time of need. Upon completing missions or challenges in this game you will get a special currency that you are able to use back on the mothership at Pox Labs. In Pox Labs, you will be able to upgrade both Cryptos abilities and the abilities of your flying saucer,all of which have their own unique uses that will aid you in harvesting or destroying mankind.
The more currency you unlock, the more abilities you will be able to use to help you in your quest to destroy and harvest humanity,as well as save your clone sibling. Both Crypto and his saucer have multiple tier of upgrades to unlock,such as Crypto having 9 abilities with each ability having 3-6 different upgrades each and your flying saucer having 5 abilities,also having 3-6 different upgrades each. Crypto will be used more often during the regular game, so its advisable to give him the most upgrades at the start of your game as abilities he has will allow him to use a zap gun that will electrocute his enemies till they die,making for easy brain extraction or boosting your damage shield so you'll live longer.
Crypto will receive upgrades such as zap-o-matic,which i just talked about,shield upgrade,disintegration gun which vaporizes your foes,dashing ability that makes you move quicker or ways to make you steal human brains quicker for faster resources. Your flying saucer however won't be used as much,but it still gets upgrades of its own such as being able to have stronger death rays,steal life energy from humans to replenish your ships shield or using a repulsion attack that blows away military missiles that they try to shoot at you from time to time if you raise too much of a ruckus. I prefer to play on foot though as you can move around each city or town and play however you want to play,giving myself more freedom to play the game the way I want to play it.
The core game with all its missions and content can run you around 20 hours to finish to completion. This all depends on your style of play of course, so if you wish to just push through the story or if you wish to be a completionist and beat all quests and challenges to have all major upgrades,the choice is yours. I at first was just going through the story and not really doing the side quests for my first several hours, but I wanted to see what else the game had to offer me and started playing my own way, using my jetpack to glide around town and hide from police officers and military,disguising myself as military and infiltrating their base just to do it and then proceed to steal their brains,It was a ton of fun and some of the dialogue you encounter while out and about is pretty funny. Wait? did i I say funny? I'm allowed to say that right? never mind,I'm not supposed to, forgot its 2020!
Ah yes, the humor,to the many that play this game, the humor might seem to be outdated,unfunny or even *gasps* offensive!. To that I say, what were you expecting? You're playing a 15 year old game,remade,remastered and preserved for this current generation, and nothing here in the dialogue is going to be brand new. The humor in Destroy All Humans brings us back to the days when people had a backbone and weren't afraid to laugh at not only themselves, but at humor in general,no matter how juvenile it may seem. The jokes here in the game,for me personally,brings back the days of myself going to blockbuster and renting out the silliest and most absurd title I could find, so I can have a weekend of pure fun and away from the seriousness of the world. This is where the game gets it right and keeps it right, from making fun of the red scare and the paranoia of the american public back in the 50s/60s, to showing just how comically corrupt our politicians really are, its a ''man that joke is so bad, but its funny because it's true'' moment. I need more games like this in my life.
At the end of the day when its all said and done, Destroy All Humans! to me remains the classic B movie it always was meant to be, but amplified into the current generation. While much remains the same, we also got lost missions and quests that weren't in the original version and fine game play tweaks to make the experience more stable and more smooth. From anal probes,to brain harvesting,to enslaving humanity, Black Forest Games and THQ Nordic did the right thing reviving this classic and here's to them hopefully giving the same love and attention of a remake/remaster to its sequel in the future.
If you aren't one of the types who are easily offended by everything and anything and simply love some cheesy and corny B-rated humor to go along with your chaotic arcade like style of destruction, then this game is definitely worth the look and I highly recommend it for old and new fans.
Destroy All Humans! is out now in PS4/Xbox One/Windows PC
*Review code provided by THQ Noridc