Black Forest Games, Pandemic Studios and THQ Nordic have combined their powers to revive the original Destroy All Humans from 2005. The remake was released earlier this week on PS4, Xbox One, and PC for all to enjoy. A quirky take on the sandbox genre, Destroy All Humans follows the story of Cryptosporidium-137 (Crypto) as he journeys to Earth to conquer humanity. Being a remake, one can only wonder what changes have been made and how they affect the experience. Luckily, we will tell you in our Destroy All Humans review.
Securing the Story
Destroy All Humans (DAH!) has a standard, but solid plot: Aliens known as Furons have run out of resources to maintain their life-cycle and have come to Earth in order to stock up. In this case, they’re running out of uncorrupted DNA which is used to clone their species and extend their lifespans. To fix this, the scientist Orthopox sends down a Crypto clone (Crypto-136) to extract DNA from the humans and when he fails to return, he sends the newest clone Crypto-137 to continue the mission. Thus begins the invasion following Crypto as he collects DNA and sets out to destroy all humans.
As stated by the game’s opening text, the story has been kept almost exactly the same. The tone blends alien and sci-fi clichés with a twist of dark humor that seems to work. The enhanced visuals and improved audio are a welcome upgrade to help catch all the details and subtleties that may have gone unnoticed in the original. The story is both simple and reasonable enough that players can feel justified by playing DAH! as chaotically as they want.
Same Core, Shinier Shell
Being a sandbox game, DAH! comes with a large level of freedom. While it does force players to complete missions before they can explore locations independently, the missions are varied and widespread enough that players can get a sense of the different mechanics and a good idea of the area’s size and layout. Missions are broken into several stages with varied objectives and even optional tasks with extra rewards to appeal to a player’s sense of completion. They can vary in length quite drastically, with some leaving you more satisfied than others, but all are fun to play through and can be replayed for a quick activity.
The remake maintains the missions as they are, but certain mechanics have been altered to enhance the experience. One of the biggest changes being the complete absence of a Psychokinesis (PK) meter giving players much more freedom to throw things around to their heart’s content. The drastic improvement to the jetpack’s power and mobility allows for easier travel which is quite useful during exploration and escaping increased threat levels. Additionally, the dash mechanic makes it easier for players to zip around and evade incoming attacks.
With infinite PK, an improved jetpack, and dashing, players can enjoy taking down whole armies and using a variety of powers and weapons for maximum madness. While these improvements may have made the optional tasks easier and missions less of a challenge, the overall fun and enjoyment has been increased — which is arguably the most important aspect of a sandbox game.
On top of that, Crypto’s saucer has also been given a few extras including a function from Destroy All Humans 2! Drain, the function in question, allows for players to restore the saucer’s shields while destroying the target. There’s also the Transmogrify ability, usable by both Crypto and the saucer, which is a flashy and satisfying way to pull ammo from surrounding objects to maintain the flow of destruction.
The improved graphics and sound effects applied to all the weapons and abilities definitely make for a much more sensational presentation.
On the Other Hand
Sadly, the Destroy All Humans remake is not without its problems, the most prominent being a result of which version you get. At the time of writing, the PC version has a noticeable lag and run issues that can result in crashes, so playing it on a console is the better choice at this point in time.
As mentioned previously, while all the upgrades are a welcome change, the game is overall much easier to complete. Veterans who get past the nostalgia and newcomers who join in will find the challenge lacking as many missions can be completed within the first couple of tries. The story is definitely dated and will likely only be appreciated by fans of the series.
Destroy All Humans Review | The Final Say
The Destroy All Humans remake is a fun and nostalgic return to a weird sci-fi series. While the challenge is lacking, the game’s true value lies in freedom of gameplay and a therapeutic sandbox experience. With this in mind, we are giving it a 7.5 out of 10. It’s no Independence Day, but this alien invasion is worth playing through.