One of the games I enjoyed playing on the PlayStation 2 when I was younger was Destroy All Humans. Going around as the alien Crypto-137 and harvesting human DNA was just mindless fun at the time. We haven’t seen an entry in the Destroy All Humans franchise since the Xbox 360 days but after many, many years we finally have Crypto-137 back among us. Publisher THQ Nordic brought on developer Black Forest Games to remake the original Destroy All Humans for modern platforms. These things can be tricky sometimes as games that were fun over a decade ago won’t necessarily be fun in 2020. Is this remake one of the better ones or should Crypto-137 have stayed in the past?
The game takes place on Earth in the 1950s and sees Crypto-137 coming to the planet after Crypto-136 disappeared here. It’s up to you to harvest human DNA to save your people and take out the US government with a variety of alien weaponry. The story isn’t something I found that interesting when I played the game back when and that remains so today in this remake. It very much has that 1950s feel about it in the writing and while some of it comes across as bad and cheesy some of it is also comes across as quite funny. Cypto and Pox in particular I really enjoyed listening to during the story.
Now one of the biggest things I was worried about was how would the game feel to play as many gamers can agree that games that felt good to play in the early 2000’s don’t feel good today. Thankfully the controls were one of the things the developer improved in this remake and because of it playing as Crypto felt really good. Some of the improvements include the ability to perform dash like maneuvers and skate along the ground. You can also now use your weapons and powers at the same time allowing you to create even more beautiful destruction on Earth.
So, the game feels good to play but what do exactly do you do? Well you play through different open levels and work to complete the various objectives that the game throws at you. The actual way the game plays out is an area where it shows its age though. Some of the ways the missions play out just aren’t fun such as automatically failing when you don’t do something right or being forced to do something within a time limit. These are the types of things you’d expect to see in a game from the early 2000s but they just aren’t fun to deal with now. Most of the missions don’t last that long though and so it is easy to move from one to the next. When you aren’t doing an actual mission, you can roam around in a handful of different sandbox zones causing chaos to your heart’s content.
You can use all of Crypto’s powers and weapons to dish out the carnage such as throwing humans around with psychokinesis, frying them with your Zap-O-Matic, using an Anal Probe, or melting them with the Disintegrator Ray. All of these weapons and powers are lethal but you can also upgrade all of them even further with DNA that you collect to make Crypto truly an alien to be feared by mankind. When you get tired of causing destruction on foot you can hop in your saucer and dish out even more damage with the death ray. It’s all just as much mindless fun as it was back in the day and I’m happy to have it back.
The open zones also have some other little side modes you can engage with. Rampage has you killing as many people as possible, Abduction has you trying to abduct as many people and aliens as you can, and Armageddon has you using your saucer to level the town. These were fun to play a few times and can be worth doing so to earn more DNA to upgrade your gear but they didn’t hold my interest for too long. The game did add one bit of new content in the form of a lost mission that was cut from the original game. There is nothing special about it but it’s nice to get something new that I didn’t play back then.
When it comes to any remake graphics are usually one of the biggest areas we see an improvement in and that is very much the case with Destroy All Humans. Everything from the environments you move about in to the characters in the game have seen a massive improvement in visual fidelity. There were a few times where I noticed the occasional visual glitch but nothing that was too distracting and these minor occurrences might even get patched. While the graphical presentation saw a much needed upgrade the same can’t be said about the audio. For some reason they decided to stick with the original audio from 2005 in this remake and that only hurts it in my eyes. Perhaps they did it because they couldn’t get the original voice-actors back to voice the lines again but due to that decision a lot of the voice acting here comes off as really bad and cheesy. Had they brought new people in to do it then it likely would’ve turned out much better.
Destroy All Humans isn’t the best remake of an older game that we’ve seen but it’s still a good one. As someone who spent a lot of time with Crypto-137 back in the day I was happy to jump back into his boots and terrorize humanity once again. The game does show its age in some of the mission design and the audio but improvements to the controls and graphics have made this far better than the original game ever was. Now when can we see a brand-new entry?
*Destroy All Humans is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Reviewed on a PS4 Pro. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.
Destroy All Humans!$39.99
- Huge improvement to the graphical quality
- Controls have been modernized making it much more fun to play
- Terrorizing humans and destroying the town is still mindless fun
- Lots of fun upgrades for your weapons and powers
- Original audio is present and doesn't hold up well
- Some of the mission design is outdated and not fun
- Some of the writing is really bad