Before we delve into this review, can we just take a second to appreciate how THQ Nordic have been on absolute fire recently. With that out of the way, their latest release revives a game that originally released 15 years ago on the PlayStation 2. The PlayStation 2 was a bastion of quality games and I have fond memories of the fun I had playing the original Destroy All Humans.
As far as remakes go, Destroy All Humans is one of the most faithful you can find. For better or worse, the 2020 remake stays faithfully true to the original 2005 release. Yes, it’s given a fresh coat of paint and is spruced up to look like a modern game but most gameplay and story elements stay true to the original release. From mission design to level design, the 2020 remake harkens back to the original in a way that conjures a lot of fond memories.
The Destroy All Humans remake improves upon a lot of elements including; graphics, audio, animations, weapons, framerate, and fixing the clunky controls. That being said, the end-result here is that for newcomers to the game, some elements can definitely end up feeling outdated. Even as someone who played the original, I still found myself having self-aware moments that video games have come a long way in the last 15 years which is mostly down to the somewhat outdated mission and level design.
One thing that hasn’t changed one bit from the original is Crypto is still a snarky badass alien. Some jokes don’t land but the eye-rolling B-rated humour, the crude and vulgar dialogue is a large reason why I loved the original in the first place. I was a lot younger then and found it funnier back then but even as a mature adult now I still found myself regularly laughing whilst playing Destroy All Humans in 2020.
The premise of Destroy All Humans is you play on-the-side of the Furons; a highly intelligent alien race. You play from the perspective of a clone named Cryptosporidium 137, or ‘Crypto’ for short. As Crypto, you are tasked by his commander, Orthopox, to rescue a captured Furon clone on Earth and then conquer the planet to harvest the pure Furon DNA left in the Human DNA from Furons over a millennia ago…How did that DNA get into the human gene pool? We’ll let you figure that one out by yourself.
Destroy All Humans sees you complete various missions in locations ranging from Turnipseed Farm to Area 42. Some missions are too simplistic and lack much depth or challenge. However, the remake does add-in optional objectives to every mission which add a layer of depth in how you complete a mission to achieve these objectives. As aforementioned, some missions border on tedious but are an agreeable relic from the original game.
Any fan of the original game will tell you how fun it is to wreak havoc with Crypto’s arsenal of alien weaponry. From a beam that will disintegrate enemies on the spot, leaving behind nothing but a pile of ash. Or, the crude anal-probe might take your fancy. All weapons are upgradeable which again adds a welcome layer of depth to tailor your gameplay experience.
As well as a deadly array of weapons, Crypto is also blessed with a range of PSI abilities that can be used to similar deadly effect. From his telekinetic ability to disguising as a human by taking their form, PSI abilities offer a fun range of powers to make use of. The biggest advantage here is you can approach a mission in a multitude of ways which ensures replays will often feel somewhat new and exciting.
Graphically, Destroy All Humans takes a big step-up. Of course, that is to be expected given the 15 year gap between the original and the remake. With that being said, the Destroy All Humans remake looks like a well-polished game even by modern standards compared to other recent PS4 releases. It’s a cartoon-like, clearly over-the-top design choice but the colours pop and overall it’s a clean, polished visual experience. On top of that, audio is crisp and clear, marking another big improvement over the original.
All in all, Destroy All Humans marks yet another great remake from the THQ Nordic team. It balances the line between keeping faithful to the original whilst sprucing it up enough to pass as a modern game. Some elements remain outdated but for some dumb, b-humour fun and wreaking havoc, you can’t Destory All Humans.
*Disclaimer: ThisGenGaming was provided with a PlayStation 4 key for the purposes of this review.