Death Ray on Deck
If you’re searching for a game that you can just sit down and enjoy after a hard day’s work without putting all emotional investment, Destroy All Humans might be the game for you. Now, before the announcement of the remake, I never heard of the game before. Seeing the game-play intrigued me, at first, I was like is this supposed to be an intergalactic Grand Theft Auto? The destruction, the human demise, it was all so tempting to pick up my controller and indulge. With that being said, this was a great remake that I’m sure old fans of the game would enjoy. Since this was my first time ever playing it, I noticed the early “2000s” quirks that felt really nostalgic, and it gave me all the flashbacks I needed to take me through this gameplay.
Destroy All Humans follows Crypto, a gray alien looking to harvest Furon DNA, while he/it/you slowly disintegrating the structures of the human race in the process. Like every typical alien story, you begin in a rural area with plenty of farmland and country folk. You start out in a field of cows, trying to read their minds and decipher their evil plots (because cows are the true rulers of our planet). But when Crypto sees the farmer and then the farmer spots the alien, the man freaks out and calls out for his shotgun (because for some reason everybody thinks if you see something you don’t recognize you should stand tall and shoot it). And at that moment, that’s when the chaos begins.
We Ain’t Here for the Party, We Here to Blow it Up!
The police, the military, everybody comes running towards you with the guns, missiles hell, even the mechs come out later on in the game. Basically, Destroy All Humans is learning how to stay calm and handle ultimate chaos. When it comes to certain missions, you better walk in there with a plan or else you’re going to be struggling with that retry button. I appreciated the various options they give you on how to complete a mission, and the consequences they present to you, for those choices.
An example, when it comes to games, I’m not stealthy at all. I am too scared. It’s all guerilla warfare and then run back into hiding. The game’s option for stealth is interesting. You have the option of taking on the body of any human being (given that your identity hasn’t been compromised) and complete certain tasks. I thoroughly enjoyed it until I realized that you cannot use weapons while under this mask, so I just kept getting caught. Unless the game calls for it, all stealth is thrown out the window. Murk everybody! In order to keep this mask, you have to read other people’s minds, and that was the fun part. That comedic moment of being a small gray alien and then you pop out from a palm tree and all of a sudden, you’re a completely different species with a mission to destroy.
Blame the Communists
With that being said, I believe that’s what the game did best. It was hilarious, and I never went passed 30 minutes without laughing. This play on making humans caricatures that lack intelligence and aliens infiltrating the system that was set up to brainwash the human race was really great. The digs at the political system, the military and just the surface level belief systems of the human race are genuinely attacked here, and I couldn’t have it any other way. The best parts are when seemingly simple concepts are broken down while you lay back in the recliner, sifting through the air and aiming your death laser at the nearest diner. Why do humans do these things? It’s absolutely disgusting.
At the same time when it comes to humor and gameplay, I had a lot of conflicting emotions with this game as a whole. Though its greatest strength is its humor, I wished for more when it came to the storyline. The game overall felt pretty predictable, and there could be power in that when done in an innovative manner, but the predictability made it lack luster. An example of innovative predictability would be a superhero game you know at the end no matter what the superhero wins, but on the journey to get there what are the creators doing to make the path interesting? I wanted more from Crypto’s adventures than great laughs. The underlying metaphors overall was beautiful, but if that actually translated into the development of the story that would have made my experience worthwhile.
Did the game do well with enhancing the quality since its initial release in 2005? Sure. If that was the end goal, then they did their job to a satisfactory level. The missions got a bit challenging at some points, as most games do. Getting over the humps of being introduced to mechs and secret agents was absolutely annoying if you didn’t keep a plan. It felt like a puzzle you had to solve before stepping out into the battlefield. I feel like this game would have done well with a couch co-op mode so that you and someone else could plan out these missions together. Destroy All Humans is a fun game that you would play while company is over, or after a hard day of work and if you just want to daze off; but it isn’t something that I would run to if I’m in the mood for an experience. Destroy All Humans is available now for PS4, Xbox One and PC!