I’ll start off by saying this: I enjoyed Destroy All Humans on PS2. The fact I can play it again in HD (slightly) on the PS4 makes me super happy. The humor is welcome and the gameplay is just hilarious stupid fun. Let me show you thy ways of love and dislike in a revamp of a PS2 era cult classic.
Destroy All Humans revolves around (and I’m paraphrasing here) Crypto and Pox on a mission to destroy… all… humans…. FOR SCIENCE OF COURSE! Pox is the leader on the mothership who’s all about human DNA and the study of the descendants of the, potentially, heavily hinted at, Furon DNA within Human DNA. It’s actually pretty interesting stuff. But when it gets down to it, the staple of the game is the collection of wacky ass abilities you get as our gray little alien friend, Crypto.
You have your standard zappy electricity blasting ray gun that can be further upgraded to jump various targets and damage multiple enemies, and then there’s your concentration based alien powers. These are where the fun truly begins. As Crypto, you can mind control people into doing stupid things, causing havoc in numerous ways… You can anal probe humans until their heads explode so you can easily collect their brains (What?) and if stealth is your game… Perfect! Just transform yourself into a hologram of your target. Tired of the truck in front of you being an obstacle? That’s fine, pick it up with your goddamn MIND and slam it onto unsuspecting victims.
On top of the abilities, you are left in a pseudo open world environment each with a main goal with side missions scattered about for your adventuring pleasure. To go to other areas previously visited, you must return to the mothership and re deploy in a different area. This breaks the full on open world feel that it really looks like at first glance, but it makes the environments feel more intentional, which didn’t bother me much. At any time after completing the main mission, you can hop in your space ship to travel faster over the environment… or just burn buildings and abduct cows. You know, whatever you prefer. It’s a wacky game with wacky outcomes. I love it.
As for the HD remaster of the title… ehhhh I think it was more of just a port of the PS2 game onto the PS4. Sure stable frame rate is good, and the menus in the mothership look nicer and so does Pox…. The game itself still looks old. It shouldn’t bother you much because the game was always about the ridiculous content. Hell, it looks like a game you’d play on your smartphone nowadays. Not an insult because it existed two generations ago, but just something to expect. Also… the tutorials. I understand there’s a lot of abilities. But stop it. I hear that damn pop up sound effect in my sleep! BIG BLUE SCREEN OF TEXT. Blargh, bye-bye. Tutorials shouldn’t be presented that way. It’s obtrusive and my one major gripe with the game.
There’s a handful of abilities with tons of outcomes in a slightly remastered world. It’s a supremely satisfying and quick system to hop in and cause massive chaos around the wonderful (ha.) United States. But there was a mission that was quite early on that really resonated with me and it was disturbing with how appropriate it was with current day events.
I don’t want to go on a political rant nor do I want to spoil one of the genuinely incredible moments in the early game (you’ll see it, you can’t miss it) but there’s a mission that involves the town mayor and his explanation of the strange happenings that are, well, caused by you. You as a mind controlling alien must control him while he gives his speech. This is a great little mini game moment where the crowd of scared onlookers in a small podunk town are throwing questions at you (the mayor) about the crazy events going on. You have to choose various responses to ease their worrying minds… and there was one pattern of actions that made the people of the town absolutely elated: Fear and terror about communism.
It was kind of weird how poignant that moment was… I found myself laughing… then thinking…. then feeling ashamed. Haha, I don’t know why, I know it’s just video game writing and comedic relief…. but it’s scarily accurate. And I know that when the game originally released eleven years ago it was funny and not inaccurate at all. But just after a year of complete chaos with this election in the US… It was a supremely real look at life. In a game about aliens, stealing brains after popping heads with an anal probe I dunno, man. Sounds like gold to me.
If you enjoy running around causing mayhem on foot or in a space ship, then Grand Theft Alien… err, Destroy All Humans is the game for you. It was ridiculous and fun as hell in 2005 and guess what: It’s still ridiculous and fun as hell. It’s just not that pretty and the tutorial pop ups make me sick. Beyond that though, once you’re rolling… Fun times to be had. Damn fun times.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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