As a defining game of the original Xbox era, fans have high expectations for the remake of Destroy All Humans. And while fans may be worried that the game won’t stay faithful to its 2005 counterpart, it’s much less of a ground-up remake than it is a visual overhaul with a few tweaks. in movement and ability, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Players get the complete package and then some, with the return of the Destroy All Humans voice cast for the remake, and several new features being added to modernize the game. The controls have been touched up to make Crypto more maneuverable, along with new abilities like a hoverboard that allows Crypto to glide for long periods of time, which is by far the best new addition to Destroy All Humans.
Basically, Destroy All Humans provides a great playground for players to cause mayhem. The game is at its best when it lets players loose in the world, allowing them to blow up buildings, vaporize people, and throw objects around using Crypto’s Psychokinesis abilities . This is best demonstrated in the Destroy All Humans challenges, which are unlocked after completing missions in one of the game’s areas and encourage players to test their skills.
Challenges range from races to destruction missions, either on the saucer or on the ground as Crypto, with a star system that marks how good players are and what rewards they unlock. Players are never forced to start a challenge, but ignoring them is a surefire way to walk away from Destroy All Humans failing, as running the main story missions like a gauntlet quickly tiring
That’s because the story missions in Destroy All Humans are pretty repetitive, often requiring players to infiltrate an area, defend something, or cause chaos without much variety. With the exception of the new Destroy All Humans mission, which is bite-sized, the story has been reworked almost identically to the original, so returning players should know what to expect going in. And while most fans aren’t expecting a dramatic overhaul of the campaign, this is one area where Destroy All Humans is showing its age, which will surely disappoint some.
However, the missions have optional objectives that offer some entertaining distractions from the main mission objectives. They’re not very special, often instructing players to use specific weapons or abilities on enemies, but they help with the monotony. Additionally, completing optional objectives in a mission will sometimes yield new skins for Crypto, though not many of them. There are also pieces of concept art that can be unlocked and viewed in the Mothership.
A big part of Destroy All Humans’ appeal is its comedic slant, which few games attempt in 2020. And while most of the jokes still come through, especially the environmental humor in places like Santa Modesta, it is another area where the game struggles with repetition. . There aren’t that many lines when using the Cortex Scan ability, and considering how important it is to the gameplay, players will be hearing the same quips — and some aren’t getting too old.
The game is filled with lines directed at Communism and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which quickly lose their appeal, but persist throughout the game. It brings out the Red Scare sensibility known for its 1950s aesthetic, and that fits without making them duller. Retaining the original voice acting cast and lines was clearly an intentional design decision, but adding a few more quips would have gone a long way with it.
Oddly enough, Destroy All Humans’ worst moments are also its biggest. The last two boss fights of the game are drawn out and monotonous, putting a damper on the ending. Without spoiling the story for newcomers, the last two battles consist of three stages, but boil down to simply pressing the shoot button and dodging shots, with a few other mechanics to keep things going- thing. It wouldn’t be a big problem if they didn’t take long, but they both take longer than they should.
Beating the final mission rewards a ton of DNA, however, which is used to unlock upgrades. The upgrade tree has seen a major overhaul, offering more options than the original game. Both Crypto and the Saucer have independent skill trees, upgrading things like ammo capacity for weapons like the Disintegrator Ray and shields. There’s no option to reset upgrades, and over-investing in a tree can make certain challenges and late-game missions difficult, so balance is important.
The Crypto saucer is fun to fly, but it can feel a little underpowered at times. The Death Ray takes a little longer to level buildings, and the other two weapons – while more destructive – have relatively low ammo capacities. All of these can be upgraded, but even at the end of the ability trees, the saucer felt empty. It’s not used much during the story, but when trying to earn three stars in Saucer-focused challenges, it can be a bit frustrating.
Besides the problems, Destroy All Humans’ raw, chaotic energy is matched by few other games. It’s by no stretch of the imagination perfect, but for those looking for a trip down memory lane, it’s hard to beat. It’s a relic of a time when games were far simpler, and while big-budget, story-driven games have more or less replaced games like Destroy All Humans, the ability to sit down and cause of destruction is still a pleasant way to end a stressful day. Destroy All Humans serves that need in 2020 as it did in 2005, and with any luck, opens the door for a Destroy All Humans 2 remake or true sequel.
Destroy All Humans releases on July 28, 2020, for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Today Technology was given an Xbox One code for this review.