By DEV CROWLEY
Similarly to Fox Mulder, I too am a slut for aliens. I love anything and everything space and alien related: movies, books, shows and video games. So you know that means that I am already a fan of the DESTROY ALL HUMANS! game. The original game looked great in 2005 and was filled with hilarious and snarky dialogue and fun, destructive gameplay. With a wave of remakes and remasters in the last couple years, I wondered if DESTROY ALL HUMANS! 2020 would just be a shot-for-shot remake of the game that we already love to replay. If that was the case, was the game worth rebuying? I decided to strap on my Zap-o-matic and find out.
DESTROY ALL HUMANS! 2020 was developed by Black Forest Games and published by THQ Nordic. In the first loading screen lets players know that the remake won’t be a whole new experience but an improved game from what they had before. For that reason, I expected a shot for shot remake with no changes save for the environmental graphics but that’s not exactly what we got. I would say that the statement from the developers was a bit misleading because it feels like a whole new game.
For those of you that haven’t played DESTROY ALL HUMANS!, the story follows Cryptosporidium 137 (Crypto for short), one of the many Furon clones. Furons have to make clones because they lack the reproductive organs needed to procreate. Unfortunately, their cloning DNA is beginning to thin and clones are getting a bit wonky. Fortunately, Cryptosporidium 136 got himself crash landed on Earth and taken by humans. Crypto 137 is ordered to go rescue his clone and cause some chaos while he’s there. Humans contain pure and old Furon DNA which means they will have a fresh supply for better clones. Time to harvest that sweet, sweet DNA.
If you were to look at versions of DESTROY ALL HUMANS! side by side, not only are the graphics drastically improved, but the cutscenes are just put together better. The scenes are far more cinematic and they just have better bones which makes them more enjoyable to watch. One of the biggest things that I noticed from the original game was that the environments just seemed empty, which was a consequence of the time. If you think back to games like GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS and even when a game was great, the world was pretty devoid of life and the colors very muted. Big swathes of empty areas can make a game seem desolate but DESTROY ALL HUMANS! 2020 doesn’t have that to worry about. The whole game is filled to the brim with life and color.
The NPCs in the game are far more dynamic in the remake, as well. DESTROY ALL HUMANS! is known for having a cheeseball 1950’s vibe, when alien-mania was at its peak. All of the characters scream 50’s and the colors are bright and vivid. The whole atmosphere is just exuberant but it’s not even the best part about this remake. The gameplay is so damn fun and it’s improved considerably. I have to say that one of my favorite tools in Crypto’s arsenal is the Anal Probe. You don’t have to aim at the target to get it right up the bum hole, which is super convenient when you have several targets on your tail and it extracts DNA at the same time. On top of that, the jet pack is awesome. It almost makes the challenges too easy. Many times I just find myself whizzing around, destroying buildings and enjoying the sights. You know, vacation stuff.
In terms of gameplay, there is nothing negative that I can say about the graphics and the gameplay. The only thing close to negative is the audio quality. They used the audio from the 2005 release of DESTROY ALL HUMANS!, which was great so don’t get me wrong. The voice acting in that game is hilariously perfect and I am glad they didn’t change any of that. But, because the audio is a bit on the older side, there is a ringing tinny-ness that can be heard the entire time. Maybe it is nitpicking on my part, but that is the only thing that bothered me the entire game.
All in all, this release was so much fun. If you enjoyed the first release, you will adore this game. If you are new to the franchise, you will adore this game. It’s pure chaotic fun full of flying a UFO (which is awesome), flying with a jetpack (also awesome) and hilarious dialogue.
DESTROY ALL HUMANS! is out now on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Google Stadia. Review code provided by the publisher.