It’s been 12 years since the last game in the Destroy All Humans! franchise. Persisting through severe development problems and even the bankruptcy of its parent company, a remake of the first game has somehow found its way into the hands of players.
Destroy All Humans! (2020) is a remake of the original 2005 release. And it is a faithful remake, not a reboot: basically everything down to the story, your powers, and the locations are lifted straight from the first game and given a facelift… like an alien abduction (but more fun) which certainly fits the theme.
While (or maybe due to) being a faithful remake of the original, the game is decidedly dated when compared to more recent offerings in the industry. Although it technically offers open-world gameplay, there is no seamless transition between locations a la Assassin’s Creedor Ghost of Tsushima, for example.
Graphics are serviceable, if not dated, for a 2020 game. A walk around town will reveal the same faces and models used repeatedly. The cartoony style the game strives for does help to suspend your disbelief a little more than usual. Plus, it never looks bad, and there’s no massive graphical glitches or error to contend with.
The storyline serves as a hours-long tutorial for players, since it withholds your true power from you until you play through it. Completing missions are what allows you to unlock up to six sandbox locations for you to roam around, and perhaps more importantly, upgrades for your human killing implements.
When it comes down to it, the game succeeds at one thing wildly: destroying all humans is really, really fun. You have a ton of tools in your arsenal, and after upgrades, each of them is a Swiss Army knife all on its own. You can use both your mind powers and weapons simultaneously. There’s nothing quite like commanding a bunch of soldiers to aid your fight against their comrades before their heads eventually explode from the stress, all while you are non-consensually Anal Probing your enemies which also, somehow, causes their brains to pop out, and flinging people into the air or each other with your psychokinesis powers.
Personally, the saucer gameplay is unwieldy and much less fun than just being Crypto. It is a compulsory part of some missions and challenges though, so it pays to at least upgrade your spaceship slightly to make your life easier.
Besides the missions, and the sandbox roaming… that’s about it. The game’s a little lacking in content, with a seasoned gamer likely to finish everything the game has to offer in 10 hours or so. There are challenges for you to take on, but they all play the same way albeit with a fresh coat of paint.
The plot is obviously satirical and doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is kind of the motto of this whole game, really. There’s not much depth to the brainless (heh) and wanton murder, but it’s fun. And really, that’s not a bad thing! It’s probably not a game you can play for 200 hours while exalting the deep lore and tight game mechanics, but it doesn’t try to be, and that’s perfectly OK.
What remains is a cool nostalgic romp around America as an alien god that’s capable of razing everything in its way once you purchase some new bling. And instead of the humans rallying and winning the day, they don’t, because they are seriously dumb in this game. Makes it all the more enjoyable to blast them into oblivion, then.