Destroy all Humans! is back fifteen years after its initial PlayStation 2 release. With a new and updated graphics system, performance enhancements, and modernized controls, Crypto is back and deadlier than ever.
+Controls have been improved and don’t feel near as clunky
+and audio have received massive upgrades
+Loadtimes are almost non-existent
-Button layouts can be slightly offputting due to how many buttons are used
In 2005, Pandemic Studios knew they were onto something when they released their critically-acclaimed series’ first entry, Destroy All Humans!, which somehow, went under the radar for many. Somehow, it was one of those games that just didn’t get tons of attention compared to bigger hits such as Call of Duty or Battlefield.
Now, here we are, 15 years later and Black Forest Games have decided to jump in, stay loyal to the source material, and improved upon every aspect of the game. Clunky controls? Gone. Slow framerates? Gone. Audio clarity jitter? Gone. Improved graphics? Dial turned to a 10 up from 5. Is Crypto still being a snarky bada** alien? Indeed.
Crypto is back and bigger than ever
One of the things that I can’t help but love about Destroy All Humans! is the fact that it never got old. It’s crude, it’s vulgar, it’s eye-rolling, b-rated, fun inducing nostalgia that somehow, makes everyone, no matter what kind of character they are, an equal-opportunity-target for Crypto’s crudeness.
You’ll find that his jokes aren’t great, some age horribly, as you find out the story that the Furon’s, Crypto’s race, aren’t exactly innocent in why they came to Earth. They impregnated women over a millennia ago in order to continue their species and test further with DNA sampling. The jokes aren’t great and the main joke about the game? “They were sailors looking to have a good time.”
Told you. A bit tacky and dated. It doesn’t take away from the title though. You’ll find plenty of puns towards the jokes about aliens disguising themselves as public leaders (politicians), fart jokes, cow jokes, and yep, an anal probe. It does exactly what you think it does and the humor from it, while cringy, does lead for a bit of comedic value.
The main premise is that in 1959, Crypto has been sent to find his clone, he will race his drone, set people on fire, abduct dozens of humans, and well, blow everything he can up.
This grand quest sends Crypto on a tour of six mini-open worlds in the United States circa 1959, ranging from Midwest farmland to a California beach town and then over to a parody of Washington, D.C. Each locale has its own set of story missions, along with a collection of optional side quests in which Crypto must race a drone, abduct dozens of humans, or destroy as much property as possible. Completing missions awards you space bucks that you can spend on upgrades — I’ll get to those in just a moment.
Crypto’s path of destruction is a 1950s-themed b-rate sci-fi flick turned open-world sandbox
When you aren’t playing the main story itself, you’ll be undertaking the open-world experience to a whole new level. As you saw above, you will race, you will abduct, collect DNA, find hidden drones, blow things up, set people on fire, and even infiltrate the human world the best you can.
You’ll find that his armament is nothing to scoff at. He has telekinetic abilities, he can hurl cars, people, tanks, and more across the map. He has a laser rifle, anal probe, and even a flame launching rifle. Yep, everything you figured he would have and some. Did I mention a rifle that creates black holes? Yea, he has that too.
Instead of just jet-packing around or using Crypto’s upgrade that turns his feet into a hoverboard (watch out Tony Hawk, he’s coming for you), you can also pilot his ship, flying around the best he can. His ship itself also comes with a variety of upgrades that increase the ships lethality of well.
It, however, doesn’t escape the issues that it faces with the anal probe, while an ongoing characteristic of alien-based media, does get blown up here. You’ll find it gets upgrades like the ‘Butt Pressure Maximizer’ that greatly increases the damage dealt by the probe itself before it pops the person’s brain out through their rectum.
The humor in Destroy All Humans! is dated, but it doesn’t make the game any less fun, which is somehow, awesome.
You’ll find the game stays up with its brand of humor. You’ll find that it deals with the existential oppression of the nuclear family mindset of the 1950s, 1960s, and even the 1970s. You’ll find yourself kidnapping the fairgrounds beauty queen, probing the butts of unsuspecting humans, fighting back against the nationalistic paranoia of the Red Scare by blowing things all to Hell and even dishing out some havoc on hillbillies you would swear were ripped right from a stereotyped manual.
The humor, you have to remember, is nearly 15 years old and in a world where politically driven humor lasts only a few months at best and the huor here, is nearly 15 years old and the shelflife of this kind of humor in 2020, experies rather quickly.
The developers are aware of this too. They warn you about it from the very start, “Humans of planet Earth, be advised: while the experience has been upgraded, the content and historical record of the original invasion of the Furons remains a near identical clone! The story, words, and images contained within may be shocking to the modern human brain!”
While some will find the humor tasteless, unenjoyable, you have to take it for what it is, something along the lines of what South Park tends to do. While I could drum on endlessly about the humor, let’s talk about the actual improvement to the game itself.
There’s some real solid improvements that have been made to Destroy All Humans!
All the outdated jokes aside, Destroy All Humans! has been given a second chance at life. It’s a game that deserved it though. Graphics, sound effects, controls, and even performance have all been given a second chance at life. The game runs smooth, extremely smooth.
You won’t see any momentary jumps in performance. You won’t see any small hiccups, but you also won’t see the graphics downgrade and upgrade with the use of dynamic resolution scaling. In truth, the game doesn’t need it, which works in favor of the player as well as the devs.
It ensures that all PlayStation 2 drawbacks are left behind, giving fans a chance to experience something entirely new when players are playing Destroy All Humans!. Even the character models for NPCs pop and come to life through the new imporvements.
The downside, their physics, their ragdoll effects, and how still they are, certainly show where the game came from though. Since this is a remaster, you shouldn’t expect a complete and total overhaul to the game. However, what the team has done, is definitely improvement upon many of the shortcomings from the original Destroy All Humans!.
All-in-all, Destroy All Humans! continues to remind us why Crypto is one of the best at what he does. He’s quirky, tempermental, he lays down the law, and he straight up doesn’t care what others think. He’s a man on a mission and even with outdated jokes, he’s still a hoot to have around, whether it’s prbing people, throwing cows into a gravity well or even abducting a bunch of would-be farmers, Destroy All Humans! still delivers a few good laughs.
Destroy All Humans!
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
Platform Reviewed: PlayStation 4
Developer: Black Forest Games
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Release Date: Available Now
If you don’t mind a few outdated jokes, want to shut off your mind and have some fun, Destroy All Humans! will not disappoint and it continues to show why it remains such a smash-hit of a classic.
Our review is based upon a retail version of the game provided to us by the publisher for the review. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
About the Writer(s):
Dustin is our native video game reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook today.