Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy |
July 15th 2005
Destroy All Humans! is a Sci-Fi adventure which tries it's hardest to recreate that campy B-Movie feeling for our gaming hands. As Spielberg releases War of the Worlds, we have a similar release of sorts with Pandemic's Destroy All Humans!
In Destroy All Humans! you take on the role of a pissed off Furion Empire Alien Cryptosporidium 137. Crypto is sent to earth to investigate his clone's disappearance into the human infested homeworld. Crypto is the perfect clone for the job with a nack for pulling the brains right out of our human heads, literally.
Playing the evil side against the humans is refreshing twist with action that is always moving at a good pace. It's really hard not to have fun either in the missions or just messing around. Destroy All Humans! also gives you a little leeway in deciding how you about meeting objectives which usually include the choice sneak around, or kill everything. You don't have to worry about his alien being fragile, Crypto is one tough character who loves to kill and punish humans or xenophobic little primates, as referred to in the game. Crypto arsenal includes the ability to control objects including people with his telekinesis as well as having assortment of destructive weapons to extract or destroy the opposition. If killing each citizen with ground level mayhem isn't enough you can always jump aboard your flying saucer and pulverize the town with your death ray!
Crypto's main enemies in the game are the local police, the military and the majestic (men in black). The police and the military are the least of your concerns for our little alien friend. The ones he has to watch for are the Majestic agents because of their ability to quickly take you down or recognize you when you're imitating a human form. You'll spend a good portion of your time using the old jump and shoot technique as you run and gun these suit wearing space hunters. Like Grand Theft Auto's star alert system you will be fully aware of your wanted status by the meter at the top, if it gets too hot just try hiding out for a while and usually the level will go down.
All the games violence is handled with a good sense of humor and tries it's best to get you laughing over the stereotypes and basic paranoia of Middletown USA in the 50's. You will hear the authorities using the phrase communist a few times to explain the chaos you institute. It's also fun just to examine the world Pandemic build and I'll be surprised if you don't spend a few minutes each mission just running around reading the citizens obscure thoughts. Try it; there are a few laughs in those little DNA soaked brains.
The missions very over the course of the game, but like all good things Destroy All Humans! comes to end too quickly. They have included a number of mini-games including races and rampages when can be done by going back to a certain mission point. It's definitely a game that will have you coming back more than once after you finished it. If you're a completist gamer then you have more a lot to discover compared to the average game.
In the end you have a game with some excellent themes, gameplay mechanics and humor. The only downside is that the missions become a little bit tiresome because you're in the same setting all too often. Everyone can have fun with this one and that's half the battle.
Graphics & Sound
Destroy All Humans! has a distinctive 50's style influenced by all the classic Sci-Fi clichés. The game looks good, but it isn't free from problems. Character pop-up is too frequent and it's something which happens almost every time you turn the cameras perspective. Besides the pop-up another comment on the graphics is that the inhabitants and surroundings become repetitive. It's great that they wanted to create the illusion of a real world, but there are only a handful of different characters throughout the game. One thing that surprised me is that even though the game is gory the managed to do so without blood and the special effects to make this a believable scenario. Exploding brains never looked so clean! The load times are quick and the landscapes are rather large with great draw distance, besides the towns' folk. Destroy All Humans! will satisfy most and the graphical drawbacks are understandable with any game that tries to recreate a living city.
The sound is excellent in Destroy All Humans! and it helps get across the old B Space movie feeling. Right from the introduction, to the in game music you'll think your watching an Ed Wood movie. The voice acting for the citizens and aliens are excellent, although it does get a little annoying after the hundredth time. Crypto doesn't have your typical Mars Attacks voice; he sounds more like Jack Nicholson on a good day. Everything else from the weapon effects to animals are excellently produced to make the whole game more endearing.
The major innovation in Destroy All Humans! Is the games atmosphere. I'm really surprised no one has done this B-Grade Sci-Fi lately in gaming. The settings, characters, and subject matter are all fresh and inspiring to play. I'm sure we'll have a sequel in the works for the future. Although the setting is fresh the game gameplay borders on the new and old.
Pandemic managed to throw in some toys for Crypto to play with which have their own twist which showing some level of creativity and innovation. The Zap-O-Matic, Ion Detonator, Disintegrator Ray and the unbelievable Anal Probe are all loaded into Crypto morphing gun. The Anal Probe has to be a first in gaming and I'm sure if that's a good thing or not. The Furon saucer is equally as much fun to cruise around with its most innovative weapons the Abducto Beam which is one guilty pleasure everyone will enjoy. Like the rest of the game Pandemic has pulled some more cool tricks with the characters arsenal and psychic abilities.
Tossing cows, cars and people over buildings, into lakes or oncoming traffic is too much fun and just from that statement you can guess that Destroy All Humans! has the mojo. This is the perfect atmosphere for a videogame which should have been brainstormed a long time ago. Here are a few more words to convince you of the mojo, anal probe, electrocuting chickens, huge death raw, abduction, killing, death, killing more, roasting cows and that's just the first mission or two. Gotta love the saucer, Gotta love the guns, Gotta love Destroy All Humans!
Destroy All Humans! is a great little game from Pandemic Studios and THQ. It's addictive, humorous and easy to get into three traits that go a long way in the gaming. Even though the game is an overall success it is a little repetitive and dull even with all the destruction and giggles... Most critics agree that it could have been so much more. Hopefully this isn't the only human trampling event from the Furon Empire because I could get used to exploding brains on the 360.
Gameplay: 7.5, Graphics/Sound: 7, Innovation: 8, Mojo: 9. Final: 8
"Don't Get Mad, Get Sadistic!"