One of the biggest things a remake can hope to do is enhance enough to make the original release redundant by comparison. Destroy All Humans is neither a perfect game nor a perfect remake, but it improves so much from when it released in 2005 that I can’t imagine ever needing to go back to the original. This is exactly what Destroy All Humans fans wanted.
As a big fan of the original two games growing up, I’ve been wanting to see the franchise return in some capacity for years now. Sure, I would have preferred a brand new entry and continuation for the series, but for something that’s generally considered a hidden gem from the PS2 generation, it’s just really great to see it back at all and to get the chance to…DESTROY ALL HUMANS!
Sorry, I had to do it at least once.
Destroy All Humans Review- Jetpack Joyride
For the uninitiated, Destroy All Humans puts you in the shoes of Cryptosporidium-137, a Furon that travels to Earth in order to harvest the remnants of Furon DNA from within humans before their race can no longer clone themselves. The plot is fairly light and mostly just plays on invasion and ’50s cliches, but a dark sense of humor carries it throughout. Crypto and Pox are the standouts here, although it was Richard Horvitz’s performance that made me laugh most through the adventure. I mostly hear Invader Zim, but that’s kind of perfect.
Graphically, Destroy All Humans looks fantastic. The move from realistic looking people to a caricature style is welcome, and all of the environments look fantastic. I especially loved the updates to Crypto’s costume and model, even if his weird squid-like head holes were gross to watch. There are a lot of little improvements that you’ll likely overlook too, especially if you haven’t played the original in a while, like the new loading screen art and smaller model changes like the Ion Combustor ammo. It’s all clearly been done with a lot of love.
Unfortunately if we’re talking about presentation we have to tackle my biggest issue with the game early on. The choice to keep the original 2005 audio completely intact feels really out of place, and is a disservice to the actual performances and the improvements that have been made to the rest of the game. I understand that it’s in the spirit of keeping the jokes and voice actors the same, but the audio quality here is noticeably not up to par and it can be a bit distracting. It’s worth it to have Crypto and Pox, but there are a lot of smaller characters and NPC’s that would have benefited from new actors altogether.
Destroy All Humans isn’t the most stable experience either. I had three crashes during my playtime, along with some audio and visual glitches. Some button prompts didn’t always work, and the Anal Probe was extremely temperamental (there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write) for whatever reason. None of the issues were enough to stop me from playing, but they did aggravate me.
The biggest things that the remake introduces is the attempts at modernizing the gameplay. Crypto controls 100x better, his jetpack is actually useful now, you can skate and dash around and you can use powers and weapons in conjunction with one another. The flying saucer can now control pitch, and Holobob disguises don’t feel like a massive disadvantage. These may seem small, but they really make the difference in making this not feel like a game from fifteen years ago. Take it from a fan; all of the little changes make the original release seem prehistoric by comparison.
Destroy All Humans Review – All of Them
Thankfully, the main gameplay loop of Destroy All Humans is actually still a lot of fun. Each mission generally has you completing a few small objectives either stealthily or destructively. The stealth is simple, but surprisingly quite engaging, whilst the destruction is pretty mindless fun. Crypto feels incredibly powerful in the remake which is a positive change, as it does let you go a bit more wild with your powers.
These powers and weapons are infinitely more fun thanks to the updated controls. Being able to lift one person whilst still shooting with the Zap-O-Matic is great fun. I was personally never too fond of the saucer gameplay, but I still had fun messing around with it during the missions. There are also some optional challenges to be found now too, but they either felt too easy or far too out of the way to bother with.
I felt similarly about the sandboxes, which include a few different types of challenges to complete for DNA. Unless you’re serious about completion or upgrading Crypto, I don’t see too many people bothering to complete them. It’s cool to be able to explore the environments and mess around outside of the main missions however. Besides messing around with skins and optional challenges, there’s not really going to be much reason to keep coming back here unless you enjoy just messing around with NPCs.
Similarly to how Battle For Bikini Bottom Rehydrated included cut content, Destroy All Humans added in a lost mission for Area 42 which appears as Mission 13.5. It’s not particularly interesting but it’s a really cool touch to have there, and a good “deleted scene” incentive for fans of the franchise.
Unfortunately Destroy All Humans isn’t a very long game. It took me about eight hours to finish the main story missions, with a few more hours put into completing optional challenges in the main missions and sandbox areas. This isn’t the remake’s problem, but it makes me wonder if a double-part remake would have been more palatable. I wish the game went out on a better note though. The short experience is capped off with a genuinely infuriating final boss battle that had me questioning how much fun I’d been having.
Destroy All Humans’ impact on you is definitely going to depend on how much you played the original release. As a fan of the original, I was sat gleefully destroying all the humans and basking in the improvements, but I could also see people who haven’t played the 2005 release not quite “getting” it. For those in the same boat as me, it’s exactly what it needs to be: a faithful improvement on the original game, and an indication that Crypto has plenty of life in him yet. Hopefully it can pave the way for an all new adventure someday soon.
Destroy All Humans review code provided by publisher. Reviewed on PlayStation 4. For more information on scoring, please read our Review Policy.