In Which I Had So Much Fun My Squeedly-Spooch* Ruptured
A little green man, a butt-probing gun, and a mission to destroy humanity for the survival of the Furon race. What more could a girl want? Well, it might have been made perfect if somehow Richard Steven Horvitz, of Invader Zim fame, had been a voice actor at some point during the game. Oh wait, check! How about a probing gun so intense that it makes the heads of its victims explode? Check, again! Slingshot tanks with your flying saucer’s tractor beam? Oh yeah, check! Is there anything this game doesn’t have? If so, I haven’t thought of it yet.
If I’m going to be honest, I never played the first Destroy All Humans, and if I’ve learned anything from this experience it’s that I should have. I’m not sure what I was doing in June of 2005 when this game was first released. Something about High School graduation and going to college perhaps, but nothing as important has playing this game would have been!
Finally remastered for the PlayStation 4, Destroy All Humans looks about as good as one might expect. The graphics look very smooth and the color schemes look significantly brighter than their PS2 counterparts. The controls have been calibrated nicely for the new remote as well, using the mapping of the touchpad to fill in for the “start” and “select” functions no longer existent on next-gen Sony controllers. The gameplay is still delightfully smooth. If I didn’t know any better I would have never guessed that this was a remastered game.
Now on to the game itself! This is a review, after all.
So, what’s the deal exactly? Why do we need to “destroy all humans” as the title suggests? Well for starters, let’s face it, we totally had it coming. I mean is humanity as a whole a species that seems to have its stuff together? The answer is no, in case you needed to ponder that one. More interestingly, we discover early on that the Furon race has apparently undergone so many nuclear wars that they have seemingly…nuked themselves infertile. That’s right. They no longer have the tools for the job, if you catch my meaning. They’ve now undergone so many eons of cloning in order to keep their race going that they’ve essentially run the genetic gene pool dry, and because cloning is by no means an efficient way to make new living organisms (given that it doesn’t create anything new, just copies the same genetic information over and over again) each new generation of Furons is essentially becoming dumber and dumber.
Kind of like humanity. Just kidding. (Am I?)
Take the human race by storm by wreaking havoc and terror with a clever assortment of weapons. Starting with the zapper gun. Feel free to shock your enemies to death one by one! You also have the ion gun which shoots devastating grenades at various ranges, taking out both vehicles and people alike. Then there is my favorite, the probing gun. Charge it up and run at your enemies, and you probe them so hard that their heads literally explode off of their bodies. Scoop up their brains for some tasty DNA and you’re back in business, fighting the good fight. Well, probably not the good fight, but you get it. If things get too hairy, don’t worry, you can jump in your flying saucer and blow stuff up or use your abduction ray to pick up everything from people to vehicles and toss them anywhere you want (including the sea if that’s an available option). This game is a wacky good time, and just when I think I’ve seen it all, it gives me more.
The best part for me has been the scanning of Earthling brains. The mindset of late 1950’s middle America is parodied perfectly within the internal monologues of pathetic humans everywhere with thoughts like “If only there were some way to electronically facilitate the private viewing of illicit photography, like some sort of computing device with a screen… Ah, it’ll never happen.” and “So this is what Eliot meant by “a life of quiet desperation”. Thanks a lot, you limey bastard.” I can’t forget to mention that every politician you encounter sounds like a cross between Richard Nixon and Mayor Quimby, and I’m honestly not sure if that was on purpose or not. Regardless, the flavor of each and every experience is low in variety but rich in hilarious self-awareness. Seriously, the laughs never seem to stop in this game!
Don’t get me wrong though, there are a few flaws. For example, there are a few missions where it is not really explained how to accomplish your tasks, but thankfully one can check the mission log in the Start Menu and be given (usually) full instructions there. This is mildly frustrating as it does break game flow, but it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever experienced in a game. During play I have also had a crash or two, which was frustrating since you have to restart each mission upon its failure or exiting the game. The worst part so far has been having to destroy a car to obtain a briefcase. Upon doing so however, the briefcase appeared a good fifteen feet or so in the air, rendering it utterly inaccessible. After ten minutes of attempting to stack cars on top of one another with telekinesis to make a stairway, I gave up. The cars eventually all explode after one or two catch flame, and because motorists kept crashing into my metal sculpture of fiery death, I couldn’t keep the construct up long enough to get anywhere. I eventually had to restart the whole level, but eventually I got it. All in all, the experience was more hilarious than frustrating and I was able to laugh it off.
All of that being said though, Destroy All Humans translates very well to the PlayStation 4, and looks great in the process! It’s the most fun I’ve had playing a game in a very long time, even at its worst, and that’s saying something. It’s a light, fluffy, kind of stupid fun, and frankly I think we can all agree that we need more games like that. Between the hilarious dialogue, amusing parodying of mid-20th-century America, and the giggle-worthy stupidity of both the antagonists and the protagonists – Destroy All Humans really is a must play for anyone looking to have a good time.
Final Verdict: 5/5
Available on: PlayStation 4 (Reviewed) ; Publisher: THQ Nordic; Developer: THQ Nordic ; Players: 1; Released: November 1, 2016 ; MSRP: $19.99
Full Disclosure: This review was based on a review copy of Destroy All Humans provided by the publisher.
*A large Irken bodily organ responsible for most of, if not all of, their bodily functions. An Invader Zim reference.