I never played Destroy All Humans! when it first released in 2005. To be honest, I don’t know why. I wasn’t playing a lot of video games at the time but I wasn’t avoiding them either. A few years later, I decided to play Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon. However, I only played a few hours of it. I’m not quite sure why I didn’t play more of it. After all, the premise of the game is something that is right in my wheelhouse. Goofy video games usually do it for me. Realizing that I missed the boat in the past, I decided that I HAD to play the remaster when THQ Nordic released it. Unfortunately, I don’t think it aged very well. There are some issues with it, but there is also some things it does right and THQ Nordic has a unique IP on it’s hands that it can do something great with.
Destroy All Humans! is set in America in the late 1950’s/ early 1960’s. You play as Crypto-137, the latest iteration in a long line of a cloned alien whose DNA is deteriorating due to overuse. Your predecessors didn’t survive for whatever reason, so you are tasked with finding more DNA on Earth to replenish your species and save it from extinction. What I really like is that Destroy All Humans!, doesn’t take itself seriously. Between the outrageous dialogue and the use of of cliche alien technology (death rays, abductor beams, and of course anal probes), Destroy All Humans! has some outrageous and funny moments. The writers did a good job in getting what people think of when they imagine America in the middle of the 20th century in terms of parlance and lifestyle. In addition, I liked that the open world environments aren’t massive. Rather, there are several smaller ones. Overall, the premise Destroy All Humans! is interesting and the lighthearted nature of it were a welcome relief from more serious games. Also, it looks really nice while you are playing. Bottom line, Destroy All Humans! is goofy and silly and I am all for that!
Destroy All Humans! is VERY dated both in terms of gameplay and writing. Some of the jokes and dialogue would have been fine when it first released in 2005, I am sure some of the writing was fine. Today though, they seem to be ham fisted and grabbing for low hanging fruit. Also, in what seems to be a kids game, there are some lines that are a little more adult in themed that I would have expected. I mean, 13 year old me would have loved this, but not 39 year old me. I’m not saying that the writing and themes are inappropriate today, but they didn’t age well. They are a little too crass for 2020. Also, the gameplay while I’m sure was somewhat new in 2005, open world games have come a long way the last decade and a half. The missions are pedestrian and repetitive. Visually, the remaster looks great while you are actually playing but not during cinematic portions. I encountered some serious frame rate drops during the cut scenes. That’s not going to cut it.
The Final Verdict:
In general, Destroy All Humans! is a relic of a few gaming generations ago. It’s not all bad. The setting really appealed to me and I think if THQ Nordic turned the series into on online experience like GTA V online, they could be onto something. By merging the real world and the sci-fi world, there is a lot they can do. I would definitely be interested in playing a modern version online with some buddies on a Friday night. Destroy All Humans! works pretty well as a palate cleanser though. I will come back to this from time to time when I’m in between games. However, as it is now, I don’t see this as a game I can play for hours on end or daily. I really like the premise of Destroy All Humans! and would love to see a newer modern version of it. It’s not great, but the remaster was done well. While playing it, it looked good. If you are one for nostalgia and loved this game when you were younger, or you haven’t played it before, it may be worth a shot playing it. For me, it was an OK game and I would really like to see something new from the IP.