The evil side of a 50’s alien invasion story
Just when you thought it safe to venture from behind the sofa those pesky greys decided it would be the perfect opportunity to invade Earth (again) and mess things up big time (again)! Originally released in 2005 for PS2 and OG Xbox, Destroy All Humans is an open-world action-adventure back to anally probe a new generation but does this vision live up to expectations?
Destroy All Humans has gained a cult status over the years, even though the original has its share of issues. While the game was a great concept it was ultimately hampered by the technical limitations of the time and dodgy camera angles. Thankfully this remake has taken everything we loved about the original and turned things up to 11. The remake made an appearance last year on Xbox and PlayStation but has finally been optimised and squished onto the much-loved hybrid, the Nintendo Switch.
As for the premise of the game, it’s pretty simple. Terrorise the town folk of 1950s Earth by harvesting their DNA, causing all manner of problems for the local law enforcement agency, as evil Crypto-137 looking to conquer the human race. With a plotline brimming with cheesy nostalgia and cliché, you could be forgiven for thinking this is a B-movie, further compounded by the design choices of the developers and time period. It’s one of the many charms that made the original Destroy All Humans so memorable and fun.
Enjoy Crypto’s unique weaponry
As with any well-prepared invasion, it’s important to have access to an arsenal of out of this world weaponry and team Crypto are no slouches in this department. Blasters, Death-rays, Explosives, more Blasters and *probes* can be used to gain the upper hand… oh and of course, psychic abilities don’t go a miss too. Abducting and taking the form of unexpecting citizens offers a fun take on the stealth required to tick off some of the checklist objectives.
Traversing around each area is still as enjoyable all these years later, discover and complete side missions and generally mess things up along the way. There’s a load of content and unlockables to keep you busy without having to progress the main storyline. Like most sandbox offerings, the best times are had when ambling around aimlessly causing carnage for anything that looks funny at you – including those poor cows.
Obliterate humanity’s architecture with your flying saucer
Levels and gameplay are mixed up with the ability to take to the skies with your flying saucer, like that scene from Independence Day… and vaporise things on a grander scale. Buildings, Farms, Circus Tents, Military vehicles are just some of the targets on today’s hit list. It provides a nice change in gameplay, even if you are still just blowing stuff up for looking at you funny. But it’s all done with a sense of jest, there’s a real dark sense of humour running through Destroy All Humans, some of which feels a little out of place by today’s improved education and forewarned during boot up.
Having played this on the Xbox Series of consoles, purely for comparison… and it was on Game Pass, it’s clear to see that sacrifices have been made. The visual and framerate, while still good on the Switch in both handheld and docked, are missing some of the finer detail and smoothness in performance. Textures are muddy and the level of detail is lower but that’s to be expected given the disparity in raw horsepower. What is impressive to see is that developers are still able to squeeze a similar experience onto the Nintendo Switch.
In spite of the minor performance trade-off, the game controls well on Nintendo Switch. Even playing with the much troubled Joy-Con worked well but as always a Pro Controller is recommended where feasible. To round off this reimaging some additional content is included, a ‘lost mission’ and extra skin pack are presented for a ‘what you would expect’ back of the box bonus list.
Destroy All Humans is the sort of game that comes around every once in a while. The concept is original and helps to elevate the standard gameplay mechanics employed. The development team have done a great job of delivering a fresh take on a cult classic that still feels familiar but builds in quality of life enhancements. Most important of all, the fun and mayhem we had all those years ago remained intact but unfortunately, the Nintendo Switch isn’t the best place to experience it.
Review code provided
Release Date: 29/06/2021
No. of Players: 1
Category: Adventure, Action
Developer: Black Forest Games
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Download link: US eShop / UK eShop