Destroy All Humans! (PlayStation 4) Review

By Josh Di Falco 02.12.2016

Review for Destroy All Humans! on PlayStation 4

Originally developed in 2005 by Pandemic Studios, Destroy All Humans! makes its return into the gaming foray by making the jump to the PlayStation 4. This PlayStation 2 classic title follows the invasion of Earth in 1959, by the Furon race of aliens, with Cryptosporidium 137 embarking on a journey to discover his previous clone, 136's disappearance. Assisted from the mother ship by Orthopox, Crypto 137 has a sweet arsenal of futuristic weapons at his disposal as he attempts to vanquish the humans. With six open world locations to destroy, and a flying saucer that can topple even the toughest enemies, this is definitely an alien invasion that will not soon be forgotten.

Crypto 137 begins his invasion in the unlucky lands of Turnipseed Farm, where the nearby cows are mistaken for the dominant species on Earth. After a brief humorous altercation where the alien attempts to read the animals mind, it soon learns that the humans are the species left behind by the Furons long ago. Because of their closeness, Pox requires the humans' DNA samples to continue the existence of the Furons, while also using the DNA samples to allow for weapon upgrades.

DNA samples act as the in-game currency, and it can be earned from the dead minds of the humans upon death, while also serving as a reward for completing side missions, as well as discovering the hidden probes scattered throughout the locations. They are quite easy to collect, and it does not take a lot of time before Crypto has a good wealth of DNA samples built up, ready to spend on future weapon and saucer upgrades, while story missions are also locked behind DNA walls, requiring a specific number of samples to be reached to continue the game.

Crypto begins with the Zap-O-Matic, as he shoots out volts of electricity to stun unsuspecting civilians. As he progresses, Pox creates new weapons such as the Anal Probe, that projectile up into the victim's rectum, while also pulling out their DNA sample. The Disintegrator Ray sets the victims on fire and leaving behind a charred skeleton while the Ion Detonator is a grenade of sorts that allows for maximum damage. To top it off, Crypto also has a jetpack, which allows him to venture into new areas above ground, while also fleeing attackers. Each of the weapons is fun to use, and they result in plenty of enjoyable moments that might force a smile or a giggle at times. Upgrading them does provide a noticeable benefit, and as such, they do make the main story missions easier to accomplish.

Crypto also employs the use of PsychoKinesis, which is used to levitate and throw objects, people, cars and tanks at the expense of the ability meter. This powerful ability is a truly wonderful cause of destruction, and can easily wipe out an armada of troops by crushing a group of them with one of their own tanks. Another ability is the HoloBlast, which causes a civilian to provide a distraction for those around them. The ability meter recharges automatically at times, thus allowing for basic unlimited usage of the PsychoKinetic abilities.

The graphics leaves a lot to be desired, as the locations are a bit rough, with building models unexpectedly vanishing before reappearing again when the screen is less cluttered. This technical limitation should not still be an issue on the current generation of consoles, and at times, the screen flickers or the health bar refuses to act as one, and instead keeps displaying as empty when it is not. Add to that an older gameplay model with a clunky camera that takes a bit of getting used to, and this game remains a clear indication as to how far back it was released.

Screenshot for Destroy All Humans! on PlayStation 4

Upon completing the main story missions, the six maps are then left to be freely explored with an abundance of side missions to complete, with a lot of DNA samples given as rewards. The missions generally include racing the map to points of interest, to collecting a set amount of DNA samples, or destroying a number of buildings or killing innocents within a designated time limit. While not a whole lot of variety, these missions further exploit the basic limitations of the entire control scheme.

Even the main story missions are quite basic with what Crypto is tasked to do. The main story features a series of "eliminate X people" or "destroy X structures," while a rare few actually use one of the better gameplay mechanics in HoloBobbing. A HoloBob is a technique where Crypto can appear as a civilian and blend into the crowd, requiring constant scans of civilian brains to keep the facade up. These missions generally require Crypto to shadow someone of importance into a guarded area, and these stealth-based missions are some of the better designed missions of the game.

Unfortunately, those stealth missions are few and far between, and more devotion to that method of play would've been an ideal way to spend time. Instead, they are sandwiched with plenty of missions that aim to cause as much as chaos as possible, which would be fine if the last five hours of the game are not spent performing the same tasks and causing the same mayhem. This repetition of the game loop is not a fun one after the initial novelty wears off.

The only downside to the HoloBob sequences is that the Majestic, a group of UFO and extra-terrestrial investigators, always blow Crypto's cover while the in the mere vicinity of him. This causes many missions restarts and failures, and can be an excruciating experience to grind through. The game employs an Alert system seen in the GTA series, where getting sighted alerts the local police, before the army and then the aforementioned Majestic group get involved to take down Crypto. However, unlike GTA, these dispatchers are not very persistent and can easily be outmatched and outrun.

The other major mode of enjoyment is controlling the awesome flying saucer. The Death Ray is the prime weapon used for obliterating civilians while the Sonic Boom and Quantum Deconstructor are pure weapons of mass destruction, as they easily raze buildings to the ground. While the lack of a shield causes the saucer to easily get destroyed can be frustrating at times, there are plenty of health icons and weapon ammo to pick up to allow for more mayhem. The movement of the saucer is so fluid and incredibly fast, that this feels like a powerful way to make the world bend their knees to the might of the Furon.

Screenshot for Destroy All Humans! on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

With lots of references to pop-culture, this parody of an alien invasion contains all the jokes and humour that one would expect from a Mars Attacks! clone, and Destroy All Humans! does not disappoint. However, the humour cannot atone for the poor gameplay mechanics on foot that feel clunky and outdated, though the saucer sequences do save it somewhat. There's a real lack of variety with the missions, with most repeating themselves constantly with different enemies. The few stealth missions are really fun, but they aren't used to their fullest potential, while the HoloBob can be cumbersome at times due to how easy it is to have Crypto's cover blown by the always watching Majestic. For fans wanting to relive the classic, Destroy All Humans! is worth a purchase. However, for newcomers wanting an alien invasion title, this may not be enough to satisfy those otherworldly desires.

Developer

Pandemic

Publisher

Nordic

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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