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‘Destroy All Humans!’ 2020 review: a blast from the past, remastered

Screenshot from Destroy All Humans

Screenshot from Destroy All Humans   | Photo Credit: Black Forest Games

The 1950s in the United States was a time known for its alien fever, with the supposed Area 51 experiments and the subsequent B-grade science-fiction pop culture. While Fallout was inspired by the technology and nuclear paranoia of the 50s, a little game called Destroy All Humans! which hit PlayStation 2 in 2005 was an homage to the alien fever of that era. This game let you play as an alien-invading army to bring the wrath of the stars upon us puny humans.

Now there is a remaster of this classic. Cue the eerie X-Files alien music.

Destroy All Humans! (2020)
  • Developer: Black Forest Games
  • Publisher: THQ Nordic
  • Price: Approx ₹1000 on Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC

You play as Cryptosporodium-137, shortened to just Crypto, an evil — and quite cute — extraterrestrial clone sent down in his flying saucer to rescue his 136 counterpart who was captured by humans. And yes, there is plenty of hi-jinx, as you destroy everything in your path and suck out the human brain stems to power your gadgetry. Destroy All Humans! is hilarious as you power through story missions on your quest to take over this blue planet with the singular objective of draining humans of their DNA so that Crypto’s species may survive. The story is simple, and is designed to be fun, complete with campy cutscenes. Crypto-137 is wildly unhinged and brings some fun one-liners to the table in witty banter with the overlord Orthopox-13.

Other-worldly invasion

Think of Destroy All Humans! as Grand Theft Auto, that is more cartoony with other-wordly layers, where, instead of jumping into cars, you have a flying saucer, a jet-pack and a host of energy and psionic weapons at your disposal. You are given specific missions to complete, most of which involve wanton destruction in small open world sandboxes where you can either choose to go all-out and destroy everything in sight, or stealthily read humans’ thoughts and slip by in flimsy disguises. The emphasis of the game, though, is to blow everything up and that is what the game does best.

Screenshot from Destroy All Humans

Screenshot from Destroy All Humans   | Photo Credit: Black Forest Games

Given the game does have ‘destroy’ in its name, destroy you will. The objectives give you excuses to blow up stuff, whether you are in your death-ray-equipped flying saucer, melting down everything in sight, or on foot using your psionic abilities to hurl cows, people and other objects at people. The more damage you do, the more the humans retaliate, as per the game’s AI. The third-person shooter mechanics are smooth, and while the flying saucer mechanics are stiff, the 2020 version makes the run and gun smooth and the destruction satisfying. Everything in the game is fine-tuned to let you have a lot of mindless fun, ideal for these frustrating home-bound times.

The remake of Destroy All Humans! looks leaps and bounds better than the 2005 game, which did not age well. The colours are vibrant and, while the animations are not that great, they do work with the art style. Crypto is a hard protagonist to like, which was a personal issue with even the original design. The voice acting of the original carries over to the 2020 remake. While the mission structure remains the same, the gameplay is tweaked with mission challenges and more.

Screenshot from Destroy All Humans

Screenshot from Destroy All Humans   | Photo Credit: Black Forest Games

The bottom line is, it could have used a lot more fine tuning to close gaps of time. If you were a fan of the original, the updated graphics will be a good walk down memory lane. However, the 2020 Destroy All Humans! works a lot more like a reboot. Bringing new generations into the fold, as there is hopefully a brand new sequel in the works.

The writer is a tech and gaming enthusiast who hopes to one day finish his sci-fi novel

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2020 12:46:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/gamespot-review-destroy-all-humans-2020-a-blast-from-the-past-rebooted/article32259957.ece

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