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Destroy All Humans review

The 50s attack!

Pros

  • Truly warped sense of humor
  • Looks great
  • controls equally well
  • Missions at least sound fun

Cons

  • Too much trial and error
  • Too many frustratingly quick deaths
  • Many great ideas aren't fully realized

Destroy All Humans is a loving-but-edgy, action game spoof of all those cheesy B-movies about giant space brains descending upon 1950s surburbia... played from the point of view of the invader. It's often funny and comes packing a full variety of worthy gameplay ideas, most of which revolve around gleefully wanton destruction. But in the end, the invasion is just a few death rays short of world domination.

As the Furon warrior Cryptosporidium 137, you have been sent to Earth to harvest human DNA and maybe take over the world in the process. To do this, you rely on handy technology like a zap-o-matic rifle and disintegrator ray, a flying saucer with the firepower to raze entire city blocks, and your own psychic abilities. These mostly consist of mind-reading, brainwashing/shape-shifting, and the power to levitate and throw things using nothing but your big, alien brain. Missions consist of everything from the total destruction of Earth cities to psychically impersonating different human VIPs in order to turn human society against itself.

The big thing Destroy All Humans has going for it is a sense of '50s style fed into a raw, sarcastic sense of humor. The quaint, Ozzie and Harriet stereotype setting (mom vacuums while wearing pearls, dad's a pipe-puffing wise man) gets turned on its head. For instance, peeking into the mind of a suburban housewife may reveal she’s happy ... as long as she has her pills and booze. Making matters more darkly comic are Crypto’s utter disdain for the human race and that same human race's utter stupidity. Earthlings believe anything as long as they think “communists” are behind it, which makes it that much easier to bend them to your twisted will.

So what’s the problem? In a word, balance. Things start off ridiculously easy then ramp up in difficulty way too fast, and too often a mission has to be figured out mostly by trial and error. A little more guidance would help keep the aimless wandering to a minimum. Worse, running across government Men in Black types will instantly blow your cover, usually resulting in death.

Another disappointment is how linear and typical the gameplay is. Given Crypto's plethora of powers and the varied mission types this should enable, we had hoped for a more, "go anywhere, do anything, solve the mission however you like" approach, like recent Grand Theft Auto games have had.

More Info

GenreAction
DescriptionThis lovingly cheesy B-movie spoof offers plenty of wacky, slightly skewed action.
PlatformXbox, Xbox 360, PS2
US censor ratingMature
Alternative namesDAH
Release date21 June 2005 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)
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