Like an alien artefact buried deep beneath the Arizona desert, Destroy All Humans! has been dormant for a long time - 12 years to be exact. But now the potty-mouthed alien shooter (where you're the alien doing the shooting) has re-emerged as a full-on remake, many of us simian-minded, goldfish-memoried mortals could use a refresher on what it’s all about.
Destroy All Humans retells the story of the original 2005 game. You are Cryptosporidium 137 (aka ‘Crypto), a grey goggle-eyed alien who’s sent on a mission to Earth to discover what happened to his predecessor, Crypto 136.
As he blasts and mind-controls his way through a cartoonish caricature of 50s, Crypto uncovers a government plot to control the human population through television. It’s up to him to hijack these nefarious plans for his own gain.
Well, for the gain of his species, to be precise.
The game throws you into bright sandbox-style missions set all across America, from the quaint farm towns of the midwest, to the sun-kissed shores of the west coast. While you’ll need to complete specific objectives to progress the story, you’re also free to explore the levels either on foot or by UFO.
You can harvest human DNA and brain stems to improve Crypto’s abilities, or even go undercover as a human and eavesdrop on the weird thoughts that bounce around inside mankind’s meagre minds. Beyond that, the strange array of weapons and abilities at your disposal make each vast level a playground of experimentation.
Each map has a series of challenges you can take on, which unlock as you progress through the story. Abduction tasks you with beaming samples of Earth life back to your ship. You do this using your Psychokinesis- essentially a gravity gun - to throw everything from chickens to cows into a giant UFO beam.
Other challenges include a Race mode where you run, dash and jetpack in pursuit of an alien drone. Or if you’re feeling particularly misanthropic, there’s the Rampage mode that pits you against unruly humans, and Armageddon where you seek to destroy as many structures as possible from on high in your UFO.
All this mayhem is presented in the brash, bold 50s stylings that series fans will recognise (albeit with Crypto and co. looking a whole lot glossier in Unreal Engine 4 than they did 12 years ago). It’s a vibrant, humour-soaked world that really captures the 50s spirit with its Brando references, the Red Scare, diners, quaint suburbs, and quips about all the big figures from the time like Rock Hudson and Alfred Kinsey. Even the artwork in the loading screens is a beautiful tribute to movie posters of the era.
Destroy All Humans! is every classic alien and 50s (and 50s alien) stereotype bundled into one package, and headed by a gruff grey with a bone to pick with humanity. You can pick it up now on Steam.