Monday, August 3, 2020

Eric Vs. Game 375 - Destroy All Humans (2020)

I came, I saw, and I conquered the filthy disgusting humans in the Destroy All Humans remake. I don't know that anyone was necessarily clamoring for a remake of this one - a modern sequel or reboot would have been nice - but now that it's out and I've played it, I have to say I'm glad they did it. Destroy All Humans is still really satisfying and fun and the remake is incredibly well done. Read more for all of the details.

Destroy All Humans first released in 2005 on Xbox and PS2 and only got a sort of lukewarm critical reception - back then was when a 7/10 was considered the crappiest piece of crap ever ... boy, were reviewers dumb back then. It had difficulty spikes and awkward controls and sort of dry humor and a game design that was feeling long in the tooth that didn't really hit with critics but players generally enjoyed it. The bad news is that all of that is still intact as this remake / remaster / remakemaster is exactly the same, only much prettier, as the original.

The good news is ALSO that it's still exactly the same as the original. The game design that felt old in 2005 has come back full circle in 2020 and feels fresh and fun again. Games today are open world and easy baby mode, so the strict mission-based structure of Destroy All Humans was like a big plate of comfort food. At first, I do have to admit that the trial-and-error nature of the game and having to do each level exactly the way the game wants you to was kind of frustrating, but once I got into the rhythm of how the game worked I had a really great time. I had to forget every bad habit gaming had taught me over the last 15-years and just embrace the structure, and then I had a lot of fun.

Once you beat a mission in an area you then unlock that area for free roam where you can just blow everything up and do whatever you want. You also earn credits that you use to upgrade your weapons and abilities, which you can then take to the open world or even back into previous missions, and it's always fun to tear through missions with maxed out abilities. 

The game does have a rough spot or two in the form of escort and tower defense missions, but generally things aren't too bad. It also has an oldschool "the final bosses are 100x harder than anything else in the game" that is a little grating, but I managed to get through it. I ended up with 38/40 achievements for 820 gamerscore without too much effort, so I feel pretty good about that. The last two achievements are considerably more work, so I doubt I'm going to bother.

One last thing I want to say is that the humor hasn't been changed (or even re-recorded as far as I know) so a lot of the jokes are definitely dated and maybe don't even make sense anymore. I didn't notice anything especially horrible or egregious, so it's fine. Probably.

Also, I recorded the gameplay video when I was only 3 missions into the game and wasn't really sure how I felt about the game yet. I was sort of leaning towards not liking the rigid structure of the game, but as I mentioned above, by the end I was super into it. 

All in all, I had a pretty great time with the Destroy All Humans remake. It is oldschool mindless fun that still works incredibly well in 2020. The $40 asking price is maybe a tad much for a game that Xbox just gave away the original with Games With Gold not long ago, so perhaps wait for a sale before buying. 

Disclosure: A review code was provided by the publisher.