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Rewind to 2005. The world was introduced to a little alien named Crypto-137, who, as years went on, made himself known to countless humans and cows. He provided endless hours of gleeful destruction for gamers as they embarked on the simple mission of, indeed, destroying all humans.
And now, today, we have this: a glorious remake of Crypto's debut, in all-new galactic glory. With the IP now in the hands of THQ Nordic and Black Forest Games, can 2020's Destroy All Humans! provide those same endless hours of enjoyment fans of the original, myself included, remember from the original title?
Although 15 years have gone by, within seconds of touching down on planet Earth, it feels like you never left. Which is great for those that played the original all those years ago - but newcomers are welcomed, too, as the introduction gives you a good idea as to what destructive action you'll be able to enjoy later on in the game. It gives you a good chance to play around and get yourself familiar with the controls.
The distinct humour fans know and love from the original is scattered throughout, and is really lovely to see - whether that's a cow opening its bowels on Crypto, casual NPC banter, or something happening in the back of a cutscene. And although your own sense of humour has probably changed in the last 15 years, the tone of this remake still ensures you'll have several little chuckles throughout.
Visually, Destroy All Humans! boasts shiny new textures and graphics which take the experience to another level. Seamlessly hopping from the Earth's surface to enjoy the sights from above in your saucer is breathtaking. Raining destruction from above with your death ray is utterly satisfying. I've found myself, on occasion, levelling houses unnecessarily even after the objective has been completed - and it's moments like these that I loved in the original.
The freedom of being able to tackle an objective however you like is greater than ever in Destroy All Humans!, and this is aided by the numerous enhancements Black Forest Games have tastefully added in this remake. For example, Crypto's abilities are back but better than ever: you can make humans follow and protect you, pick up items with Holobob, or even convert surrounding objects into ammunition by using Transmogrify. This brings me onto the replayability: as Crypto's missions progress, you'll be given bonus objectives which allow you to revisit locations you've loved along the way, and earn even more DNA.
It's clear to see that Black Forest Games have worked very hard to stay true to the original game, further enhancing already existing features which fans loved from the original, in the hopes of allowing for a more-polished finish for a new era of gaming. However, the simplicity of the original title is something that helped players instantly gel with the game, back when, so they were never overcome by the endless options and abilities to pick from. And the remake doesn't quite respect this element of the older release.
A good example of this deviation from the source material is the upgrades. In the original, players could pick from 18 - which at the time was enough. This number has now been increased to 66. Don't get me wrong, this gives you plenty to spend your Furon DNA on, as your destruction spreads across 1950s America. But because there's simply so many upgrades, too many of them arguably, they almost lose their meaning as you often find yourself upgrading a lot of things all at once.
Some other enhancements come across a little hit and miss, while others make perfect sense and fit perfectly into the game. Improved gaming hardware has made multitasking possible, something which couldn't be done in the original without destroying your console. In the remake it's almost like a limit has been removed, making anything possible during combat. This evolution feels completely natural when up against multiple enemies at once, allowing you to extract DNA, shoot and pick up items at the same time, and ultimately cause further destruction. As you can imagine, there's a few moments in which the game struggles, resulting in a reduced frame rate. But overall, the additions work very well and feel natural.
Fans of the original can relax, as every mission from the original can be enjoyed in the remake. Also included is a secret mission titled 'The Wrong Stuff', which Black Forest Games have been able to piece back together using cut sections from the 2005 Destroy All Humans! game, in a neat act of virtual archeology.
What Black Forest Games and THQ Nordic have achieved with the Destroy All Humans! remake is impressive. It certainly doesn't feel worlds away from the original, which is always a concern when there's a classic of this calibre being remade. Although some of the enhancements are a bit hit and miss, most do work really well, and can make you wonder how you coped without them in the original. It's clear that a great deal of effort has been put into enhancing what already was a stellar title, whilst also introducing it to a new audience. Players who have been dying to play as Crypto-137 once again will feel right at home when they're tasked, once more, to Destroy All Humans!
Pros: A beautiful remake of the 2005 classic, increased freedom and replayability.
Cons: Hit and miss enhancements/abilities which taint the simplicity of the original game, multitasking can slow down game performance.
For Fans Of: SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro The Dragon.
Destroy All Humans! is released on July 28th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Stadia. We tested the game on PlayStation 4 using code provided by the publisher. Read a guide to GAMINGbible's review scores (where a 6/10 isn't a bad game!) here.
Featured Image Credit: Destroy All Humans / Credit: THQ Nordic
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