So I don’t normally like to do this, but I will be doing my Impressions without having finished the game. I made it to the final boss, so I feel that is close enough, and you’ll understand why I didn’t finish it by the end of this piece. I digress. Destroy All Humans! is the 2020 “remake” of the 2005 game. It is an adventure game in which you control an alien on a mission to take over Earth. The game is set in the 1950s and has a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor about the times, the red scare, etc.
Gameplay is pretty fun, although lacking a bit in refinement. The game is broken down into short little sections, and in each one, you control Crypto. The game usually has you just doing straight run and gun missions, saucer missions, and the occasional “stealth” missions. Stealth missions have you disguise yourself as a human with your holobob but limits what you are able to do while disguised. The best missions, in my opinion, are the ones that just allow you to run around killing people and blowing things up. There is a decent amount of those, but not enough when stacked next to the stealth and saucer missions. The saucer is okay, but I personally didn’t enjoy it as much as just getting to run around.
The update kept the gameplay pretty much intact, with the focus on the update being on graphics, and honestly, it looks nice. They kept the art style and general feel of the game, but the spit and polish to the graphics really stands out. It’s a heck of a pretty game. The controls are also a little tighter and smoother, from what I remember.
However, when they say they kept the original gameplay pretty much as is, they weren’t lying, and it shows. This game is extremely frustrating with odd difficulty spikes and issues with poorly aged gameplay. Case in point one stealth mission I ended up doing at least a dozen times because the holobob would fail, and the game needed you to be in just the right place in order for you to move on. Stuff like this was easier to ignore in 2005 because it was standard for the times. I love the early 2000s for gaming, but there were a lot of issues. Especially with adventure games, not having the tightest gameplay and bringing a lot of frustration. The problem becomes that you have a game that plays like it’s from 2005, feels like it is, but looks modern; it makes the frustration of the gameplay stand out even more because I am playing something “new” that feels incredibly aged.
It’s also annoying because these problems were pointed out when the game was new. There really wasn’t any reason to not go through and fix these problems, other than it would be easier to just update graphics and nothing else. By the time I got to the final boss, I was done, and the final boss is a MAJOR difficulty spike.
Now I could go through the mission selector and get more DNA from replaying missions and update my saucer and Crypto for the final part(s), but I just didn’t want to. I really don’t like to give up on things, so it’s pretty telling that I got so close and said, “eh.”
But I hate being so negative, I really do, especially because this isn’t a bad game. When I did have fun with it, I had a lot of fun. It feeds that destructive side of me that comes out occasionally with games. The humor is also pretty solid (if a little juvenile at times). I couldn’t get enough of the game insisting on calling Crypto a very clear alien, a commie throughout, and other things of that nature. I also like that there is some freedom with how you play. You decide what to upgrade, and in what order so you can tailor the experience a bit. Now there are only four weapons, so it is pretty limited, but I still like having some control over what direction I go.
The game also has pretty stellar voice acting, they kept all the old voice-over, and it was a smart call. J. Grant Albrecht does a good job as Crypto, but I was always a big fan of Richard Horvitz because, and I am sure this will come as a shock to nobody, I was an Invader Zim fan. Sound effects are also decent, but the music is a bit lacking. As I said, the updated graphics are nice. The game looks incredible. I just wish it played as well as it looks.
So bottom line? I softly recommend this game. As of the time I am writing this, it is on Game Pass, so the fact that you can try it for free if you are a member is pretty nice. It runs for about 30 bucks (average) otherwise, and I would be a little hard-pressed to recommend it at that price. It’s pretty short, although you can stretch it with the extra challenges and stuff. For me, the gameplay not being more upgraded ended up being a source of frustration, the likes of which I haven’t experienced for a while. However, it wasn’t enough that I hated the game; I may even one day try to finish it (if it stays on Game Pass). I really think it’s up to each individual person to decide if they are willing to deal with the dated gameplay for the fun that Destroy All Humans! otherwise offers.