Review: Destroy All Humans! (2020)

About this Game

Destroy All Humans!

Publisher

THQ Nordic (Original: THQ)

Developer

Black Forest Games (Original: Pandemic Studios)

Release Date

July 28, 2020 (Original: June 21, 2005)

Console

PlayStation 4

Time to Plat

~15h

Platinum Difficulty

Easy

Online Trophies?

No

Difficulty Trophies?

No

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It’s Probin’ Time!

Destroy All Humans! is a very memorable classic from the PS2 era of gaming which sits in the back of my mind on the same level comically as Stubs the Zombie and Conker’s Bad Fur Day. I have very fond memories swimming around in my noodler of days spent with a friend, probing cows and brainwashing farmers amongst childish wails of laughter.

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What could be more hilariously absurd than remotely invading someone’s cavity in order to remove their brains?

Those memories came flooding back with a new paint job as I booted up the beautiful and recently released remaster with one obvious goal in mind: to probe as many people as possible earn that platinum trophy!

Destroy All Humans! Remake Review

Ew! You got your DNA on me!

Due to an unfortunate lack of genitalia, the Furon race are incapable of reproduction and must instead create clones of themselves to keep the Furon race from going extinct. Unfortunately, however, years of cloning over and over has taken it’s toll on the Furon DNA meaning that each clone is more flawed than the last.

To try and combat this, the Mission Officer “Orthopox” – Pox, for short – wants to return to a planet where they once… somehow… got their DNA mixed in with the local lifeforms. That planet just so happens to be Earth, and every one of the humans down there carries a small amount of Furon DNA, which will be useful for creating more accurate Furon clones in the future.

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Orthopox (left) and Cryptosporidium (right)

You play as Cryptosporidium #137 – Crypto, for short – the 137th Cryptosporidium clone, tasked with discovering what happened to Crypto #136 after their scouting mission to Earth went terribly wrong.

Set in 1959’s paranoid America, where the citizens are obsessed with the Communist threat of their Russian rivals and insist that Crypto’s presence is some sort of Russian plot against the American Dream, there exists a shadowy presence known as “Silhouette” who, using their team of “Men in very very dark brown” known as “Majestic”, intends to capture Crypto and learn all he can about the otherworldly visitor and the tech he’s brought along with him.

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The “Men in very very dark brown”

Crypto’s no pushover, though. Held back only by Orthopox’s command, Crypto is obsessed with destroying all Humans and jumps with glee at any chance to throw them around with his Psychokinesis or disintegrate them completely with his arsenal of space-age technology… Oh, he also has a probe gun which… intrudes upon a certain sacred human orifice.

The American Dream in Technicolor

To match the game’s setting it comes fully equipped with a very cartoon 50s aesthetic like it was pulled straight from a period-appropriate washing machine catalogue. The character models feature very emphasised features, more so than in the original to the point that some fans have taken to expressing their distaste for how extra the developers have been in the remaster.

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Many are unhappy with the Caricature-esque art style

I, on the other hand, think that the game looks fantastic! The models may be strange with their extra-enormous jaws and exaggerated body shapes, but the textures are pleasantly clean and the upgraded lighting system is extremely good on the eyes.

The very first moments in the game, when Crypto first lands in Turnipseed farms had me aghast, the plentiful foliage and realistic lighting paired together with the revamped models made for an incredible first impression.

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Look how purdy!

One very nice feature in the game is the “Furonigami” option in the Mothership’s archives, which allows you to browse a selection of unlockable concept art, the majority of which will show you what that model originally looked like on PS2, to highlight the incredible contrast between the two and really just show off the excellent work that Black Forest Games have done in faithfully yet skilfully recreating this 2005 classic.

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A good look at old vs new!

Sir, You Dropped Your Brain Stem

Crypto’s exciting range of weaponry makes a comeback, but with new visual overhauls their destructive abilities are exacerbated. Disintegrating somebody down to a charred skeleton has never looked or felt so good!

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Char-grilled human, anyone?

Crypto is able to choose between throwing someone miles out of his personal space using Psychokinesis abilities, electrifying entire groups of civilians with a single arc of electricity, or literally probing their brains out and that’s not even mentioning the abilities available from within his trusty Flying Saucer. With which you will find yourself razing entire towns to the ground, abducting cows, and evading the anti-air capabilities of the US Army.

Surprisingly, destroying all humans in Destroy All Humans! is not always the best or only course of action. Sometimes you need to be covert about how you conduct your business in order to avoid catastrophic mission failure. That’s where the “Holobob” disguise comes in.

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Impersonating a Mayor.

With it, you can scan any human from civilian to scientist to secret agent and use holographic technology to take on their form, fooling those around you. The purpose of this can be as simple as sneaking into a military base, or as complex as taking on the form of the Mayor so you can lie to the residents about any suspicious alien activity and keep the general public in the dark.

Keeping your disguise requires knowledge of humans and the way they’re supposed to act, so you can use your telepath abilities to read their thoughts, which you’ll actually be able to hear and are often quite funny lines of dialogue but sometimes they’re references to 1959 US politics and as a British ignorant, I don’t get any of them…

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Reading the mind of a Police Officer… As a Police Officer.

There are plenty more abilities at your disposal which are introduced slowly over the course of the campaign to help keep the game-play fresh and your fun-o-meter high. I’d say that for a good majority of the game – while there are a couple of exceptions – the objectives and even the optional objectives are easy enough and offer very little frustration.

Up to the Challenge

The challenge modes offer additional content – though not a lot of it, all things considered.

From the US map, you can select to revisit an Invasion Site in exploration mode when there are no missions available for that site. Whilst there, you’re free to basically just have fun with the tools at your disposal, go wild destroying buildings and turning humans to dust, etc.

Along with that free-roam capability, however, each of the six Invasion Sites come equipped with four Challenge missions to take on. Each challenge falls within one of four challenge categories:

  • Race Challenge. Here, you must chase down one of Orthopox’s Drones which is malfunctioning and about to self-destruct. As it flees it will drop DNA samples behind it which you must collect to ensure a high score before catching the drone when it comes to a stop.
  • Rampage Challenge. In a Rampage challenge, you’re given things to kill. Be it humans or cows, you’ll be disintegrating something. Kill as much of that something as possible in the time provided to nail down the big boy scores.
  • Armageddon Challenge. For these, Crypto clambers into his Flying saucer so you can level the buildings in your chosen Invasion Site for as many points as possible in the time provided.
  • Abduction Challenge. This is where Orthopox gets all his research subjects. You’ll need to use your PK abilities to grab everything from cows to cars and throw them into the gigantic tractor beam slowly making its way around the stage. More research subjects = more points!

Your score will be tallied at the end and you’ll be given a star rating out of three, for each star you earn you’ll get some upgrade points to spend upgrading Crypto or the Saucer.

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Destroying entire cities in Armageddon mode!

These additional modes can prove a great distraction between any difficult missions you might struggle with and are a fantastic source of extra upgrade points if you need them. The fresh perspective and variety they provide are terrific fun for the most part but I feel that most gamers would overlook them completely if they’re not there for the Platinum at the end.

Those who do stick around for the Platinum will find that the amount of fun they offer will decline quickly from Santa Modesta onwards, with Capitol City having ridiculously tough challenges to complete.

My Destroy All Humans! Remake Platinum Experience

Prioritising Main Missions and Optional Objectives

As is to be expected, my initial focus in Destroy All Humans! was simply the main campaign. With a ridiculous premise, hilarious dialogue and plenty of digs at our american neighbours, it was a fun-filled riot from beginning to end.

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Optional Objective: Destroy a car using a human… Check!

Along the way I did my best to complete the optional objectives given to me in each stage, so that I could reduce the amount of back-tracking I might have to do in the future. There was just one mission which I was stuck on for quite a while, only because I refused to give up on getting the optional objective.

This was Mission 11, and I did eventually give up on the optional objective. I continued with the story, upgrading Crypto as I progressed, before coming back to it later in the game to complete the last two objectives that had given me so much trouble. Every other objective (except a couple near the start when I was still getting to grips with the game) came to me quite easily and I was able to earn the trophy for completing the story and the trophy for completing the optional objectives at the same time.

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Staying undetected by using mind-control to distract secret agents.

I will say, though, that the boss fights were particularly gruelling. They weren’t particularly difficult but they were pretty much the longest parts of the game. The last boss fight in particular took almost 15 minutes alone, and that isn’t including all the failed attempts due to one specific attack which was able to reduce my shields completely.

Once I was done with this phase of my journey I assessed my standing in regards to the trophies and was pleased to find that almost all of the miscellaneous trophies had been completed naturally with minimal effort. There were just a few more specific ones left to get and, of course, the challenge mode trophies.

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Earning one such misc trophy.

Challenge Modes and Misc Cleanup

I approached the challenges in order. Starting with the first Invasion Site the story brought me to – Turnipseed Farms – and then working my way up chronologically to the final one. Within each site, I approached the challenges in no particular order, I simply went to whichever incomplete challenge was closest.

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Approaching my first challenge.

With my near-fully upgraded Crypto, the challenges proved incredibly simple for the first few invasion sites. The first one to give me trouble was the Abduction event in Santa Modesta. From there things began to go downhill.

For every Invasion Site, the Armageddon event was easy thanks to the fact that draining the target vehicles awarded way more points than it probably should have.

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Draining a cop car of all it’s points.

After those the next easiest ones were the Races which were fairly simple with the ability to skate, the only one which gave me real trouble was the one on the final stage, Capitol City, for which I had to make several attempts until I had it down perfectly and quickly.

The next most difficult ones were the Rampage missions which took a huge leap in difficulty after the Area 42 stage, but were still fairly manageable.

Lastly, the Abduction challenges were difficult from Santa Modesta onwards. The one in Capitol city in particular took me nearly an hour to nail, making it the single most difficult thing to do in the game.

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Feeding the Tractor beam cars using Psychokinesis in Santa Modesta

Between challenge attempts, I’d use the free-roam capabilities to acquire miscellaneous trophies which I still had outstanding, particularly those specific to Santa Modesta wherein I would have to fly through a donut and throw someone into the ocean.

With the misc trophies out of the way, the 24 challenges done, and 72 stars in my pocket I collected my final trophy and watched as the Platinum graced my screen!

Time Breakdown

Main Campaign & Optional Objectives

Challenges & Cleanup

Destroy All Humans! Trophy Guide

I’m willing to bet that after reading this you’d probably like to give the Platinum a go for yourself, right? Well, not to worry, PlatGet is here to help!

You can find a full Destroy All Humans! Remake Trophy Guide and Road Map right here, which should cover everything you could possibly need to know in order to add this remade classic’s trophies to your cabinet.

That concludes my Destroy All Humans! Review. If you enjoyed reading this review, please do let us know, it means the world to us when we hear feedback and we love engaging with people over the game we just platted. It’s basically the only thing motivating us at the moment!

You can follow us on Twitter @GetPlat and Instagram @platget where we’ll be sharing updates, upcoming reviews and general gripes about the games we’re working on so feel free to follow us or use it as another channel for feedback!

Verdict

Plat

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With a nostalgic sense of humour and a pleasant new aesthetic, this 2020 remake of Destroy All Humans is a short and simple game worth experiencing, and the Plat isn't too demanding.

Pros

  • Faithful Recreation
  • fantastic visuals
  • fun range of abilities
  • gradually varied gameplay

Cons

  • Some enemies are excessively spongy
  • Some optional objectives and Challenges can be a little frustrating
  • Stealth is a boring but often preferred option for most missions
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Gold Trophy

Destroy All Humans! was an excellent game to begin with but this fresh new coat of paint only serves to improve the experience. With a separate and unique trophy selection it's well worth playing through even if you've already platted the ported original.

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About the Author

More fond of single-player experiences and story-driven games than anything else, TheDblTap has a keen eye for secrets and collectables, a skill which serves him well as a Trophy Hunter. However, with little patience and poor timing, he can struggle where MrZhangetsu would succeed.

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