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Platform

Xbox

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

THQ

 

Developer

Pandemic Studios

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

June 2005

 

 

- Waste humanity!
- Great combination of humor and action
- Easy control
- The physics engine adds much to the game
- Upgradeable weapons

 

 

- Some missions have extremely tight margins
- Some missions feel repetitive

 

 

Review: Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee (XB)

Review: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (XB)

Review: Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath (XB)

 

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Destroy All Humans!

Score: 8.0 / 10

 

destroy all humans review          destroy all humans review

 

I think Destroy All Humans! has a point. Maybe humanity does need to be wiped out – anyone else think we’ve screwed up the planet enough? Wars, famine, tax evasion, suicide bombers, intolerance… should I continue? And those that crave the for the good ol’ days of “duck and cover” drills and racial segregation, stick it with your “Back in my day things were better” baloney. My general gripes with humanity found an outlet with Destroy All Humans (DAH).

You take control of Cryptosporidium 137 on a mission to collect human DNA – pop their skulls and claim the brain – sometime during the 1950’s. And when he’s not

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blasting humans with his Zap-o-matic or getting to know his targets with the Anal Probe, he’s reigning death from above in his flying saucer – flinging cars, trucks, and cows around and launching the occasional Quantum Deconstructor for good measure. The number of weapons is augmented by Crypto’s psychokinesis and hypno blast abilities, but when a more subtle approach is required he can activate his Holobob,

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which allows him to assume the appearance of a human. Each of the weapons, his saucer, and his abilities can be upgraded (at a cost – in brain stems) on the orbiting mothership, which is available anytime Crypto enters his saucer.

On most mission, Crypto will have to use every trick in the book to achieve success. Like Pandemic’s Mercenaries, completing missions is left open. Be sneaky, be fast and accurate with the Zap-o-matic or just about forget about the mission until later.

The mission structure is forgiving enough that it you’re frustrated on one you can try a different mission, and not always in the same area, because unlike Mercenaries, DAH isn’t one giant level – each area has a varying number of missions to complete but the game is broken up into distinct areas (though you’ll encounter a fair number of bovines). For me, this meant a lot less memorization, remembering where the hell everything is – this is a summer game, I shouldn’t have to think too hard. (Thanks, Pandemic!)

Each area is full of fun stuff to do thanks to the engine powering DAH. While piloting the saucer, I spent almost 20 minutes lifting cars and smashing them into a drive-in movie screen. (Remember drive-ins?) The physics engine is great and the bright, cartoony graphics only add to the experience. It’s just fun to mosey around and interact with the environment – either blowing it up or tossing it around – and keeping a look-out for references to other classic sci-fi. There is some noticeable pop-in but DAH runs along at a smooth speed, even when blasting multiple human attackers.

 

destroy all humans review         destroy all humans review


The HUD layout and controls are similar to a lot of other action games – like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas – so this will let fans of the genre to just jump in and start having fun but it also remains uncomplicated for newcomers, though the saucer controls require a bit of learning.

If eliminating humanity weren’t fun enough, DAH has a lot of humor to be found. The exchanges between Crypto and his boss are real highlights but the in-game cutscenes with humans are good too, particularly when they argue about Crypto’s skin color. And each area has a general subtitle to it – “Earth Women Are Delicious!” being my favorite. For random laughs (and acquire intell), Crypto can perform a Cortex Scan to read the minds of nearby humans. Half of the humor is in the delivery and DAH rarely stumbles in this regard. (For some reason, Crypto’s voice is a cross between Jack Nicholson and Clint Eastwood but it actually isn’t a detriment.)

With some great-looking explosions, a comfortable control scheme, good action and mission variety and structure, and, of course, genuine fun and humor, Destroy All Humans! is a highly recommended summer title that you may well still be playing months from now.

- Omni
(July 28, 2005)

 

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