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Platform

Wii

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

THQ

 

Developer

Locomotive Games

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

February 25, 2008

 

 

- Keeps the off-kilter sensibility of the previous Destroy All Humans! games

- Funny and some great references to the 1970s (if you're old enough)

 

 

- The controls almost kneecap the entire experience with the Hammer of Frustration

- Bland visuals

 

 

Review: Destroy All Humans! (XB)

Review: Godfather: The Blackhand Edition (Wii)

Review: Splinter Cell: Double Agent (Wii)

 

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Destroy All Humans! Big Willy Unleashed

Score: 5.5 / 10

 

As a series, I think Destroy All Humans! is probably underrated, or at the very least, under appreciated.  Which is why this iteration, subtitled Big Willy Unleashed, is such a downgrade from previous titles in the series even though it manages to include lots of ‘70s references, the same irreverent humor of past games, and three different modes of destruction.  It’s the control that fire off an anal probe – it just doesn’t sit right.

 

big willy unleashed          big willy unleashed

 

You start out as Crypto, alien on the street, under the direction of Pox, whose chain of hot dog restaurants might just be exposed to some really bad press.  The secret ingredient of the hot dogs is human meat – all those victims Crypto harvested DNA from in the previous titles had to go somewhere.  Now, in the shadow of disco, Crypto is directed to take out rival fast food giants and generally blow things up to keep the Big Willy chain solvent.  It’s all in good fun and 

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occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, if you can make the connections with some of the references, including Fantasy Island .

 

The usual tools are at Crypto’s disposal – weapons like the Zap-o-Matic, Anal Probe and Psychokinetic abilities like Psychokinesis – including the arsenal of the flying saucer.  The 

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big addition here is the Furon mech, which masquerades as the Big Willy mascot (which is entirely reminiscent of Lard Lad from the Simpsons).  While controlling the mech, Crypto can dish out even more fun destruction – I don’t care what game it is, when you can hurl cars around, it’s a time for joy – and it would be tons of fun if it weren’t for the way the controls are implemented.

 

big willy unleashed          big willy unleashed

 

I actually have little problem with how Crypto controls while on-foot.  The camera is controlled with the Wii Remote, panning it left and right, while the stick on the Nunchuk control controls Crypto.  The camera has a tendency to wander off if you’re not paying attention, but that problem seems minor in comparison to controlling the saucer and Big Willy, which manages to be aggravating at the best of times.  To turn the saucer or Big Willy you must twist the Wii Remote, as it has often been described, like a doorknob; changing the altitude of the saucer is done by tilting the Wii Remote up and down.  Getting the control to work right is extremely difficult and when you’re under fire or racing around trying to complete a time sensitive objective… The only motion control that really works, really feels satisfying, is throwing objects when using psychokinesis.

 

The two-player split-screen multiplayer feels a little tacked-on to the overall experience, but it’s actually a good little time waster.  The co-op mode – defend Big Willy or attack rival restaurants – feels a lot better than the competitive mode, which challenges you with trying to maintain control of beacons on the map.  But only having two players competing feels quite slow – there’s little to no ebb and flow across the map that marks true multiplayer games.

 

Destroy All Humans! Big Willy Unleashed has its heart in the right place – if it weren’t for the haphazard control and the aggravation that stems from it, this would actually be a good entry for new players and fans because it is a relatively funny game and maintains the spirit and conventions of the past games.

 

- Omni

(April 1, 2008)

 

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