Destroy All Humans
I like to think we live in an equal opportunity society, where everyone has a free shot at achieving anything and aren't pigeon-holed into their stereotypical roles - but take a look at any videogame with aliens in them, and it's plain as day that an alien invader's role in videogames is limited to simply being slaughter fodder. As such, it's refreshing to see a game like Destroy All Humans, an action title that provides a different perspective on the never-ending battle of mankind versus aliens.
The one thing setting Destroy All Humans apart from most titles on the market is the offbeat sense of humor. It just exudes with crass and sometimes smart humor that'll no doubt make you chuckle here and there. A lot of credit is due to the unusual perspective since you, the alien Crypto, are sent out on a mission to conquer earth, turning the tables by making you try and conquer the human race.
Like the Grand Theft Auto titles, the world is your oyster in Destroy All Humans, there simply for amusement to tear down piece by piece, or in many cases, citizen by citizen. It plays in a very similar fashion, with you completing missions (some mandatory, others not) to push along the storyline. The action is compelling enough, complete with many different ways to actually destroy the humans in the game, and a lot of the missions are structured really well, though many of them, unfortunately, are very linear in how you complete them. Still, the game is a fun play through, even if the game itself isn't anything outstandingly different.
The visuals, however, do excel. The environments are detailed and interesting, since they're always teeming with things to look at, whether they are visual gags or cool scenery. The pop-up can be pretty hefty, but in light of everything else, it's easily overlookable.
As mentioned, the game is extremely humorous and light hearted, and the audio has to be given a lot of credit for helping create that mood. The voice acting, by and large, is impeccable; the actors really nailed that cheesy 1950's B-movie vibe without over or under doing it. The music, too, fits well with the B-movies theme, with dramatic and often over the top compositions that lend itself well to the action on screen.
Destroy All Humans is fun, if not deep, compelling, if not always thrilling, humorous, if not always hilarious, but make no mistake, it's always entertaining -- entertaining enough that, I, being a member of the human race, never once felt about bad about obliterating my fellow humans in my endless pursuit for fun.
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Throwing a twist in the alien invasion dynamic, THQ and Pandemic allows players to be the invading and dastardly aliens rather then the heroic humans who must stop them. The aliens affectionately known as the Furons send a rather jaded and excessively violent representative named Crypto to harvest a long dormant strand of Furon DNA that's buried deep within the human brain. What results is a decidedly icky end to many of our human brothers and sisters.
Taking place in the 50's, 'Destroy'? is a tongue and cheek action adventure that has you running around different invasion points in the U.S. using the retro weapondry and abilities to harvest the human brains needed to further your invasion plans. Since Crypto is an 'alien'? he has nifty weapons like the Zap O' Matic and Anal Probe (yes, exactly what you think) and clever mental powers that allow you to mentally remove a persons brain or move large objects. Viewed primarily from the 3rd person perspective, the action does come at you with a steady aplomb.
The graphics, specifically the lighting effects featured in this game really are quite good. Occasionally you must pilot your flying saucer and light up the pesky military whose been called to your area in order to stop you. Lucky for us players though, the saucer has a powerful ray weapon that scorches across the landscape in a bright explosive stream. If you concentrate it on an object, the object will burst into flames and explode, it really can be hoot to do. The in-game running around though does feel a bit redundant as farmers all look alike as do several other humans. I understand that the need for character models is a bit easier when making games like this, but more variety is clearly needed here.
The audio also seems to be done with a certain sort of charm, the game has strong sound effects and even the voices of the alien commander and Crypto were done in a 'B'? movie way. I laughed several times at some of the in game jokes that the developers placed in the game, I'm sure they had a good time making this title.
However, at the end of the day, the missions do feel a bit repetitive and the objects that were leveled on one mission are mysteriously fine on the next, causing a certain amount of unevenness in the whole experience.