The Furon Empire, on the brink of extinction, sends Crypto-137 to investigate and search for his predecessor clone and gather Furon DNA from inside human brain stems to save their species. It has been fifteen since the original PlayStation 2 and Xbox release, and twelve years since the third and fourth title released in 2008. As a remake, developer Black Forest Games preserves the original spirit while making significant advancements for today's gaming audience.
The visuals have been vastly overhauled, but the game's dialogue remains the same from 2005, although the quality has improved. All of the environments are colorful and cheerful, and humans resemble cartoon caricatures. Crypto's facial expressions help deliver his witty performance, especially in the upgraded cutscenes. Without new audio recordings, the narrative and humor remain stuck in the past for better or worse. The over-the-top Jack Nicholson-esque performance and mannerisms of Crypto may go unappreciated by some, as the out of date pop-culture references won't land with a younger audience.
Missions take you across a parodical rendition of America. Exploring a small midwestern rural community complete with a county fairgrounds, your commanding officer (Pox) mistakenly believes cows are the dominant lifeform on Earth. It's not long before you fly off to a west coast suburbian town and beach resort, Area 42 (a reference to the top-secret military installation Area 51), Washington D.C., I mean Capitol City, complete with the Octagon (instead of the Pentagon), and more. The developers even added a "lost mission" within the Area 42 map, where you disrupt the army's attempt to build a flying spacecraft. Levels are designed to be open, giving you the freedom to approach objectives as you see fit. The U.S. military, G-man primarily oppose you, and the occasional local farmer, but locales are also highly populated with roaming civilians. Perfect opportunity for you to steal some brain stems, get a couple of chuckles by using your mind-reading powers, or use them as a disguise to remain undetected by the men in black.
While I've enjoyed taking a trip into the past with the game's story, playing through the missions once is only a small piece of the overall experience. Every mission has optional side objectives to complete. These can require a little bit of planning; however, you can easily replay any completed mission, so it isn't vital to finish them the first time around. The tasks are varied, such as killing a farmer's wife with a chicken, drowning a set number of civilians, reaching locations undetected, etc. Although fun on their own, you are rewarded with new skins for Crypto for the completion of these side objectives.
You'll unlock challenges across the maps, giving you the freedom to roam around, causing destruction on foot or from within your spaceship. The four challenge types are much easier to complete after you've completed the story, and you've upgraded your abilities and weapons. In armageddon tasks, you'll cause complete devastation in your ship, absorbing marked vehicles for bonuses. In abduction, Crypto uses his mind powers to toss lifeforms, such as cows, into a wandering abduction beam. The race requires you to catch drones as quickly as possible, while rampage asks you to eliminate as many enemies as possible, as soon as possible while on foot. Bonuses are the key, especially during one of the rampage challenges that yield rewards for drowning your victims.
It's essential to make enhancements when remaking a game, especially the quality of life changes for a game initially released multiple generations ago. Black Forest Games treats the Destroy All Humans! intellectual-property with the respect it deserves with additional content and a streamlined approach to the game's mechanics. Unlike the original, Crypto can now extract brains, fire his primary weapon, and use his psychokinesis to lift and throw objects simultaneously. You can transmogrify objects in the environment into ammunition, force humans to follow you around, and traversal upgrades grant you even more mobility options.
The remastered Destroy All Humans! visual enhancements and gameplay improvements make this the best way to experience the comical alien invasion of the 1950s. Sure, some of the dialogue shows its age, but the open-ended approach to the missions is still enjoyable. The A.I. can best be described as basic, running directly towards you after spawning all around you; however, without proper upgrading, I found their overwhelming numbers to be exhausting. With that said, it was highly enjoyable to fling G-men into the air, using Mars Attacks! style disintegration weapons, and zapping soldiers with chain-lightning.Note: Destroy All Humans! was reviewed on Xbox One. A digital copy of the game was provided by the publisher/developer.