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2020’s Destroy All Humans! is a third-person action-adventure game which begs the questions – are you a big fan of pulpy parody movies? Loved 1996’s B-grade cult classic Mars Attacks? Often think about what’s hidden away in Area 51? Cherish the thought of angry aliens wreaking havoc on Earth? Laugh at the puerile humor of abducting cows and anal-probing humans? Then you’re in for a treat!

Publisher THQ Nordic and developer Black Forest Games have finally churned out a remake of the 2005 game of the same now- but how does it hold up to the original? Will this remake pave the way for more games in this franchise or will the red menace thwart this attempt? Let’s find out!

Story & Narrative

How could intelligent creatures do this?

You are the flag-bearer of the great Furon empire – the 137th clone of a bug-eyed grey alien Cryptosporidium. With your more intelligent companion Orthopox advising you from the Mothership, you arrive on Earth in the late 1950s to rescue a crashed fellow alien explorer – Crypto-136, and a far more nefarious goal of harvesting Furon DNA from human brains. If you were looking for a serious story about an alien invasion – let Crypto-137 pop your brain out of you with an anal probe, because this is not one of them.

Campy and sardonic in equal parts, the story of Destroy All Humans! takes you on an entertaining romp across multiple locations in the USA (aren’t the aliens tired yet of visiting them?). From the country farms of Turnipseed, the mid-western town of Rockwell,  the suburban Santa Modesta, clandestine bases at Area 42, dreary docks of Union Town, and then right to the towering buildings of Capitol City, the game’s settings keeps changing accompanied by increasing levels of difficulty.

Throughout the story, you take on a diverse set of missions – stealth infiltration, abduction, escort, protect a site, fight boss battles to even causing carnage with your armed-to-the-teeth UFO. All humans – the local populace, police, army, and the secret agency Majestic – are your enemies, and you have to neutralize them without remorse.

One of the story’s highlights is the campy humor kept intact from the original. The NPCs spout risqué comments when you read their minds, there are throwaway remarks about the era’s celebrities, the government unsuccessfully tries to cover up every alien attack by blaming the communists or the weather, the violent nature of human beings, and there is also a running joke about stereotypes, from which even you are not spared. The narrative undercurrent is always about the ‘take me to your leader’ gag – as Crypto-137 you are continuously unsuccessful in finding out who the person in charge is. Well, aren’t we all?

Gameplay & Mechanics

When do I get to blow things up?!

Almost every part of Destroy All Humans! has been worked upon – the UI has been rehauled, there is multiple Quality of Life changes, new game modes have been introduced to the sandbox areas, and more. Thanks to Unreal Engine 4, the graphics look great! The character models are now hyper-stylized and cartoony – a controversial departure from the previous game.

As Crypto-137 you have access to an arsenal of dangerous high-tech weaponry and psychokinetic powers. During the stealth portions of the game, you will use Cortex Scan to read the minds of unsuspecting humans and charge your Holobob ability which lets you pose as a person. During combat, your array of alien weaponry is at your disposal – from the electrifying Zap-O-Matic, to the Disintegrator Ray that leaves behind a charred standing skeleton, you will be spoilt for choices.

The action sequences are frantic and will involve you using your jetpack and dash abilities to zoom about bamboozling enemies and escaping their fire. Later on in the story, you are introduced to the grenade-equivalent Ion Detonator, which is a big help when facing Army Tanks, mecha-inspired Power Suit Soldiers, and the bosses. You are not invulnerable – a few good shots can take down your shields, but the autosaves are forgiving.

There are collectible probes strewn across the maps – acquiring them, and completing bonus mission objectives, will grant you tonnes of Furon DNA. Once back at the mothership between levels, Pox will help you unlock better upgrades and variants to your powers. You can also earn Furon DNA by competing in the other game modes – Armageddon, Abduction, Race, and Rampage.

The best thing about the gameplay is undeniably the UFO – using it is a hoot! Destroying enemy installments, razing buildings to the ground, and flinging humans across the map – you will be left wanting for more! I ended up replaying a lot of those missions, just to engage in some wanton mayhem! The upgrades for your flying saucer make it an unstoppable war machine.

But there are issues. There are lots of key bindings and sometimes in a moment of panic, you might end up pressing one key over another. Stealth is serviceable, and for some reason, I failed multiple times at the escort and protect missions. AI alerts do not amount to much – you can just run away and people will forget they ever had an extra-terrestrial encounter. The sandbox nature of the open-world levels could have done a lot better – there is no interactivity apart from using your weapons or powers.

The design limitations around which the old game was built have crept into this version – repetitive dialogues, mundane NPC behavior, non-enterable buildings as window dressing, multiple cutscenes breaking the flow and immersion of the game and the list goes on. With such astute attention to detail towards the other aspects of the game, I wonder why the developers decided to faithfully recreate these less-stellar elements from the original, rather than going their own way.

Visuals, Sound, and Performance

Little green space men! Aaarghhhhh!
I am not green.

For fans of the older game and for newer gamers who are interested in seeing the changes done brought forth the remake, there is an entire section for it in the archives – the Furonigami. Here you will be able to see how painstakingly the developers have redesigned each visual element from the game. Also included are new skins for completing levels successfully. As a homage to another THQ Nordic remaster- Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition, you will be able to find a Pale Rider skin for Crypto-137. Everything in the game looks crisp, new, and shiny – well until you destroy it. Then it is crisp, burnt, and a pile of ashes and rubble.

The sound design hasn’t faced many changes – dialogues have been reused from the previous game, and the ambient music is a product of the otherworldly eerie sounds produced by a theremin.

I faced minor FPS drops and screen-tearing issues during some of the cutscenes which I am sure will be fixed by a patch later on.


Destroy All Humans! is a remake made with love – it improves on almost every aspect of its predecessor. With revamped graphics, sweeping QoL changes, more abilities and upgrades, and creative bonus objectives, the game manages to provide the old-school arcade-y charm in a new package that nostalgic gamers crave for! However, sticking closely towards the limitations of the original stop it from moving ahead and becoming a classic in its own regard – some campaign missions that perhaps felt fresh 15 years before, will not appeal to certain modern audiences.

If you are looking for a fun comedic romp packed with action, destruction, subterfuge, and an astonishingly enjoyable UFO – Destroy All Humans! is something that you cannot choose to miss.

Disclaimer: Review copy provided by the developers with no riders.


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