Stepping straight out of B-movie land and on to the console, Destroy all Humans promises so much, but can it deliver? We put on our space suit and find out.
Destroy all Humans is basically a homage to Mars Attacks, which updated black and white low budget classics such as Plan 9 from Outer Space. From the references to cows on fire smelling like barbeque at the beginning to the end finale at the White House, if both films had movie tie-ins this game would fit the bill perfectly.
You play Cryto, an alien fed up with putrid Human scum and beset on reigning terror and disaster on a stylised 1950s America, Earth and the Human race. Whatever's happening on-screen, he seems to have a Jack Nicholson quip for most things and his distain for his boss is equal to that of the Human race.
The overly simple levels involve you either running around with a thirdperson viewpoint or jumping in your spaceship and torching towns in one fell swoop.
Gameplay is mostly based around set missions with the chance to branch out via mini tasks and sideline plots. Tasks are normally time attacks or treasure hunts and the main problem is that whenever you're given an objective it is clearly marked on your radar in bright pink. Miss it and you're more stupid than you look.
In your spaceship, your movement is pretty limited. You can only land where the game lets you and weapons are restricted to death ray and abduction beam. Get out of the craft and you get a bit more choice, however while you can use your alien mind controls to pick up objects and throw them around, hypnotise humans, extract human DNA via your subject's brainstem or even disguise yourself as one of them, more often than not it's just easier to get out your death ray or anal probe and start blasting your way out of trouble.
The game does ask you to abide by the rules but unlike Splinter Cell, where breaking the rules normally results in a quick and painful death, here the punishment for going on a killing spree rather than opting for the stealth route never comes, which although appreciated by Grand Theft Auto players who do nothing but rampaging instead of playing the game, means that you might just lose interest in the linear plot altogether.
It seems that the developers spent more time making the game look and sound good rather than the actually concentrating on the actual gameplay, which is a real shame because we had such high hopes for Destroy all Humans.
Gameplay is limiting, missions too simple and the depth of game poor. In fact, given a couple of nights of gaming and you’ll finish it in no time. The game starts out well, the opening mission with Cryto the alien trying to tell a herd of cows he has come to take over their planet entertaining, but like the b-movies it emulates this is a B-game.
One for rental as any decent gamer will crave their way through this ultimately disappointing invasion. Destroy all Humans could have been better - and even if it sells well enough to generate a sequel, without additional thought going into either an add-on or a second game, it’ll be more of the same to rent or not play. In this way, it’s a little too close to the B-movies it references. Even though the older of the two, Plan 9, is now loved and appreciated by film fans, THQ haven’t got forty years.