Destroy All Humans! (XB1) Review

It came from outer space

It has been 15 years since the world was first introduced to the Nicholson-inspired alien known as Crypto. It has also been 12 years since his last outing. What is amazing about the series to me is that only the first and second game were even worth mentioning. The two released back in 2008 are just not enjoyable experiences. So what makes this goofy alien appealing enough for a remake in 2020? I have fond memories of the series even with half of its titles being absolutely forgettable. Still, in 2020, I had a blast revisiting Crypto’s adventure, and it somehow still manages to hold up over a decade later.

So how does a game from 2005 feel in 2020? That is always the biggest question when one of these remakes makes an appearance. Well I took a trip back and played the original Destroy all Humans on my Xbox via backward compatibility and it holds up well. Sure, the controls are a little stiff and the visuals a little muddy, but it is a decent third-person action title. Then I jumped directly into the new game and immediately noticed where the work went.

MSRP: $39.99
Platforms: XB1 (reviewed), PS4, PC
Price I’d Pay: $39.99

The game keeps the original charm while bringing plenty of quality of life improvements to the game play. While the original played fine, I could easily detect the updates made to minor things. Aiming feels more fluid and the movement has been improved. The biggest upgrade are the cut scenes, which now feature a much sharper image quality. The voice acting remains the same from the 2005 version and not all the jokes hit, but Crypto’s overlord is still superbly voiced by Richard Horvitz of Invader Zim fame.

Each level is like a mini open-world sandbox for players to complete missions in. Once complete I was free to return to the levels to collect items or perform challenge missions. These all earn DNA which can be used between missions to upgrade Crypto and his saucer. The loop works even if the levels are essentially mini open-worlds. I felt good progression and if a mission gave me issues, I just went back and collected more. The minute-to-minute game play holds up well enough to make it not feel like a huge grind.

This is a simple game with a simple course of action. It is essentially a monster causing chaos, which is always fun. Some missions show their age with insta-fail parameters, but for the most part the game is fun and forgiving enough that it never becomes frustrating.

Crypto has plenty of weapons and abilities at his disposal to keep things interesting. The shock ray can be upgraded to hit more people, while the anal probe is just as ridiculous and fun as it sounds. He also has a range of abilities such as being able to project a human form to hide among the people or force them to follow him for escort missions. The controls can feel a bit wonky with powers being on the d-pad, but I got used to it fairly quickly.

Destroy All Humans! Is still a fun game in 2020. With the quality of life improvements and updated visuals it passes as a game that could have been released today, just not a showcase piece. I loved these types of B-tier titles last generation and am glad to see them making a somewhat return to prominence. Now if we could only get a new title in the series of the same quality I would be down with a next-gen version of Crypto’s shenanigans. Just forget that Big Will Unleashed ever existed and we will be just fine.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

  • Just dumb fun
  • Quality of life improvements
  • Cartoon aesthetic
  • Wave-based missions
  • Some jokes haven't aged well
Written by
Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.