With content creation in a lull, it is both reassuring and worrying to see an influx of remasters cropping up in-game sales and libraries. Bad, because some of these remasters are of games that are barely in contention for the title of “classic” and released later than some of the tech I own and currently use. Good, because it means nostalgia consumers such as me get the chance to experience their favourite games without mucking about with emulators or burrowing a Playstation 2 deep into the nest of wires hidden under their desk. Destroy All Humans! is, thankfully, the latest IP to receive this translation of sleek graphics and gameplay jitters.
Stylistic changes seem to be the only major fix made to Destroy All Humans!, which is both fitting and worrying. With this fantastic overhaul of graphical variants comes a fresh and invigorating look at Crypto and company, but it brings with it all the niggling bugs and major issues the control scheme had. Not quite remembered for their innovations or long-lasting effect, the control schemes for certain games, Destroy All Humans! included, are seemingly made for those with permanently broken limbs. There is a state of disarray in how many button prompts and tactics the game throws at you. Tutorials come and go, with a thick and fast approach that hopes to keep the pacing intact and also teach the player of the vast, surprising depth to a seemingly simple upgrades system and weapons wheel.
Either my memory is fading or the variety of weapons, controls, upgrades and missions are boggling my brain. The latter is possible, and wouldn’t be a problem if the variety of weapons and special abilities were at all useful. You could throw people and eventually vehicles around with telekinesis, but why bother when the standard weapons are more effective? The illusion of choice is present throughout Destroy All Humans!, and until your progress through upgrades is past the halfway mark, every item is useless and unfathomably bland. Nostalgia is a cruel beast, indeed, and it is no more pertinent than it is here.
A face like Clint Eastwood and a voice reminiscent of the latter-day Jack Nicholson, Crypto staggers through plans of world domination with amicable results. Fun in bitterly short bursts, but the love lost between myself and this piece from THQNordic is something that can never be bridged. While the writing is outstanding and the performances are strong, the gameplay is surprisingly underwhelming. Rose-tinted glasses will do that for many, and it is hard to tear them off when attempting the various stealth or destruction-based missions. Love begins to fade for Crypto and crew as the game wears itself down to the bare essentials, which are nothing more than simplistic rehashes of the same few mechanics. None of which have been polished, the graphical enhancements have taken precedence over reliable, rewarding gameplay.