2005’s Destroy All Humans introduced gamers to Cryptosporidium, an alien with a chip on his shoulder. Rather than play as the human trying to stop the alien invasion, you play as the alien invaders. Armed with a flying saucer, telekinesis, and an anal probe, Crypto sets out to collect brain stems and, as the title says, destroy all humans. The game struck a chord with its unique gameplay and sense of humor. Three sequels and a remake followed, with a remake of the second game on the way. Of the five that have been released, let’s rank the Destroy All Humans games to see which is the best and which is the worst.
Video by IGN
5. Destroy All Humans: Big Willy Unleashed (2008)
In 2008, the world received not one but two Destroy All Humans games, starting with Big Willy Unleashed. The game follows Crypto and Pox, who establish a restaurant chain selling hot dogs made of humans Crypto has killed. When comparing it to the other games, Big Willy Unleashed is an oddity. It began life as a PSP spin-off before becoming a Wii game. Neither Crypto nor Pox’s original actors reprise their roles. Instead, we get soundalikes.
The story is less serious and more campy. For example, the main villain is a Colonel Sanders-wannabe, and the dialogue crams as many “Big Willy” puns possible. As for the gameplay, Locomotive Games does a decent job translating the series’ gameplay to the Wii. Pointing and shooting with the remote feels great and the weapons are fun to mess around with. The new Big Willy mech lets you level city blocks with eye lasers and nuclear farts. Unfortunately, Big Willy Unleashed falls short. The missions are basic, the game is short, and the graphics are bad. It’s not good when the first two games made for older hardware look better than this game made for the Wii.
Overall, Big Willy Unleashed has its moments, but falls flat.
4. Destroy All Humans: Path of the Furon (2008)
Path of the Furon marks the series’ jump to next-gen. With bigger levels, crazier guns, the game promises something bold and exciting. However, the reality was far from the truth. The game’s development was difficult, to the point the studio working on it closed a month before its release. Set a few years after Big Willy Unleashed, Crypto and Pox run a casino. Their activities get them entangled in a gang war with the mafia. When a race of alien cyborgs shows up, the two set out on a journey to discover who is behind the mess.
Path of the Furon has a lot going for it. For starters, the reworked controls let players use Crypto’s guns and abilities simultaneously. Aerial enemies including helicopters and flying saucers provide new threats for Crypto to contend with. Also, the new weapons like the Tornadotron and Venus Human Trap are fun to use. The game has great ideas, but shaky execution. The missions are bland, with few stand-outs. The game introduces new powers like the ability to stop time, but doesn’t use them in any creative ways.
The biggest problem is its lack of polish. The rampant glitches and muddy visuals make Cyberpunk 2077 look stable by comparison. Plus, the writing fails to match the wit of the first two games. Not to mention, be borderline racist. It’s a shame because the pieces are there for a great game.
3. Destroy All Humans! (2005)
Destroy All Humans is a fantastic send-up of old-school science-fiction. In Destroy All Humans, Cryptosporidium-137 must collect Furon DNA from human brain steams. Cue the mass destruction, cattle mutilations, and rampant anal probing.
Destroy All Humans plays like GTA, except you play as a green, sorry, grey alien armed with an anal probe. Causing chaos feels satisfying, and the game balances out the mayhem with missions where you infiltrate human society. The hilarious writing pokes fun at science-fiction movies and the Communism paranoia of the 1950’s. Some aspects feel dated. The lack of shield upgrades makes the later stages harder than they should be. Plus, the story regularly comes to a halt while the player collects enough DNA to continue the campaign.
Despite its issues, the original Destroy All Humans is a charming game with a wicked sense of humor.
2. Destroy All Humans! (2020)
After Path of the Furon put the series on ice, the odds of the series returning were low. Fast forward to E3 2019, where a familiar-looking grey alien hypnotizes throngs of humans with the help of Rammstein. Developer Black Forest Games remade the original Destroy All Humans for modern consoles. While the story and characters remain the same, the gameplay receives many quality-of-life improvements.
Switching between weapons and abilities feels smooth. In addition to the jetpack, players are able to glide around using the new SKATE system. Plus, Black Forest Games even resurrects a cut mission, a nice surprise for hardcore fans like myself. Black Forest Games honors the original while updating it for modern audiences.
1. Destroy All Humans 2 (2006)
Destroy All Humans 2 leaves the 1950’s and heads to the 1960’s, the decade of free love. For Crypto, it means a new batch of humans to probe. Destroy All Humans 2 improves upon the first in many ways. For starters, rather than mesh linear and open world elements like the first, the sequel is a full-fledged open-world game. Each level contains main missions, side missions, and dozens of collectibles to track down.
Additionally, Crypto’s journey takes him from San Francisco to London to Tokyo. He squares off against the United States military, the KGB, and even a kaiju for good measure. Returning favorites like the Zap-O-Matic and Anal Probe join new guns like the Dislocator and Meteor Strike. If things get too hectic, use the new Free Love ability to make people dance.
Destroy All Humans 2 does what a sequel should do. It takes what made the original work and improves it. Besides, nothing is as satisfying as roasting hippies with the disintegrator ray.
Ranking the Destroy All Humans Games – Conclusion
In ranking the Destroy All Humans games, I noticed how much of a contrast in quality there is amongst the games in the series. The original Destroy All Humans and its sequel were the brainchild of the now-defunct Pandemic Studios. There was a secret brilliance to the first two games that’s hard to describe. Big Willy Unleashed and Path of the Furon were the victim of THQ trying to milk the series for what it was worth. The developers behind those games tried their best, but they lack the spark the Pandemic originals had. This isn’t the case with the remake, which was excellent and re-introduced gamers to the long-forgotten series. With Destroy All Humans 2: Reprobed in the works, it’s safe to say the series is in good hands, and hopefully it means more adventures for everyone’s favorite Jack Nicolson-sounding alien.