The Destroy All Humans! franchise is best described as stupid, mindless fun. Since its first release for Xbox and PlayStation 2 back in 2005, the series’ defining features have included anal probes, disintegration rays and haphazard cow slaughter. Thankfully, developer Black Forest Games seems like it will preserve the property’s crude humor when its remake of the original title launches later this year. This happy massacre of humanity may turn out to be the breath of fresh air that video game fans didn’t know they needed.
During my time with the game at PAX East 2020, I took control of Cryptosporidium-137 once again and reacquainted myself with its signature arsenal of weapons and abilities. From the get-go, I was instructed to read the thoughts of a herd of cows. It wasn’t long before I found myself tossing these cattle like flying discs, ramming them into tractors and hurling them over the edge of a nearby hill.
Even in this opening section, I had freedom to wreak as much havoc as my heart desired. When the farmers noticed my cattle annihilation and began attacking me, it was genuinely fun to pick up a bumpkin and catapult him into his neighbor, or launch him straight into the air without a care in the world. Roasting enemies with the Disintegration Ray was just as satisfying, especially as their bodies charred and they writhed in pain.
The semi-open world nature of the title is further enhanced by Crypto’s improved movement on the battlefield. Players can now hover around in their jet packs to obliterate their victims, thus eliminating the need to run around obstacles just to pick apart another brain stem. What’s more is that Crypto can multitask while facing off against opponents, absorbing human DNA while tearing apart the weaklings that stand in its way.
My demo culminated in a sequence where I flew around in Crypto’s saucer, igniting military personnel on the ground as soon as their tanks arrived. Witnessing these vehicles explode in satisfying balls of fire evidenced that Black Forest Games is totally designing the game with modern sensibilities in mind, thus properly ushering the Destroy All Humans! franchise into an era where HD textures and detailed environments are the norm.
When my time with the game was over, I was told the developer will include content not found in the original game, like optional challenges and a new story mission dubbed 13.5. The studio also plans to expand the number of upgrades available for Crypto’s weapons and abilities. Despite not being able to tinker with the title’s upgrade system myself, I’m curious to learn how Black Forest Games plans to make the anal probe even more terrifying.
The upcoming Destroy All Humans! remake isn’t trying to be anything aside from a video game, which is precisely why fans should be excited for it. In a sense, Destroy All Humans! is shaping up to a title that’s simply meant to be enjoyed as is – no strings attached. It’s a daring precedent in an industry that’s often obsessed with finding the newest trend or “revolutionizing” gaming as we know it.
Here’s hoping that this remake doesn’t let us down when it releases for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC later this year.