PS2 REVIEW: DESTROY ALL HUMANS
It's always a treat to play a game where you get to kill innocent civilians, isn't it? I hope the Democrats don't find out about this game or we'll all have our videogame rights revoked. I've played so many games where I've killed so many people that I am sure that I would become a serial killer the instant I left my house. But until they unlock my bedroom door, I will continue my killing spree vicariously with THQ's latest third-person, action adventure game, Destroy All Humans.

In this game you assume the role of Crypto, an alien who is on the hunt for DNA which is to be used for cloning purposes back on his home planet. They've been cloning their own kind for years and are starting to run out of DNA material. Earth has a large supply. To acquire the material, Crypto must stun the humans and extract the juicy gray matter that resides in their heads. It's all in a day's work.

Taking place in the campy 50s, you will begin your harvest in the rural backwaters and eventually make your way to the Whitehouse where you will be confronted by the U.S. Army. The game starts out easy enough but it gets really challenging near the end. Extracting brains leaves you vulnerable so you'll have to get tons of it at earlier stages of the game. You can use the DNA to upgrade your abilities, especially your talent with weapons.

Some of the less forgiving weapons require a lock-on system but it doesn't really work that great. It doesn't always target the character that you are facing which can also leave you vulnerable.

Throughout the game you will unlock new levels, extra lives and mini-games that will grant you more DNA points. These mini-games are mostly of the timed racing and collecting type. They are generic but they are a good source of DNA if you figure out how to take advantage of them.

Gameplay is divided into three main components: Shooting; action, and stealth. The Zap-O-Matic (in keeping with the 50's theme) stuns your prey for just enough time to relieve them of their brains. I image that Crypto must have already visited the CCC offices. Other retro sci-fi weapons include various rays, plasmas, electricity, tractor beams and the hilarious Anal Probe. Did I mention that this game has a wicked sense of humor?

You will get to pilot a flying saucer but it only flies and fires in a one-dimensional plane, and you can only land it in specified areas. Stealth is less restricted but if you get caught it's instant death. Using your psychic powers you can create a holographic image of a human being and walk around unnoticed - that is until you run into one of the Men in Black. They have the ability to see through your disguise and will kill you dead if given half a chance. The only way you can escape this situation is to apply your powers of telekinesis and pick them up and throw them as far away as possible. It's fun to play this style of stealth where you don't have to hide in the shadows but it requires you to constantly scan people looking for powers.

Interacting with people can be great fun. You'll read various men's minds and find out just what people were thinking half a century ago. The cutscenes are funny and well produced. The gameplay as well as the story is inspired by those classic B-movie, sci fi thrillers but it never, ever takes itself seriously. Unfortunately that is also evident with the gameplay which is kind of generic and just a little too repetitious.

Destroy All Humans certainly has a lot of charisma but imagine if you had to take the title of the game literally? Killing a few billion people would certainly become boring after a while no matter how psychotic you are. Perhaps if the reward system offered better mini-games this game might have been an instant cult classic. As it is, I would certainly recommend a rental but any further commitment is your call.

Preview by Chris

People have had both fears and dreams of Aliens for years. Hollywood has cashed in on this craze starting in the early 50's making those cheesy alien attack the earth plot movies. Of course the radio broadcast of War of the Worlds helped convince people that aliens had really began to attack earth. Only later did people realize that they had been taken in by a hoax.

The story of these actual events have been exaggerated and some say there where really people who where so afraid they where ready to leap from their windows. Barnum said it best - There is a sucker born every minute. If you want proof just look at any weekly edition of those tabloids and you will see countless headlines about aliens abductions and probes. I don't know about you but if I was indeed abducted and then probed I sure wouldn't sell my story for all to see. Of course I don't live in a trailer park or drive a pick-up truck so the chances of me being abducted is fairly low.

Regardless if Aliens really exists or not they sell things. Including video games and now Pandemic Studios is basing a new game on those movies that started in the 50's. Gamers will get to play a brain-eating Alien named Crypto. Who is sent to earth to seek out the needed DNA and wreak havoc along the way he won't be alone in his mission though. You see Crypto is a bit old and has a few wires twisted upstairs. So he will need the help of his commander Orthopox-15 the number 15 means he is the 15th generation of the clone and is superior in his intelligence and powers. Although Pox will try and give Crypto instructions the game seems to be made that things can and will go wrong. Crypto will have the option of following the advice of the know it all or try things his way. He can use his futuristic weapons and even hypnotize humans at will to do his bidding. Of course he can also decide to satisfy his need for hunger and snack on their brains. It also seems that Crypto has a sarcastic sense of humor and their will be sight and sound gags in the game. I am starting to like the purple guy already!

Okay-it sounds a bit gross or something that would also feature robots that look a lot like those featured in Cole's Botz segments. To be honest the game is looking interesting and will require players to think and not just destroy things. Although besides Crypto's powers while on land he also has his flying saucer loaded with some great toys. He can demolish a whole city block with just one shot and the effects are so far looking impressive thanks to the 3D graphics. Expect a campy story line and those cheesy sound effects and music scores with a new twist. The game will feature some new music and be updated in certain levels. It's hard to describe this game but I will try. Think of it as an action adventure with a sci-fi twists. Of course with the game a long way off we do not have all the details but it sounds crazy enough to work. It may just be a fun one to play stay tune for more details on this one.

Features:

  • Turn the tables on the classic Alien vs. Humans storyline. In Destroy All Humans, play from the Alien perspective and finally know what it feels like to have the upper hand
  • Arm yourself with a variety of alien weaponry on land or in the air. Use the Ion Detonator, the Zap-O-Matic, the Sonic Boom, or even the Quantum Deconstructor to eradicate feeble humans
  • Explore and interact with 5 huge environments using an arsenal of alien abilities to manipulate humans into submission: hypnotize, body-snatch, read minds, levitate and more
  • Take to the skies in your UFO, abduct animals, cars, and humans for research, or cause large-scale destruction
  • Packed with familiar and popular sci-fi references
Click For Media
System: Xbox, PS2,
Dev: Pandemic
Pub: THQ
Release: June 2005
Players: 1
Review by Dean
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
3.5
GRAPHICS
4.0
CONTROL
3.5
MUSIC/FX
4.0
VALUE
2.0