|System: Wii, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Locomotive Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: THQ||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 25, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The release of the original Destroy All Humans game made some waves and caused some controversy (apparently some parents didn't like the idea of their children indiscriminately destroying innocent civilians go figure). But beyond that, there was a funny game that ironically twisted such sci-fi shooters as Halo on their head. Rather than playing as a human being killing aliens, you're an alien killing human beings. And now the Wii gets a taste of the series with its iteration of the Destroy All Humans series, subtitled Big Willy Unleashed.
You're thrust immediately into the role of Crypto, an alien who has reportedly been killing humans for 20 years. One of his superiors, named Cox (don't ask me, because I don't know), is raking in tons of cash thanks to his fast-food chain that he's started on Earth. Ironically (and disgustingly), he is using the bodies of the many people that Crypto has killed to create the fast food chain's popular hot dogs (another hilarious poke that astute gamers will appreciate). But a busty, bratty heiress has been kidnapped (for the umpteenth time), and she is convinced that she has discovered Big Willy's secret, thanks somehow to her abductors. So it's up to Crypto to take the reigns and kill some humans as he attempts to mask his boss's disgusting secret and destroy the heiress. The reason I really mention the game's story isn't so much that it's actually good, but rather that it is absolutely hilarious. As you may have gathered from reading the above brief and general synopsis, there are tons of stereotypical characters and countless nods toward the weird aspect of 70s culture (admittedly, the developers have had a lot to work with). While it won't compel you to keep playing if you become bored with this game, the dialogue does reward players with some genuinely funny jokes.
In fact, one such humorous situation is actually the way in which the story is told; the game features some pretty decent-in-areas voice acting. Crypto, in particular, has an incredibly annoying voice that genuinely sounds as if somebody is yelling in monotone into a tin can. However, surrounded in an environment with blasting disco music and crazy hairdos, this really doesn't seem that out of place. In fact, if anything, the cheesy voice acting only serves to enhance the theme and atmosphere of the game. I honestly can't tell whether or not this is intentional, but regardless, it's an interesting study in how a "negative" aspect of a game doesn't actually have to be negative.
The game unfolds in a very Grand Theft Auto-esque style, with a scattering of missions throughout the map. However, like in the GTA games, plenty of fun can be had just roaming around using your weapons and abilities to wreak havoc on unsuspecting humans. It's a good gameplay mechanic because there's a sense of linearity to the game, but if that's not what floats your boat then you won't have to search out each mission and follow Cox's strict directions throughout each task. The missions proceed pretty logically in your attempt to stop the heiress from disclosing the secret of Big Willy, and the plot rather quickly advances from there.
But Big Willy Unleashed isn't just a sandbox game, because the developers have given you a great reason to actually go through and play each mission. The only way that you can unlock anything is by playing through missions. Unlockables vary widely, but the two most fun features of Big Willy Unleashed are the weapons and the mind powers. Weapons are, as you'd expect, pretty futuristic and pretty much what you'd expect. You start out with a very limited arsenal, but as you play through more missions, more of the game's weapons will become unlocked. They range from a fairly predictable jet of electricity to an incinerator and tons of stuff in between. Much of the fun of the weapons lies in seeing how your victims react to them, because it varies vastly for each weapon. Crypto also has a number of mind abilities at his disposal, which include being able to conjure ammunition, hypnotize people to get them to do his bidding, or possess them and mingle with humans unnoticed.