“Ladies and gentlemen, I have a grave announcement to make. Incredible as it may seem, both the observations of science and the evidence of our eyes lead to the inescapable assumption that those strange beings who landed in the Jersey farmlands tonight are the vanguard of an invading army from the planet Mars.” – Columbia Broadcasting System – War of the Worlds.
Alright so calling the protagonist of Destroy all Humans, Cryptospodium 137, a little green man from Mars is probably the quickest way to meet your end. The correct term is little grey man from the planet Furon.
If you couldn’t tell this Throwback Thursday we’re looking at Destroy All Humans.
I might be getting a little ahead of myself on this one so I think it’s best that we at least understand what Destroy All Humans is, other than a blanket term for human genocide, before we go into it.
Destroy All Humans was a PS2 and Xbox game in which you did just that, destroyed all humans. Well at least the ones living in the 1950s America at the time.
For me the hype around Destroy All Humans began with an issue of the Official PlayStation 2 Magazine. Of course it came with a demo disc with a few feeble demos of games on, but what caught my eye was the trailers second. Destroy All Humans flashed out to me.
I’d played games where you shot people, you shot vampires, you shot aliens, but never one where you played as an alien. Suffice it to say I was intrigued.
The trailer showed some awesome shots of alien weaponry, jetpacks and toasting dumb ass farmers with a few shots of your trusty zap-o-matic.
Well that was it, preordered and sat at my door for a few months waiting for it to be released.
Next month there was an actual demo of the game on the disc that came with the magazine and I played the hell out of it, but it couldn’t prepare me for how much fun I could have with this thing.
Getting the game and playing it for the first time was a breath of fresh air for me. An adventure game with weapon upgrades, a badass flying saucer and jokes that I could understand that poked fun at the 1950s.
So what’s the story? Well the Furon Empire send a scout ship to Earth to see if the planet is useful for colonization. Unfortunately the ship flys in just as the US military are test firing a missile, blowing the ship out of the sky and injuring the pilot, Cryptosporidium 136. The army take him into custody and his oversee, Orthopox, is annoyed.
The Furons are a pretty cool species to begin with. They’re stereotypically like the big eyes, little and big headed grey aliens we hear so much about in documentaries like “An Alien touched my cow”, but they’re a bit more volatile than the curious types we assume exist.
Furons are technically immortal in that they clone from one original and just number themselves as the clones go on. One thing I liked is that this is implemented in game. If you die in game a new clone of yourself with a higher number is born, and listed on your save file.
We play as Cryptosporidium 137 who’s just learned that his brother has been taken hostage by “a bunch of monkeys.” He’s understandably pissed and Orthopox agrees to go to Earth and find out what happened.
The first level of Destroy All Humans sets the tone perfectly. We land in an urban environment on a stereotypical back water farm in the American heartlands. There we find bumbling farmers, incompetent cops and cows, so many cows.
The levels are open ended once a story mission has been completed there, so Crypto is free to stay in a level and cause some chaos or return to the mother ship for the next mission.
Honestly some of the most fun I had in that game was flinging cows at the various farm hands who tried to stop me.
But people aren’t just good for killing in this game, they’re good for DNA. Yes, humans have what’s called “pure furon DNA” in their genes from interbreeding from eons ago. This DNA is vital to the Furon survival so Pox and Crypto hatch a plan to get at it all, at least in America.
What follows is a hilariously over the top game which ropes in the US Military, the classic shady government organization that deals with aliens on earth, the 1950s tropes in general and reverses the roles on everything you thought about Aliens vs Humans.
Despite being such an old game the locations in the game really feel like they have character. Places like The Turnipseed Farm and Rockwell are classic little towns in the American heartlands and the NPCs which roam around feel like they do belong in a quaint setting.
Santa Modesta is a suburban neighbourhood which looks like something you’d see on a 50s dishwasher advert trying to sell the “Modern Conveniences” to the masses.
By far my favourite location though was Area 49. It was a take on Area 51, obviously, that everyone seems to think houses alien life.
Truth be told there’s only like one building in the whole place that actually houses any alien life. The rest of Area 49 is just used for military experiments, nuclear testing and aircraft testing. You know like the actual Area 51 perhaps?
The whole plot of Destroy All Humans feels like a 50s B-Movie, and that’s what it is. A B-Movie. One of those classics you’d see played at the cinema which would usually have low grade effects and an over the top storyline.
It really hammers the point home by having a copy of Teenagers from Outer Spaceon the disc along with the main game, a terrible but funny movie relevant to the time.
But in terms of what I think of Destroy All Humans, it’s amazing. The setting and story feel just right and I haven’t even gotten into the characters yet. Their voices are perfect, their personalities were amazing and the acting was great.
An over the top B-movie game which still holds up amazingly today for me.
Were you a Destroy All Humans fan? What did you think of the sequels? Let us know in the comments below.