|Destroy All Humans (2005)
Available for: PlayStation 2, Xbox
Fans of 50’s sci-fi cinema are simply going to love Pandemic’s latest shooter, “Destroy All Humans,” a sort of “War of the Worlds” take on the alien invasion of Planet Earth, but with a wicked sense of humor. You play as Crypto, an alien clone of the intergalactic Furon race sent down to the green planet to investigate the sudden disappearance of a fellow alien brother. Slaughtering his way through crowds of stereotypical 1950’s Americans, Crypto (who just so happens to sound exactly like Jack Nicholson) slowly uncovers a secret society known as the Majestic, a CIA-like organization pulling the strings of the country’s government and military forces.
In order to, well, destroy all humans, Crypto is equipped with some pretty heavy duty weaponry and abilities, not to mention a flying saucer with all of the vaporizing and earthquake-shaking goodies you could hope for. While on foot, Crypto’s arsenal includes the electricity-zapping Zap-O-Matic, a fireball-heaving Disintegrator Ray, and the least effective, but certainly most entertaining, Anal Probe gun. Crypto’s mental abilities also serve to be helpful on his mission for total destruction, like the ability to scan the thoughts of others, lift large objects into the sky, and mimic the physical attributes of a human. He can also extract the brain stems of his victims by causing their heads to explode, which serves as one of the more viable skills needed throughout the game.
The game plays out a lot like the incredibly popular “Grand Theft Auto” series in that Crypto is required to complete main story missions in order to progress, and this is accomplished via a healthy mix of third-person shooting, overhead UFO blasting, and a little stealth action on the side. The game also uses a four-tiered alert system that increases the difficulty of your opponents based on the level of panic in the city you’re currently terrorizing. Your enemies can vary from scared civilians, to over-confident police, a Michael-Bay-blow-‘em-up-hungry military, or the Men in Black-esque Majestic agents.
Throughout the story, there are also plenty of side mini-game-type missions that serve as ways for the player to unlock secret material, collect points to spend upgrading weapons, or just earn that 100% completion rating that so many gamers love to strive for. And while the main storyline doesn’t last nearly as long as most would hope for, the extra material lends upwards to fifteen hours of more gameplay, and once your finished, you can still freely roam the six not-so-unique environments and continue to hassle the human race for as long as you like.
Despite the long play time though, “Destroy All Humans” begins to feel very average after the first two or three hours of destruction, and while the initial experience appears somewhat unique, gameplay becomes incredibly monotonous and formulaic. Still, “Destroy All Humans” does offer some of the best villainous thrills in a while, so if you’re in the mood to play the bad guy for once, be sure to check this one out sometime soon. Devoted fans of “GTA” will undoubtedly enjoy this purchase, but any other gamer should take “Destroy All Humans” for a much-needed test drive.