Destroy All Humans (2020) Review – A Well Crafted Remake

Featured image on Destroy All Humans (2020) Review

Back in 2005 a game called Destroy All Humans was released on PC, Xbox, and PS2. In 2019 THQ Nordic made a somewhat surprising announcement that they were remaking this title for a 2020 release. Destroy All Humans (2020) is that remake and it is out now. Does this title deliver to fans a well-done remake? Check out our thoughts in the Destroy All Humans (2020) review below.

What is Destroy All Humans (2020)?

Destroy All Humans (2020) is third-person action adventure game in which players take on the role of Crypto-137, an alien, who is sent to the United States in 1959. During this resource focused planetary invasion Crypto-137 faces off against a mysterious government agency called Majestic that is run by the equally mysterious Silhouette. While facing off against this agency Crypto-137 uses a number of weapons on foot along with psychic abilities and his flying saucer to destroy all humans and any other objects that get in his way.

  • Developer: Black Forest Games.
  • Publisher: THQ Nordic.
  • Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One.
  • MSRP: $29.99 USD (Standard Edition).
  • Hours Played for Review: 17.
  • Game Beaten: Yes.
  • Code Provided by Developer: Yes, THQ Nordic.

A Remake Done Right

In the current gaming industry one of the hottest products to make is a remake or remaster of older games. This tactic of re-releasing titles that may be a few years old can be a double-edged sword for developers with lazy remakes/remasters appearing as nothing but a cash grab. Destroy All Humans (2020) is thankfully not that but is a rather a competent remake that pulls a 15 year old title into 2020 with all the amenities and polish you would expect from a game released in the present day.

Refreshed Combat and Movement

Image showing combat from Destroy All Humans (2020).

One of the major areas of the game that has been overhauled is the combat and movement. On Earth Crypto-137 spends his time split between third-person on foot exploration and combat and flying around in a saucer. The on-foot gameplay has been revamped with new additions that include allowing for multiple inputs at once (so you can use a gun and PK at the same time for example), and quicker movement with the new Dash and Skate abilities. Both Dash and Skate allow Crypto-137 to move along the ground far more quickly than the simple run he had back in 2005.

Both the additions mentioned above breath fresh air into the on-foot combat by complimenting the absurd arsenal of weapons at Crypto’s disposal. All of the fan favorite weapons are back (yes including the Anal Probe) and you can still pop heads and harvest brains like any good alien should. With the addition of Dash and Skate and the retooled jetpack Crypto-137 can really move around during combat making fights feel more fast-paced and frenetic than the original’s ever were. This frenetic action makes the game feel very modern for a title building upon combat systems designed back in 2005.

While I enjoyed much of the revamped third-person action combat in the remake I found all three of the game’s boss fights to be far too long and uninteresting. All three fights are three ’rounds’ with the bosses themselves being rather tankie even with a near fully upgraded Crypto. I can appreciate remaining true to the original, but the boss fights just didn’t feel all that fun or interesting to me. A change in how the boss fights worked to add more ways of using the new combat additions would’ve been welcome to get away from the simple shoot for 5+ minute affairs they are now.

Alongside spending your time fighting enemies on foot Crypto-137 will occasionally jump into his flying saucer to level cities and destroy other larger nuisances that appear across the different missions. The saucer system remains largely unchanged from the original which I think is a good decision. There are a few minor additions that make it slightly more forgiving but it feels similar to the 2005 original. There was something incredibly satisfying about leveling a city in 2005 using a variety of saucer weapons that remains as satisfying in 2020.

A Planet’s Worth of New Additions

Image showing the map in Destroy All Humans (2020).

Besides the revamped movement and combat there are a number of other new additions that have been added in the remake. Destroy All Humans (2020) adds new abilities, more Crypto and Saucer upgrades (from 18 to 66) to purchase, a new mission, bonus mission objectives, free roam challenges, and even skins to unlock. There is a serious amount of new content in the remake to sink your teeth into if you are a returning player that wanted more content out of the original. I’m at about 17 hours played and still have a number of collectibles to find and challenges to ace.

Speaking of challenges these new mini-games can be accessed in a free roam you unlock after completing a mission in the location you wish to revisit. Once you have the location’s free roam unlocked you can run around each level collecting probes and completing challenges that come in four forms: Armageddon, Race, Abduction, and Rampage. All four of these challenge types emphasis different elements of gameplay from movement in races to destruction of property in Armageddon. These new challenges are a welcome addition and relatively fun to complete across the game’s six locations.

I appreciate the new additions added in the remake by Black Forest Games as they add a number of new activities to complete and more game time to the title. With that said I would’ve liked to see more things to do and find during free roam as you will basically only use the exploration mode to do challenges and grab collectibles. Given the next logical step for the series is a completely open-world game some further experimentation in the remake’s open-world attempt would’ve been nice.

A Shiny Space Paint Job

Image showing Crypt-137 in Destroy All Humans (2020).

Before I wrap things up I just want to touch briefly on the presentation and the look of Destroy All Humans (2020). Visually the game looks nice with there being a slew of new models, animations, and overall better graphics all around. These visual upgrades make the world more interesting to be in as it feels more real and life-like. With that said this new coat of paint does come at a bit of a cost as I found a few situations where the frame rate did suffer (specifically in Capitol City). While this was not a major issue it was a bit unfortunate to see as it felt like the frames dropped in rather inopportune moments like boss fights when there was a lot going on.

Besides the visual upgrade you can expect the same wacky humor and storytelling present in the original title. This humor may not land for some, but I found it to be still as funny as I remember the original title to be. Something about taking control of the mayor to deliver a speech about the commie threat still makes me laugh 15 years later.

Overall my experience with Destroy All Humans (2020) was far more positive than I was expecting. When I first heard they were making a remake I was skeptical over how it would be delivered. Having played it to completion I can say that Black Forest Games nailed the delivery. Destroy All Humans (2020) keeps one foot in the past while having one foot in the present. Barring a few minor gripes around boring boss fights, lacking free roam content, and some frame issues I found a ton here to enjoy. If you played and enjoyed the original title back in 2005 the remake is a welcome return to that experience with all the bells and whistles of a 2020 title.


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A lifelong gamer who has devoted the last six years to the creation and development of "Hold To Reset," a website tailored by gamers for gamers. Yell your hot takes at him on X.

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