Cryptosporidium is a genus of apicomplexan parasitic alveolates that can cause a respiratory and gastrointestinal illness (cryptosporidiosis) that primarily involves watery diarrhea (intestinal cryptosporidiosis) with or without a persistent cough (respiratory cryptosporidiosis) in both immunocompetent and immunodeficient humans. It’s also the name of the character you play in Destroy All Humans.
Cryptosporidium, or Crypto for short, isn’t a bacteria, he’s a Furon, and he’s here to take over the Earth.
Somebody saw Mars Attacks and thought it’d be a great basis for the style of an open world game, and they thought it would be more fun if you’re playing the alien invaders rather than the humans, and they were right. Don’t worry about taking pleasure in the destruction of humanity, it’s as much fun as you think.
Destroy All Humans is sort of an open world game. It’s open world in that you can revisit old levels and take part in different challenges. It’s not open world in the Breath of the Wild sense. You’re given a few environments in which to commit your horrendous acts of destruction, ranging from a small country farm, to a big city, and military base.
Gameplay takes place in two forms. Mainly you’re a small alien running around performing tasks and collecting human DNA. DNA is the currency of the game, and you’ll use it to purchase upgrades to your abilities and flying saucer. DNA can be harvested either by causing a human’s head to explode with your telekinetic abilities, or by using your anal probe gun, which causes such a big shock in anyone unlucky enough to be hit by it, that their brains explode out of their heads. Telekinetic powers can be used for other things, such as throwing cows at people, and throwing people at anything that takes your fancy.
The different levels and challenges will see you causing destruction, but also mind controlling the puny humans, and anal probing. Zapping a human with your anal probe and watching them run away holding their bottom never gets old.
and the most fun, flying around in your flying saucer.
When you’re not running around, you’re flying around using your death ray. Lots of your time is spent in your ship being attacks by the local branch of the national guard, or burning down buildings. Of course the humans will try to stop you, but they’ll be no match for your superior technology.
I know that this all sounds extremely gruesome, and it is, but it’s done in a very cartoony way. Like I said, it has a feel of Mars Attacks to it. It’s actually a spoof of 50s alien invasion movies, which is why it feels like Mars Attacks, which is a spoof of 50s alien invasion movies. I think the fact that Crypto’s voice is remarkably similar to Jack Nicholson’s voice has something to do with my brain linking this game to Mars Attacks.
Destroy All Humans is a fun game, however you can feel it pushing against the limitations of technologies of the time. The Xbox version looks great, but that open world isn’t as open as we’re used to them being, and you’ll soon realise that there are only about ten character models in the game that get repeated over and over. Every farmer with a gun is the same farmer with a gun. When the police arrive to get you, two identical police officers get out of the car.
Occasionally you’ll witness some odd behaviours from the NPCs. Then again, maybe the NPCs are just not very nice. They tend to get upset and start honking when there’s a dead body in the road. I even had an occasion where I had to follow another character, and the police turned up and ran him over.
I’ve read criticisms of the length of the game. I haven’t made it to the end yet so I can’t speak to that. What I can speak to is the fact that it only cost me £5 so I can live with it not being a 100 hour Epic. This is the beauty of playing older games. I’ve payed more for games on my iPad that I’ve never so much as launched once.
This is where this review was meant to end. I had a nice last paragraph about how there are two sequels, and how I intended to get them at some point. Unfortunately, I just learned an important lesson. In order to do a proper review, you’ve got to play the whole game through. This game has caused me to rethink my entire game review strategy. It got bad. It got really bad. After I played for a number of fun filled hours everything suddenly became clear about how Destroy All Humans is actually a bad game. Yes it has all those good things I already mentioned, but it’s all spoilt by the end.
So I’m playing the game, and it feels like I’m getting close to the end because of how the story is headed. The level I’m on is quite long and complicated, and ends with a big boss battle. I wasn’t prepared for that battle, and was killed almost immediately. That’s when I got sent back to the beginning of the level. I had to again do all the things I’d just spent the last half hour doing, just so I could get another chance at beating the boss. That sucks. Surely computer game law says that if you die during a boss battle, you go back to the beginning of that battle. But not here. Here you go all the way back. That means I played for about an hour and a half, had three goes at attacking the boss, and haven’t touched it again since. As I write this I can’t see that situation changing any time soon.
The badness doesn’t even stop there. The realisation that you go back to the beginning of a level when you die brought something else to my attention. It had taken up until this point for me to not finish a level on the first attempt. The game is extremely easy. There’s pretty much no challenge there. I was caught up in the look and feel of the game, and that distracted me from the fact that there was a bad game underneath it all. It’s very easy until it suddenly isn’t.
That caused me to start looking for other threads to pull. You know I said earlier that you spend your time mind controlling humans, blowing up buildings, and anally probing? Well, that’s all you do. Every level involves doing one of those things. There is some variation in gameplay, but nothing like enough. It was clear that I was now playing based on the one goal of getting to the end, rather than because I was enjoying the experience.
At the end of the day Destroy All Humans can be had for very little money and it isn’t without merit. By all means give it a go, you might even do better with it than I have. Just be prepared to be bored. Maybe the expectations of a more casual gamer will be lower and they won’t be too disappointed. There’s still more to it than your average iOS game, and it costs about the same. I’m reminded of a quote from The Office, where a character describes The Black Eyed Peas as rap for people who don’t like rap, and pop for people who don’t like pop. Well, Destroy All Humans is an open world game for people who don’t like open world games. There’s a chance it could excite you all the way through, but a more seasoned gamer will get bored and crave something a little more substantial.