It’s been a long time coming for the long-awaited return of Destroy All Humans!, the much-beloved 2005 THQ cult nostalgia-mine. There’s a long and interesting story to tell of how the Destroy All Humans! franchise made its return, but that story isn’t for today: I was interested in actually playing the damn thing. And so I did. While it’s still in an early stage, I’m happy to report back that the news is pretty much universally positive. If you’re a fan of the Destroy All Humans! franchise, this remade entry seems like it will tick nearly every box on your list– and then some.
I had the chance to sit down with Destroy All Humans! Remake producer and Black Forest Games developer Dennis Schiefer, who walked me through a few levels of this shiny new remake, then unleashed me in the world and let me wreak as much havoc as Crypto could manage. Fans of the original game will be happy to know that all of the original music and voice acting is intact, including Invader Zim alumnus Richard Horvitz as your alien command center guide, Pox.
A huge (and surprisingly detailed) focus of the remake is destruction. Nearly every object in this world will be destructible. Every building, every tree, every road. I spent much of my time playing around with the destruction, and it feels great.
Trees flitter and crackle with sparks and flames that glow from tip to root as they’re zapped by Crypto’s flying saucer, roads turn from concrete jungle to glass crater, and buildings splinter out with wood planks flying and dust hurtling in every direction.
The team is still working out how persistent the destruction will be, but in its current early build, it was super impressive.The game’s camera is closer to Crypto than in the original, which fits the more dynamic style of combat the team is introducing. Rather than stick with all of the gameplay mechanics of the original, Black Forest said they wanted to update the original game’s dated systems for a modern audience.
Schiefer told me that the team was more interested in recreating the way players felt when they first played the game rather than making a shot-for-shot remake. To that effect, they’ve added a lock-on, new combat options introduced in sequels, and map features missing from the original. Other new ground abilities include a jet-powered dash that glides to boost Crypto’s speed.
The draw distance is vastly improved over the original, and ground foliage and tree cover was seriously impressive. The graphical fidelity absolutely held up to modern visual standards, with advanced lighting and rendering techniques, dynamic shadows, and tons of physics-based explosions.
The team even decided to expand the original game’s mission list with one extra mission. While going over the design documents for the original, the team discovered a mission that had been extensively planned for, but had been cut from the final product because of time and/or budget concerns. They even managed to recruit the original voice actors back for new dialogue lines to fill out this new mission.
We were told that it would “hopefully” be available by the time of next year’s E3 in June on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. While there’s no Nintendo Switch port in the works, and I was told that it would be very challenging to make that happen, they aren’t ruling it out as a future possibility.
Expect to see Destroy All Humans! Remake land on store shelves and digital distribution in 2020.
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All images in this piece are copyright of and provided by THQ Nordic and Black Forest Games