With the announcement that PlayStation 5 and Xbox Scarlett will both support backwards compatibility, we might see the era of games trapped on old hardware become a thing of the past. In the meantime, we can count on publishers like THQ Nordic to give some of these classic games a second life on modern consoles, starting with a remake of the cult classic Destroy All Humans!, which released for PS2 and Xbox in 2005.
Here, we’ll be covering everything you need to know about Destroy All Humans! Remake, including its release date and the latest news regarding changes to story and gameplay. Make sure to check back as we’ll be updating this story following any new announcements from THQ Nordic and the game’s developer.
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When will Destroy All Humans! Remake Release?
A remake of Destroy All Humans! was announced just before E3 2019 via a reveal trailer uploaded by IGN. The game is currently in development by Black Forest Games, a subsidiary of THQ Nordic whose previous credits include Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back and Fade to Silence.
Slated to release sometime in 2020, Destroy All Humans! Remake will be available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC at launch; a Switch version has not been announced.
What is the Story About?
The original Destroy All Humans! is a sci-fi action game set during the late 1950s developed by the now-dissolved Pandemic Studios. In it, players would take on the role of an alien named Cryptosporidium 137 (Crypto) as he invaded Earth, harvesting DNA from humans and using it to create more aliens.
Fans of the original may remember how over-the-top and ridiculous most of the game’s writing was, depicting Crypto and his kind as stereotypical little gray men who traveled in flying space saucers. Additionally, the game touched on several historical events and trends from the 1950s-1960s through a comedic lens.
Each of these aspects appears to have been retained in the remake, including the original’s recorded dialogue, which has only seen technical enhancements. If the reveal trailer is any indicator, Destroy All Humans! Remake seems like it’ll be just as silly as the original one, if not more; Crypto is seen abducting cows into his ship and hypnotizing an entire town of humans into forming a dance party set to Rammstein’s “Ich Will.”
What is Gameplay Like?
It’s not uncommon to see remakes offer a 1:1 recreation of the original game with better graphics. However, with Destroy All Humans! Remake, gameplay is where developer Black Forest appears to have taken the most creative liberties.
In an interview with IGN, Black Forest Development Director Onurhan Karaagacli stated, “When you remake a game like this, you look at what a modern audience expects and what was actually delivered in the original game. One of the key differences to the modernization approach is that it’s not only about the controls or the combat scenarios; it’s about creating more opportunities to explore.”
To that point, the only assets being reused in Destroy All Humans! are the original voice lines and music. Everything else has been rebuilt from scratch to capture the feeling of the original rather than an exact copy. At the core of the experience, you’ll find the game still looks and plays like a third-person shooter with stealth elements and vehicle-based combat via Crypto’s saucer.
Players are encouraged to cause as much mayhem and destruction as possible both in the air and on the ground. Crypto’s ship is fitted with a powerful laser beam that can easily destroy buildings, cars, cows, and humans, all while sending townsfolk into panic as it zips around the map. In the original, the saucer’s movement was strictly limited to horizontal directions; however, with the remake Black Forest has removed this restriction, allowing players to maneuver up and down in addition to horizontally.
The original’s maps have all been carefully remade with new textures and coloring to make them look more vibrant than ever. Turnipseed Farm, Rockwell, Area 42, and every other location have been fleshed out with more content designed with replayability in mind.
Now, after completing a story mission in a given area, players will be able to roam freely in the open-world, completing unique challenges, finding collectibles, and earning points that can be used to upgrade Crypto’s weapons, gear, and abilities as well as unlock new skins.
Crypto himself has a lot more tools in his arsenal this time around. The alien’s telekinetic powers remain intact; however, they’ve been adjusted to be a bit more flexible. Crypto can now combine abilities such as psychokinesis, hypnosis, and transformation to shock and terrify his human victims. Character movement has been improved as well, with Crypto now being able to dash and glide in addition to using his jetpack to traverse environments.
Crypto has been given a shield, which indicates the direction damage is coming from and prevents insta-death when landing in water. Aside from smoother, more fluid controls, Black Forest has introduced a new focus mode, which lets players lock on to any object or enemy they desire using the right analog stick.
The Final Word on Destroy All Humans! Remake
While remakes have the potential to expose a new generation of players to a game they may have never heard of, they’re also a huge risk. Stray too far from the original formula, and you’re likely to alienate die-hard fans; keep everything the same and risk the game feeling too outdated by today’s gaming standards. It can be a frustratingly tough line to toe; however, Black Forest appears to be confident with the direction they’ve chosen.
Capturing the feeling of the original while sacrificing some of its more janky parts seems like the most balanced approach. Whether Destroy All Humans! Remake will be able to escape the repetitive gameplay that plagued the original is yet to be seen. However, smoother controls, better-looking graphics, and additional content can go a long way towards making a now 15-year-old game still feel fresh and exciting.
While you prepare for the release of Destroy All Humans! Remake, we recommend checking out our list where we highlight the Best Upcoming Game Remakes of 2020 (and beyond).