When it was first announced that Destroy All Humans would be coming to the Nintendo Switch, I couldn’t help but be a little sceptical. Switch ports run the gamut of either being faithful ports with some minor downgrades like Dragon Ball FighterZ, all the way to something like The Outer Worlds which feels like it makes too many concessions.
The original release of the remake was quite a looker when it launched last year and was full of detailed characters and environments spread across some sizeable maps. It wasn’t the most complicated game, but as something that involves a lot of destruction, I wasn’t expecting a lot. Sure, you can always make the excuse that “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is on Switch so everything’s possible,” which is actually kind of fair, but there’s still always that worry.
Still, as a huge fan of the Destroy All Humans games on PlayStation 2, and someone who thought the PlayStation 4 version of the game built a fantastic foundation for future entries, I was excited to try a portable human-crushing experience, no matter how it turned out. Clearly, I don’t have enough faith in our Furon overlords because Destroy All Humans on Switch is a pretty decent port that captures what makes the games so great without losing too much in the process.
Destroy All Humans has you playing as Crypto-137, an alien whose planet is running out of the resources and capability to continue living. To fix this, they set off to the nearest planet with harvestable Furon DNA, which just so happens to be Earth. You’ll find yourself caught up in little schemes where you disguise yourself as a human, fly your saucer around for destruction, and use a variety of alien weapons to… DESTROY ALL HUMANS. Sorry, it’s an unwritten rule to do that at least once.
As I like to do with port reviews, let’s start off there. I was really impressed with Destroy All Humans and it only really carries the typical concessions that come with a Switch release. The game is capped at 30 frames per second and can see some drops during heavy moments, the textures can be a bit off during cutscenes, and there are some long loading times. But overall, it’s the same game beat-for-beat. Sure, it’s not the best way to play, but for the big fans it’s a kick to see it all on a portable, and for the newcomers who haven’t played it before you’re still getting the same great game with just some smaller issues. In terms of content, there’s no extra missions or anything but there have been a variety of skins that have all been included here and they’re a nice little bonus for repeat players like myself.
I’ll issue one small warning that I noticed during my playtime, and that’s how hot my Switch got. It’s a launch day model that has seen fairly regular use, but when in portable mode I was a little concerned at how hot it got after two hours of playtime. I can’t tell if this was paranoia on my end, but I’d just be careful if you’re playing for extended amounts of time.
With an overall successful porting process, that brings us to the gameplay, and it’s shockingly where I was a little less impressed. Destroy All Humans is an all-time favourite for me, but this is also the fifth time I’ve played through the game in my life, and that makes the issues stand out a little more. When you’re experiencing it in its worst state as well (compared to more powerful consoles anyway), it can make the whole experience a little sourer.
Destroy All Humans will generally have you do one of three things. You’ll either be scoping an area out and sneaking around using disguises, using your alien weaponry on foot to electrocute and zap humans, or you’ll be using your flying saucer to melt buildings. These three elements hold up pretty well, and all feel solid and well-developed with upgrades and new techniques and items being made available the more you play. To its credit as well, the remake made some considerable changes to the general formula that would make it incredibly difficult to go back to the original. Being able to use your powers and weapons at once, as well as dashing around using some rocket boots, makes the original feel obsolete which I imagine is the ideal outcome for a remake.
Another thing that holds up really well is the humour, which is a great mix of typical ’50s humour mixed in with a helping of science fiction. It’s genuinely funny throughout, although the highlights are Crypto and Pox, who have great banter and carry the mission dialogue between them.
The things that brought me down on the game overall were the mission structure, and a few difficulty spikes and moments of unfairness that betray the game’s real age beneath it all. Missions can feel pretty repetitive, even with the different stories and objectives. Like I said above, it’s generally one of three things you’ll be doing. There are also some weird moments where the game decides to become really cruel, such as the awful final mission and one halfway through the game that has you pelted with trucks and mechs trying to kill you. I completed the original and it was pretty cruel then, but considering all of the other changes made to the game, I wouldn’t have minded the jank being ironed out a bit.
It’s also really short overall. You can get through the main campaign in around five hours without much hassle, and although there are free-roaming maps and extra objectives to complete, I’m not sure even the most die-hard Destroy All Humans fans are that interested in doing them, no matter how fun it is to cause random destruction.
Still, even though I arguably enjoyed my time with this version a little less, it’s still a great port of a great game that more people need to play. If you can play it in a slightly more stable format then I’d still recommend that, but if you can’t or fancy pretending to be an alien wherever you are, then this is a great way to play.
Version Tested: Nintendo Switch
Review copy provided by THQ Nordic