B-Grade movies haven't really been explored in video games before. We've seen movies such as Mars Attacks and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes come and go without a video game adaptation or even games inspired by them. However this has just changed with the release of Destroy All Humans from Pandemic. DAH captures the B-grade film genre almost perfectly with every stereotype in tact and a humours and intelligent storyline to boot. This could be one of the sleepers of the year, and its one hundred percent Australian made!
In Destroy all Humans, you take control of a young alien named Cryptosperidum, on his final test during training to become a full alien form. While trying to fly his craft, Crypto crashes on earth accidently, discovering that our brains have Furon, a natural resource that the aliens require to survive. With their stocks running low the order is given for Crypto to infiltrate the human race and gather stocks to continue the life of the aliens. Of course along the way there are problems to be had and this is where the humor and tasks in the game come from.
Crypto is controlled from a third person perspective and the comparisons to GTA are inevitable for a few reasons. The game is somewhat open ended despite the fact the world is divided into 'areas' and how you complete the tasks is up to you. You can also choose to ignore the task if you wish but to be fair it is not a full complete living breathing planet to destroy and visit. However it is not just a rip from GTA it does have its own unique style. Crypto has various powers to help him as well as the weapons and that is where the games unique style shines.
As Crypto you have the ability to use mindpower. This mindpower can perform a number of things such as impersonate a human character to avoid detection. One of the best examples of this is when you take control of the mayors body to give a speech. This is interactive as well with the game asking you to choose the dialogue and humans reacting accordingly. It's a small touch but it's things like this that push games from unoriginal, to brand new and fresh.
Of course the missions do become harder and lengthier as time goes on and the men in black are wanting to take you out when they are introduced midway through the game. They can detect you even as a human so they become the ultimate nemesis. The missions are quite varied and explore all the options of the game well. It's not just "kill someone and move to next mission", it's all about the infiltration of the human race and getting the furon required. Crypto can also upgrade his abilities in the mothership to make missions easier or have better weapons.
One of the coolest bits of the game is the UFO. At any time you can get back in your UFO and just cause mass destruction throughout the game's world. This obvious gets the attention of the authorities so its really only to be used in dire straits. The UFO controls well and enhances the mythology o the game quite well. The level progression is also well thought out with Crypto beginning on a farm and slowly progressing closer and closer to the main cities. Despite the fact the game is fictional, you will find Capitol Hill, The White House and other US landmarks to destroy and visit.
Visually the game is quite well done and in terms of B-grade authenticity is done almost perfectly. Crypto is the typical beady eyed grey alien, with the humans weraing clothes from the 40s and 50s as per the B grade genre. The voice acting is quite well done from both a human and alien perspective and the game uses a cinematic rather then ongoing musical score.
Destroy All Humans probably could have been a little better but overall does what it set out to do quite well. The unique gameplay mechanics paired with a tried and tested style of play makes it one of the sleeper titles of the year and while its not a smash hit best selling AAA game, it's something that thinks otuside the square of normal gameplay and offers great fun.