The thrill of the Destroy All Humans! series has always been the hilarious, as well as multifarious, ways in which you can torment and annihilate humans. As we discovered during a recent THQ press event, the upcoming Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon takes this malicious endeavor to a whole new scale with large, wide-open levels, as well as a bevy of sinister new weapons and mind powers.
Path of the Furon is set in the 1970s and stars everyone's favorite Furon, Crypto, who has been taking a break from destroying humans to live the luxurious life of a Vegas casino owner. Crypto is forced to flee this life when he is unexpectedly attacked by another Furon, who we later discover to be a cult leader of Alienology (can you guess who they're satirizing?). As Crypto begins to plot his revenge, he hears a voice in his head, telling him that he must seek enlightenment if he is to conquer his enemy. This is the voice of The Master, an ancient Furon who guides Crypto throughout the game. It turns out reaching enlightenment requires meditation to increase Crypto's mind powers so that he can then use his powers to destroy his Furon nemesis. And all humans.
There are five expansive levels in the game, and the one we got our hands on contained a regular metropolis-type area, as well as a Vegas-esque casino area. Flying freely around with Crypto's trusty jetpack, we amused ourselves with such familiar weapons as the anal probe, the disintegrator ray, and the ion detonator. Eventually arriving at a mission checkpoint, we got the chance to try out a new weapon: the Venus human trap. We deployed this nasty piece of work in the middle of an intersection where it promptly sprouted and began grabbing people with its sizable tentacles to gobble them up. We used our psychokinetic mind power to grab more people to feed the beast, which subsequently grew larger and produced more power-ups for us to collect. Other new weapons we sampled included the black hole gun, which created a giant vortex that consumed anyone in range. There was also the super ball gun, which caused the target to bounce around like a super ball, doing damage to itself and whatever it bounced into, all the while trailing a brightly colored rainbow from its posterior. The real delight we discovered with Path of the Furon was the ability to use our weapons, mind powers, and jetpack all at the same time. We performed such preposterous actions as PK grabbing one human and using the PK magnet power to attract other humans, creating a writhing human Katamari ball. Then, taking to the sky with our ball o' humans, we attached an ion detonator to the group and chucked it out over the skyline. The group flew in a loose cluster for a few seconds, then exploded in grand fashion, scattering destroyed humans all over the place. Combining weapons, mind powers, and the jetpack expands the destructive options at your command exponentially. We're of the mind that you can never go wrong with more destructive options.
Another intriguing new element in Path of the Furon is the time stop ability. With this, we could freeze time for a brief period, grab anyone or anything, position it anywhere, and watch mayhem ensue when time unfroze. Complementing this delightful power is the time fist ability, which enabled us to imbue any frozen object with a directional impulse. For example, we grabbed a human and gave it an impulse in the direction of a truck. When time unfroze, the human went flying into the side of the truck at a tremendous speed, causing the truck to explode. Another application we witnessed was the freezing and redirecting of a tank shell, which caused the tank to essentially blow itself up. As Crypto meditates and increases his power, you can freeze time for longer, allowing you to create more elaborately destructive scenarios. All humans are really going to have a tough time of it in Path of the Furon.
Crypto's signature ride, the UFO, is back and has five nasty weapons with which you can play. The formidable quantum destructor will cause a small nuclear explosion, destroying all humans and gutting all buildings within a large radius. Amusingly, this device does not kill humans inside buildings, so after you use it, you can count on a fresh supply of targets to stream out of the doors in terror, ripe for abduction or destruction. Buildings can be leveled by concentrating firepower on them for a short bit and will crumble differently depending on where you aim your assault.
Destroyed buildings remain destroyed and scarred surfaces will remain scarred, allowing you to appreciate the scope of your handiwork. Crypto plus his explosive endeavors are all vibrantly and sharply rendered on the Xbox 360 version we played, as are the faces on the terrified humans he pursues. There was no structural pop-in, so the skyline stayed consistent, though there was some texture pop-in as we approached far-off objects. Still a few months from hitting your 360 or PlayStation 3, Path of Furon looks sharp and offers a great array of new ways to wreak havoc. We'll have more on this latest entry in the Destroy All Humans! series as its release draws closer.