If you enjoy tedious objectives, racially insensitive humor, and ugly graphics, the latest Destroy All Humans is right up your alley.
- Zapping humans and causing chaos is entertaining for a short while.
- Racist portrayal of some characters
- Objectives get old fast
- Heinous graphics
- Tired humor
- Slow, tedious pacing.
Developer Sandbox Games was shut down by THQ nearly a full month before Destroy All Humans: Path of the Furon hit retail shelves, and the PlayStation 3 version of the game was canceled shortly thereafter. After a short time with the Xbox 360 version of the game you'll probably wish THQ had put it out of its misery, too. The game's visuals are dated, and its insensitive, stereotypical portrayal of the Chinese (among other ethnicities) is appalling. Add in repetitive objectives and played-out humor and there's no reason to waste your time with this shoddy excuse for a game.
As in previous DAH games, you play as Crypto, a curmudgeonly, smart-alecky alien with a dislike for the human race. The game takes place in the 1970s, and Crypto has his hands full dealing with the Mob in what's supposed to be Las Vegas. After a few unexpected attackers try to off him, he realizes someone or something other than the Mob wants him out of the way. Crypto sets off across five open-world environments that include faux Vegas, a poor man's Hollywood, and a pseudo China, among others.
While you're free to run or hover around the game's large worlds, there's not a whole lot that's exciting to do. If you're in your flying saucer you can destroy buildings, but rather than them crumbling to the ground after a huge explosion, they melt like a stick of butter left in the hot sun. You can zap humans and bad guys with a number of weapons including the not-funny-anymore anal probe. You can take control of peoples' bodies, make them dance, and use telekinesis to grab and throw them, but you're best off sticking with your default weapon and powering it up with the DNA you earn for finishing missions. Likewise, the many weapon options available to you while in your flying saucer are generally less useful than the default ray. You might have a bit of fun messing around with a few of the tools of destruction made available to you, but the large number of options is little more than a novelty.
It feels that rather than come up with interesting objectives, the developer made a bunch of weapons and occasionally forces you to use them in artificially constrained ways. Rather than allowing you to land your saucer anywhere, the game gives you only a few landing spots, most of which have to be unlocked by playing a minigame, which in turn forces you to use a gun or skill you likely wouldn't use. This is so contrived that the game even makes a joke about it. Yes, making the people who were foolish enough to buy your game perform unnecessary, cumbersome tasks is really funny. Mission objectives start off simple: shoot some guys, protect someone or something, blow up a building, use telekinesis to carry a person to a different location, and so on. As you progress, the game will lengthen these objectives and then chain them together. This means that halfway through the game--and for the rest of the game--you'll be suffering through long missions with objectives you've long since tired of.
The first few Destroy All Humans were amusing and relied heavily on parody and tongue-in-cheek dialogue, but Crypto's act has grown old. He rarely shuts up, and his incessant yapping and bickering grates the nerves. Thankfully, mission objectives are usually clearly displayed, so there's no penalty for skipping the game's painfully frequent and agonizingly long cutscenes. It's bad enough that the cutscenes are frequent and the dialogue constant; what's worse is that much of the game's humor relies on racial stereotypes. The dialogue and accents of many of the characters and citizens in the game's Chinese levels might have been "acceptable" 30 or 40 years ago, but today they're downright offensive and reason enough to avoid this game.
Path of Furon's visuals are also offensive, but in a different way. The game proudly proclaims to use the Unreal Engine, but you'd be hard-pressed to see the results in the finished product. Perhaps they licensed the original Unreal Engine and not Unreal 3. There's not much of the game that looks like it belongs on the Xbox 360. The frame rate is mediocre at best, textures are low-res, huge buildings will pop in right in front of you, and the backgrounds look blurry, as if there were Vaseline on the lens. It gets worse: many of the cutscenes have no lip-synching, camera transitions during cutscenes (which often feel unfinished) are choppy, characters are poorly animated, citizens skate around the city, and explosions are pitiful. Even Crypto looks terrible.
A few multiplayer minigames are available, but they add no value to this already miserable game. If you've somehow stuck with this tired series since its inception, you'll probably have some fun with Destroy All Humans: Path of the Furon, but it offers nothing to anyone with a reasonable amount of taste.