Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon Review
Written : Monday, January 12, 2009
By: Billy Givens (GT: Mektige)
Hey now, what happened here? The original Destroy All Humans games had quite a loyal following due to the typically funny and satisfying gameplay and clever mechanics, however, everything that was once new must eventually become a tired retread in the video game world. Such is the fate of the newest entry of the series but it could, and should, have all been so different.
The quality of games coming from THQ seems to vary wildly, from the enjoyable Frontlines and Smackdown to the much vaunted Saints Row then plumbing the depths of movie tie-in horror with the likes of Wall-E. So it's with a sense of trepidation that anyone would approach this game as the previous installments, for all their sense of fun, have never really hit the right notes. Path of the Furon once again stars Crypto, an alien who is stuck in what the developers promised as an open world, but really just ends up being a bland wannabe. In a game that is labeled as a destruction-lover's dream, the game comes away feeling more like a last-gen screwup. The fact of the matter is that the world of gaming seems to have moved on while this game has stayed behind. Sadly it also seems to have stood still in front of an oncoming vehicle.
The story at least offers up a minor ray of hope as Crypto goes about his tasks with an amusing and malicious relish. With double crosses, bungling assistants and ridiculous plot twists at every available opportunity it will surely raise a chuckle or two. That being said there is nothing that original going on here and every available cliche ever seems to have been dug up from a comfortable coffin somewhere and thrown into the mix. Still can you ever really get bored of abducting cows?
A somewhat fun distraction.
Once you've played for even a few minutes though the issues start to become overly apparent. There are gameplay glitches galore and I found it difficult to even sit through it for more than a few minutes at a time without looking for a way to end my misery. Although you're given a competent story and mission structure, nothing about the execution of these things ever feels like it was well thought-out. The game wants you to cause mayhem by reading humans' minds, using a bunch of crazy weapons, and destroying as much as possible. You're given DNA (the game's currency) by finishing objectives or tapping brain stems using Crypto's psychokinetic powers. This currency is then used to upgrade weapons and very little else; some extra things to upgrade would've been nice and hardly too much to ask. The missions themselves aren't totally linear which is nice but seeing as most of them are pretty much more of the same then there seems to be little point in making the game seem open ended.
Unfortunately this game pretty much boils down to a cumbersome GTA-with-an-alien romp that is completely unrewarding. There are a few decent weapons (a man-eating plant comes to mind) and the controls themselves aren't horrendous, but in a game this bad it's extremely difficult to find a way to appreciate anything good. Even the tacked-on law-enforcement concept, which has Crypto evading the cops after alterting them via massive destruction, feels completely out of place somehow, when in reality, it should fit perfectly in a game such as this. It's as if all the individual ideas that are present would be fine on their own but somehow fail to impress due to the way they have been randomly tacked together.
Even just watching the game is an affront to the eyes as the terrible destruction effects and generally horrendous graphics make blowing things up just feel so very unsatisfying. With terrible framerate issues, screen-tearing, and a plain Xbox-worthy visual setup, this game's graphics fail worse than nearly any game I've had the displeasure of playing. On top of that, there's an abundance of visual glitches throughout that constantly crop up to spoil what little fun you may be having. It's like the developers have stuck a leg in front of you just as you set off at a run - leaving you in a tangled heap of frustration and annoyance.
You'll wish this was you.
The audio in the game is pretty poor too, and the dialogue will test your patience in ways you would care to imagine. You're given pointless choices you can select in a dialogue tree of sorts, but it holds no bearing on the game at all. It merely exists to cause you abundant pain and agony during the onslaught of ridiculous voice-acting and stereotypical characters. It's often the case that many games would benefit from hiring voice talent - but, to be brutally honest, this game would have benefited from not bothering.
There is no online multiplayer in the game, so it's not necessary for you to share the anguish with your buddies over the net, but there are three terrible local multiplayer modes that I would pay to take out back and beat with a sledgehammer. The only mode I got the slightest fun out of was Ion Soccer, which has players use ion detonators to fire the ball into each other's goal. An addition of co-op exists, but not within the boundries of the single-player game. Instead, you're forced to play on scaled-down maps which completly defeats the purpose of having in game co-op.
Oddly, the achievement list isn't terrible. The problem here is that the achievements are somewhat varied and potentially fun (if they were within the constraints of a fun game), but considering just how bad the game is, it's unlikely many people will suffer through them. You have your typical "kill x amount of enemies with this weapon" type achievements, as well as a large amount of completion goals to accomplish. The horror of multiple collection achievements does rear its ugly head but it's nothing too painful. Well other than having to play the game in the first place anyway. If the game wasn't so god-awful, they might even be a joy to complete.
There is no other way to say it - this game is horrible. There is almost no way to redeem most of the game's glaring faults, and playing it is an exercise is masochism. It's almost a relief that this game came out at the same time as so many triple A titles - as that way it can happily slip into obscurity. If you enjoyed the original games, please don't bring yourself to hate the series by playing this.
Crappy voice acting and mediocre sound effects leave Path of Furon at the bottom of the barrel in this department.
Despite one or two decent models, this game's graphics are among the worst we've seen since Gun got the next-gen port treatment.
Although the controls don't suck, everything else about the game's layout does. Glitches, both visual and gameplay-wise, ruin the game completely.
Terrible. I found a total of five enjoyable minutes while playing this game. It was during the time that I went to the bathroom.
The list itself is fine, but with the game being so awful, it's a chore to go through this. There's plenty of kids games out there for you achievement hunters.
Bad. Terrible. Horrendous. There's so many negative words to describe this flawed game that I could spend an eternity naming them. Do yourself a favor and pass this up.