Monday, April 6, 2015

Destroy All Humans! Big Willy Unleashed Review

Ever since I played the first game in the Destroy All Humans series, I've been a fan of the games; I like them for the gameplay and chaos that you can cause in the environment and their sense of humor.  For this particular review, I will be taking a look at the third game in the series, Destroy All Humans! Big Willy Unleashed.
Since the events of the second game wisecracking alien Crypto and the hologram Orthopox, or Pox, have moved out of the Oval Office and into the fast food industry. Where they are the owners of a chain of fast food restaurants known as Big Willy's.  What the customers of these restaurants don't know about the restaurant, besides the fact that it's actually run by two aliens, is that the meat, which is used for hot dogs, actually consists of the humans that Crypto has eliminated in previous games, which have been grinded up and converted into hot dog meat.  However the restaurant's success does face some competition, a man by the name of Colonel Kluckin knows the secret behind the meat and plans to expose it to the public, as well as the owners' real identities.  So Crypto and Pox must stop Kluckin or else face the wrath of being closed down and their cover blown.
It becomes immediately apparent to anyone that the threat this time isn't as large scale or threatening when compared to the previous games' villains and their plans.  This is more or less a case of fast food rivalry between two different chains, and as a result the conflict isn't as interesting; yet it is still a decent story, primarily due to the characters, especially the always enjoyable antiheroes Crypto and Pox, and the writing.  While some of the jokes in the game do fall flat, a number of jokes were funny and made me laugh, especially the ones that break the fourth wall.
The controls are different for this installment.  Since this is a game for the Wii, it makes use of the motion controls of the system, while also sporting a different controller style; fortunately the game's controls are good.  Aiming and killing enemies works much like the pointer controls seen in Wii FPS's such as The Conduit or Metroid Prime 3, and the motion controls are handled well.  When in the saucer you tilt the Wii Remote left and right to turn the saucer and up and down to change altitude.  Whenever you use Psychokinesis to lift something, you flick the Wii Remote to throw whatever is in your grasp.
The core gameplay is largely unchanged from previous installments, but it's still enjoyable.  There are four environments to explore and complete missions in, and there is a decent variety of missions.  One thing I liked about the side missions in this game is that some have their own little story arc.  For example, there's a series of side missions in which Crypto has to eliminate a series of targets, yet when he reaches the last one, someone else beats him to it, this ends up in Crypto trying to figure out who the mysterious assassin is and why he's sabotaging the plan.  Most of the weapons you can access in this game are taken from the previous game, such as the Zap-o-Matic, Distenagrator ray, Ion Detonator, and Anal Probe.  There are also a few new weapons that you can use, including the zombie gun and a shrink ray you unlock after beating the game. 
Besides having access to a flying saucer, Crypto also gains access to the Big Willy mascot, a fifty foot tall robot that's armed with acidic vomit, laser eyes, and nuclear farts.  It's also indestructible, meaning tanks and rockets don't damage it, but it does run on a battery that can drain quickly whenever you use Big Willy's weapons.  Though picking up a nearby human and eating it can easily replenish the battery.  While fun to use the problem is he doesn't see much action during the main missions, as he's only used about 4-5 times total throughout the main missions and you'll wish that he had been used more often.
Besides that, the game is also quite short.  Beating the game only took me about five hours, and that was while doing both the main and side missions; for an open world game, and in general a normal game, such a short length is not a good thing.  I'm not also a big fan of the upgrade system in this installment, in previous games you to collect energy cells or DNA that could be spent at the upgrade section of your saucer.  In this game, you need to collect not only just the required amount of DNA or energy cells, but also get a certain number of kills or complete some other action in order to earn an upgrade.  Because of this there were times that I just went on a grinding spree in order to acquire an upgrade.
Visually, the game does not look good at all.  The environments are bland and the character models are simple and jagged looking; it feels more like an early PS2 game than a Nintendo Wii release.  One of the most glaring examples of the poor graphics is when characters engage in conversation; they never move their mouths and simply just nod and gesture while the camera pulls back behind their head to try and give off the idea that they're talking.
The voice acting is decent but in this installment their usual voice actors, Grant Albrecht and Richard Horvitz, do not voice Crypto and Pox.  Instead two different voice actors who try to give their best impressions of the characters voice them, but it makes you wish that they had just gotten the original voice actors instead. While the music is good the problem is that it's borrowed from another game in the series, Path of the Furon.
When compared to the previous games in the series and its follow up, Path of the Furon, Big Willy Unleashed falls short.  The story is enjoyable as is the gameplay, but problems do stick out such as the bad graphics, underutilization of the new vehicle, and short length.  I say that newcomers should play the first two games in the series first, but this installment is still worth a look.
Final Score: 6/10    

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