Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon

Review by Matthew Williams

Oh, Destroy All Humans. You came, you saw, you blundered. When the first in the DOH! Series came out in 2005; it seemed that the green shoots of a promising series were emerging. Sure Destroy All Humans's (I’ll leave the exclamation point now) open world may have been ‘inspired’ by Grand Theft Auto, but it still had enough new ideas to make the old seem new. Control of an alien armed with extra terrestrial weaponry, mind control and a flying saucer. Who wouldn’t enjoy it? The game included a great pastiche of 50’s Sci-fi, culture and history. While it didn’t set the gaming world alight, it was a brilliant experience and the beginning of what should have been a wonderful series. Fast forward four years and the creative well had run dry. While the ‘next’ gen had become the current gen, Destroy All Humans had stalled. Path of the Furon was the third game in the series (fourth if you count a reasonably obscure Wii exclusive) and squeaked out in 2009 to critically poor reviews. I ignored these and decided to give it a chance. What a fool I was. Let’s focus with the story. Our continuously cloning companion Cryptosporidium 139 (they move the number on with each game) finds himself in a Las Vegas knock off known as Los Paradiso where a group of mobsters tries to run him out of a casino and… well it just escalates from there. The story takes in a number of locations across the world including France, China and even a visit to the homeworld. There are multiple villains introduced but they’re shuffled about and knocked off so quickly, it’s hard to really care. The game moves pretty far past its premise of killing off humans to just making lazy jokes about Vegas, hippies and Kung Fu movies (it’s set in the 70’s). The original raised a few laughs when joking about the Red Scare or Plan 9 from Outer Space, but Path of the Furon rarely musters a smile. This isn’t helped by the pacing of the game’s missions. The game often requires Crypto to complete a series of side missions before being able to progress with the story, but these are often just lazy challenges. Kill so many people, collect so many items, and destroy so many buildings with the saucer. The last one sounds like it should be fun, but it’s amazing how tedious these tasks become when repeated ad nauseam. Things aren’t helped by a weapon set that hasn’t altered too much since the original. New weapons like a gun that forces people to disco dance (cause the 70’s right?!) are hardly things to get excited about. To be fair the ‘Venus Human trap’ will be entertaining to watch the first few times but again, it gets old fast. The absolute nadir though is the graphics. I’m not sure how it’s possible, but Path of the Furon somehow looks worse than the original PS2 game. Character models are ugly, backgrounds look muddy and lifeless, even when destroying a building it basically just crumbles like dirt rather than explode with colour. Each environment certainly captures the look of the real life area it’s imitating. It’s just a shame it looks like it was captured by a seven year old. It’s a little depressing to look at Path of the Furon as the last hurrah of the series. Both it’s developer and publisher have faded away, so the hopes of a decent reboot are as dead as the proverbial Dodo. Still, it’s not all bad. Path of the Furon may be a rushed, crappy, uninspired mess but it’s a rushed, crappy, uninspired mess I got £20 for when I sold it.

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