Destroy All Humans: Big Willy Unleashed Review
Here’s a riddle – What is worse than a movie that tries to be funny and just isn’t? A game that tries the same thing. Sadly, Destroy All Humans: Big Willy Unleashed for the Nintendo Wii (and coming soon for the PSP) is one of those unfortunate titles that make every effort to drag laughs out of gamers and fails – miserably. The attempt wouldn’t even come off as wince-inducing as it does if the game behind it was any fun, but shallow gameplay, a short single player mode and an extreme lack of any challenge whatsoever drag an already so-so package down even further. As if that wasn’t bad enough, this game was released within a two-week window with Super Smash Bros: Brawl, effectively ensuring that no one will play it until long after retailers toss it onto the discount racks.
Since the story and ham-handed attempts at humor seem to be this game’s bread and butter, I’ll start there. Like with other DAH games, you have control of Crypto, a small blue alien who is bent on, what else, destroying all humans. Unlike previous games in the series, this game is set in the 1970s, a decade simply begging to be laughed at. There is also a “Soylent Green is people! People!” plot, a nosy reporter and a giant controllable Big Boy knock-off called Big Willy. The first clue into the game’s humor (or lack thereof) should be in the title – wasn’t Big Willy Style a Will Smith rap album from his Men in Black days? Generally, if you are going to reference something in order to sell your product, you would not want to do so with a sub-par product. No one would buy Fruit Loops if the box said, “Fruit Loops – More Fun than Hysterical Pregnancy!” Big Willy Unleashed also heaps on the “fourth wall” humor, where the in-game characters speak directly to the player or seem self-aware that they are, in fact, in a video game. I’m sorry, but puns, knocks at disco music and recycled B-movie plots weren’t even funny in the 70s, and look that much worse now.
As I said before, if the game was fun, it would be easy to ignore some of the non-jokes and stupid plot devices. Big Willy Unleashed isn’t very fun at all. You’ll spend a good portion of the game either controlling Crypto directly, flying his space ship or piloting the giant destructive fast-food icon, Big Willy. Crypto controls like most 3rd person action game heroes, with a little Wii motion control content here and there. Same goes for the space ship and Big Willy, but unlike Crypto, these can be fun in small doses. It all feels very much like the first time you played GTA – its fun to smash stuff, but there are missions and objectives to be completed, too. Unlike GTA, Big Willy Style’s missions are way too easy and mind-numbingly boring.
The only real bright spot in the game is the senseless destruction you can unleash with Big Willy. But even that is only entertaining for a few minutes and will more likely than not make you wish you were playing a Ghostbusters game and smashing NYC with the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.
In the end, Destroy All Humans: Big Willy Unleashed is a fun idea with poor implementation and some of the un-funniest moments ever captured in a videogame. If you are a die-hard DAH fan or you simply need a 3rd person action game on the Wii, you could do worse than Big Willy Style. But if you only have a curious, passing interest in the game, I’d recommend skipping it. Now get back to playing Smash Bros!
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 48%.