Everyone’s favorite mass murdering extra terrestrial returns in the newest game in the Destroy All Humans series, Path of the Furon. After two solid outings last gen, the series sort of took a nose dive with the last game, Wii spinoff “Big Willy Unleashed”. Can Crypto bounce back in his first big next gen offering? Unfortunately, the answer is no.
DAH: Path of the Furon finds our large headed anti hero in the 1970′s. The journey winds through several cities around the world, following Crypto as he wreaks destruction. Along with series standards like the Zap-o-matic and the fearsome Anal probe, Crypto gets some new firepower both on foot and in the air. The UFO returns as well, although it’s usefulness as a mode of transport is cancelled out by the inability to land/takeoff from anywhere other than a couple set landing zones in each map.
Right off the bat you’ll notice that this game looks terrible. Crypto’s UFO is probably the only good looking model in the entire game, and its quality only serves to make the rest of the game’s visual shortcomings stand out. The cars and building are blocky low poly monstrosities, as are the various citizens you’ll maim along the way. The game features some of the worst pop-in I’ve ever experienced, and the textures look like they could have been done on the PS1.
Technically, the game is a mess as well. You’ll experience such amazing feats as citizens walking through walls, cars getting stuck on the environment and each other, and the roof vents of destroyed buildings still inexplicably levitating above the landscape. At one point, after destroying a nearby vehicle and inciting a panic, I witnessed an amalgamation of these three. One car had driven on top of another, and was stuck to its bumper pointing nearly straight up in the air. A fleeing pedestrian clipped through a car, and became lodged in its hood (still running in place). All the while, the A/C vents from a building I had previously destroyed looked down on the chaos with a quiet disgust (but who could blame them). There’s really no excuse at all for this kind of technical disaster in this generation, and it severely cripples any potential the game might have had.
The game revolves around accomplishing missions to progress the laughable plot. The dialogue is plentiful and decently voice acted, however during every sequence you are prompted with several insignificant dialogue choices that seem incredibly tacked on. None of the missions are incredibly compelling, and more than likely you’ll be bored after the first city.
The on foot gameplay in POTF is adequate, if not awe inspiring. Targeting is hit or miss, and I found myself scrapping most of Crypto’s new powers and weaponry in favor of just blasting everything with the Zap-o-matic. Luckily there is some fun to be had here, although it nearly always comes behind the wheel of Crypto’s UFO. Even with the myriad of issues, there’s something satisfying about the sheer destructibility of the environments. Just about every building you see can be brought down with the UFO’s weaponry, and blasting at random cars and pedestrians can be a great distraction.
Also unfortunately on the chopping block is the series trademark sense of humor. The jokes in POTF are mostly off target 70′s pop culture references and Pox’s limited understanding of human culture. Unfortunately they lack the zing of the humor in the previous games in the series.
As much as it pains me to say this, THQ needs to put this series out to pasture. The franchise has been steadily declining since Pandemic let go of the reigns. Unless they’re willing to really concentrate on making a quality game worthy of the “next gen” tag, I think it’s time for Crypto to phone home.