The original Destroy All Humans! released in 2005 was a unique shooter for its time. Playing as a villain against humanity with the mission to destroy everything the eye can see and take over the world was not seen very often. THQ Nordic had a great franchise and remastered it for new generations’ enjoyment in 2020.
Now we have Clone Carnage. A competitive multiplayer game with no story, just all-out destruction. Does it live up to its predecessors? Did we need a multiplayer-only focus on the popular sandbox shooter?
Give me more alien mayhem!
Once I booted up the game, the Mars Attacks/old-school space music was a nice start. You have split-screen co-op and competitive options as well as online multiplayer. There are a handful of modes and just as many levels to choose from.
Match type options are:
Rampage: Destroy as many humans as possible before the time runs out. Completing optional goals have you earn more points to win.
Armageddon: Destroy everything! Gain points for destruction and kills. Earn bigger destruction points by finding the flying saucer power up.
Abduction: Abduct VIP targets and objects for points. Special and bigger targets earn you more points.
Race: Skate through a map and pass-through rings while chasing a drone to finish the race while earning points to help win.
Cloning gone wrong?
As mentioned before, there are only a handful of maps to choose from so after a while, each mode becomes quite repetitive and offers little to no variation. If friendly fire is on, it helps to fight against others to slow them down, but this still required you to do the same ol’ song and dance every time. Having such a focus on one type of mode at one time while only having a limited time to do it limits the sandbox feeling of the older games. I felt rushed to focus on just shooting what I need to win rather than having fun doing what I want to do. That’s what a sandbox game is for!
I do hope they add more modes and maps to mix things up a bit. They could also allow for mixing modes, so everyone has multiple objectives to play the way they want to rather than just run laps, shoot people, and throw objects into a tractor beam for abduction.
Where is my array of ray guns?
Some of the weapons in the game are back. Which again, does not bring variety since the originals had so many ways to tear up the Capital or scare the bejesus out of a farmer. Imagine having a Ratchet and Clank game, a game that has a ridiculous number of guns, then only allowing you to use about 4 of them. That’s what Clone Carnage has done.
Yes, you do have powers to use rather than weapons. Sadly, I never found a use for them since there’s so much mayhem going on, and my priority is winning the match so why spend time using my brain extraction, psychokinesis, or all-important anal probe when I need to stay focused on my objective. The only time a match felt fun enough to let loose was when I found a flying saucer power-up to go ham on every building I see, alas, it’s a temporary power-up.
There are a few hilarious skins to choose from before your match starts. Select from a Pennywise clown costume, look like a cow, or maybe probe to your heart’s desire as Elvis. I enjoyed trying them all out. It gave the game a bit more humor in an otherwise more serious version of the franchise. I also appreciate being able to choose a few loadouts of perks before each match. Some increase attack power, while others give you infinite skating. Other perks allow temporary invincibility while another can give you extra weaponry.
Is the game worth abducting?
The perk system is not very deep though. Neither is the skin selection. The game lacks real customization of matches that many games offer on day one. Maps are well done and big enough to always find something to shoot and destroy. They don’t have many enemies and vehicle variety on these maps, but each map’s theme is done with purpose and design. Fight in Area 42, Capitol City, a nice fancy beachfront neighborhood, or a Turnipseed farm to name a few.
This does not mean the game is bad. It gives you what some want in a Destroy All Humans game, destruction! It’s a very simple, barebones game that can easily be picked up and played to pass the time. I see a lot of potential if they add more modes, customization, maps, and weapons. There aren’t any microtransactions so there’s a plus. Unfortunately, the replay value just isn’t there yet to really recommend this game. For the low price that it is now ($12.99), it may be worth it for some. I would honestly say wait this one out until they release more content, if they plan on developing any. Rather, purchase the remakes of Destroy All Humans series instead for some good sandbox fun.
This review was written based on a digital review copy of Destroy All Humans! Clone Carnage for Xbox Series X provided by THQ Nordic.