Review: Destroy All Humans! Big Willy Unleashed

DAH-BigWillyUnleashed.jpg I’ve never been super high on the Destroy All Humans! series, but the first game was at least reasonably entertaining and a solid foundation to build a franchise around. But sadly the franchise’s potential just hasn’t been realized, thanks to a sequel that stayed the course and actually got worse in a few areas and now a new Wii installment — Big Willy Unleashed — that is downright awful.

THQ really hasn’t changed a thing with Big Willy Unleashed, at least in terms of the game’s standard third-person, sandbox design that has you running and gunning around five different open environments completing simplistic missions to advance the story or just for the fun of leveling buildings and anal probing humans. But now the game plays worse than ever due to shoddy motion control implementation. Pointing and shooting with the Wii Remote while moving with the Nunchuk analog stick isn’t too tough to manage, but camera rotation is also linked to aiming with the remote and it’s just a pain in the ass to deal with. It’s very finicky, so finding and keeping the proper view is an unnecessary chore.

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Vehicular control requires some Wii Remote gesturing too, and the results are much the same. When in the flying saucer, tilting up and down and twisting left and right adjusts direction and altitude accordingly, but again, these gestures are unintuitive and do nothing but detract from the simplest of gameplay activities. Piloting the new Big Willy mech is probably the lone enjoyable part of the game since the only major motion control mechanic – tossing cars and objects by holding down A and B and throwing forward with the remote – works fairly well.

As cumbersome and unoriginal as the gameplay is, Big Willy Unleashed ultimately kills itself with a weak plot, terrible writing and sophomoric humor that fails at every turn to deliver even the slightest chuckle (oh, and Crypto is still one of the most unlikable game characters ever!). Nearly every line of dialogue seems to rely on sexual innuendo to try to get a rise out of you, with Big Willy-related jokes at the forefront. The problem is none of it is funny in the least. In fact, each joke becomes more annoying than the last, eventually reaching the point where skipping every cut scene becomes the only solution.

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Put bluntly, Destroy All Humans! Big Willy Unleashed sucks a big willy of its own. Hahaha… I’m so hilarious! OK, I know, that really wasn’t funny at all, but that’s the type of stupid joke that’s littered throughout the game and ironically it works as an appropriate one-liner to wrap up this review with. I simply couldn’t resist turning the game’s own lame humor against it. Such a fitting way to put it out of its misery, don’t you think?

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Pros:
+ Big Willy mech is kinda fun to stomp around in

Cons:
– Shoddy Wii Remote controls, especially in relation to camera rotation
– Weak sense of humor and lame dialogue that just gets tiresome to listen to
– Dated all-around presentation

Game Info:
Platform: Wii
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Locomotive Games
Release Date: 2/25/08
Genre: Action/Adventure
Players: 1-2

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!