Black Forest Games can revive Destroy All Humans! Big Willy Unleashed

Destroy All Humans! Big Willy Unleashed

THQ Nordic through Black Forest Games has had great success with their acquisition of Destroy All Humans! from its previous publisher, THQ. (Nordic Games bought the THQ licenses after the original THQ closed down in 2012.) The first Destroy All Humans! was rebooted in 2020 to positive reviews and sold well enough to justify rebooting Destroy All Humans! 2 as Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed. It’s a great time for a Destroy All Humans! fan, with new content in both of these games plus updated graphics and mechanics.

So why then, are many fans convinced that Black Forest Games is going to skip the next Destroy All Humans! game, Big Willy Unleashed, and jump straight to rebooting Path of the Furon (the final Destroy All Humans game released before THQ went bankrupt) instead? No one involved in Black Forest Games has given any indication that they will skip Big Willy Unleashed, but one can hardly find a discussion online among fans about the future of the series where it is not assumed by someone that of course Big Willy Unleashed is going to be skipped.

The reason is, very few gamers actually like Big Willy Unleashed. There are many reasons for this; I will cover as much as I can in this article, as well as leave my own suggestion on how Black Forest Games can fix Big Willy Unleashed if indeed they are planning to reboot this one next.

First, let’s talk a little about the game’s history. Big Willy Unleashed is the third Destroy All Humans! entry, and is the only entry made for the Wii. It was released in 2008 back when everyone was getting a Wii, but what makes its release even more interesting is that was released in the same year as the next Destroy All Humans game, Path of the Furon. Path of the Furon was released for Xbox 360 in December of 2008, while Big Willy Unleashed came out in February of the same year in North America. The games had different developers too, with Sandblast Games (now defunct) handling Path of the Furon while Locomotive Games (also defunct) handled Big Willy Unleashed.

Unfortunately, Big Willy Unleashed, was a tremendous flop. It was critically panned for poor graphics and a dysfunctional multi-player mode. The gaming public agreed, and the game flopped. Locomotive Games shut down before the year was even over and a Playstation Portable version was canceled due to “control issues.”

These issues on their own are easy enough to fix with a competent team behind the keyboards. Of course the Wii is no longer a current game system, so a reboot would have to be made with current systems in mind. Multi-player can also be fixed so as to be less glitchy, and as for the graphics, Black Forest Games has already proven they are capable of polishing the graphic from the first two games. Another thing fans disliked about BWU were the new voice actors for Pox and Crypto. I personally believe they did fine, but I understand this is an issue that can easily be fixed by hiring the guys from the originals.

But what is harder to fix is the story. The story of BWU is hated by a sizable percentage of the fans. To sum up the basic plotline in a paragraph, from Wikipedia:

“Big Willy Unleashed takes place after Destroy All Humans! 2 and before Path of the Furon. This game is set during year 1975 (6 years after these events of Destroy All Humans! 2). Cryptosporidium 138 and his mentor, Orthopox 13, attempt to support the popularity of Big Willy, a fast food restaurant Orthopox owns. Pox reveals that the Big Willy food franchise is actually a scheme to dispose of the human bodies Crypto leaves lying around.”

So, what’s the problem? There are two major ones: Frustrating character arcs and inconsistent timelines.

Frustrating character arcs: One of the most satisfying video game plot twists that I’ve ever experienced in a game was when in DAHA 2, Kojira, an innocent Japanese schoolgirl is transformed into a giant radioactive lizard and has to be defeated by Crypto. The twist here is you get to see Crypto’s good side. In Destroy All Humans, you obviously are playing for an evil character. As Crypto, you kill, violate, genocide, and cannibalize innocent humans. There is no getting around that you’re the bad guy, even if many of your enemies are just as bad. So imagine the gamer’s pleasant surprise when Crypto (at the urging of his human girlfriend) rescues this poor schoolgirl from the evil science that has turned her into a monster… and rather than kill her as he does with so many of his other human enemies, Crypto gives Kojira money so she can get therapy to relieve the trauma of the experience she went through. This showed that deep, deep down, even Crypto has a little bit of goodness inside him.

Path of the Furon has another great twist, though nothing here matches the emotional depth of Crypto helping Kojira. It is in this game that Crypto journeys to the Furon homeworld and discovers that the invasion of Earth was based upon lies propagated by Emperor Meningitis, the leader of the Furon people. Turns out, the Furons never needed to harvest Synthetic DNA from human brains, as the emperor had solved the problem in secret twenty years ago. When Crypto learns of this betrayal, he kills the emperor, is transformed into an Ape, and becomes the new Furon Emperor. Whether the Furons will leave humans alone after this event is unknown, but what is clear is that the initial reason behind the war was never valid. It never was valid from a moral standpoint but turns out it wasn’t even justified from a pragmatic standpoint.

Looking at the above examples, we can see that interesting plot twists and compelling characters is something fans can expect from Destroy All Humans games. But then we get to Big Willy’s Unleashed. What sort of twists can be found here? Well, first we get the revelation that Patty Wurst, the leftist human revolutionary who has been fighting to expose the cannibalistic Big Willy’s Unleashed franchise, is actually just mad that her father grounded her one time. “I should have just married a gardener!” she exclaims before her tank blows up. Her leftist advocacy was just to “get back at daddy.”

This makes no sense within the context of Big Willy’s Unleashed. Crypto doesn’t care what your politics are, he kills leftists, rightists, and apolitical people throughout all the games. He has no human agenda; his agenda is to save the Furon people. The second bad thing about this twist is the fact that it’s ripping-off a joke that Destroy All Humans deployed much more efficiently in Destroy All Humans 2. A Hippie woman shouts “take that daddy” at Crypto and a crowd of hippies in that game when explaining why she has the views she has. It feels lazy to just steal that and make it dumber in Big Willy’s Unleashed. Lastly, this twist annoyed certain fans who shared Patty’s political views, as explaining those views away as “getting back at daddy” was incredibly disrespectful to those players. Of course, Destroy All Humans has mocked all sides in the past, but when it’s done in such a sloppy fashion, it’s hard for people sharing the targeted views to not feel singled out.

Timeline problems: The developers have never said BWU is non-canon. Their intention was for it to be canon, as evidenced by its inclusion in Path of the Furon. However, both DAH fan-wikis have declared BWU to be non-canon due to the timeline errors.

Basically, in the lore, Crypto 138 was active from 1969 to 1979. He was the first Furon in many centuries to have fully functional genitalia, which made some drastic changes in his personality. You play for him in Destroy All Humans 2. In the Destroy All Humans, you play for Crypto 137. Crypto 137 dies sometime before the start of DAH 2, and Crypto 138 has sexual intercourse with a human woman named Natalya in DAH 2.

Flashforward to BWU, and we’re playing for Crypyo 137 again! Maybe it’s a prequel then? This idea is dispelled when Natalya phones Crypto reminding him of their relationship, as well as sending their son to visit him. The devs really did completely forget their Crypto numbers on this one. No wonder the fans consider it non-canon.

I would say you can still fix the story by making tweaks here and there. Remove Patty’s ridiculous daddy issues for starters. Change Crypto 137 to 138. Big Willy Unleashed still isn’t going to have the emotional pull of DAH 2, but at least it wouldn’t be hated the way it is now.

Still, perhaps Black Forest Games won’t want to open the can of worms that is Big Willy Unleashed. I wouldn’t blame them. I and many other fans would love to see a brand new storyline; we haven’t had one since 2008 with Path of the Furon. There was a comment on a YouTube video I watched years ago where the dude offered his hopes of seeing Crypto fight Goth girls in a new game. Now that, I would love to see.

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Participation Goblin is six feet tall, but only managed to win participation trophies in sports. He was always a much better gamer than a jock.

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