April 16, 2024
Review: Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed [PS4, PS5]

Review: Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed [PS4, PS5]

The year is 1969. Some time has passed since the alien Crypto plagued the earth in search of fresh DNA for his cloned race. It’s also been two years since I reviewed the predecessor to this game, Destroy All Humans! (8/10) , which turned out to be an entertaining little trip in the vein of the anal probe. Now the winds have turned, and in an unexpected twist, Crypto and his friends will soon have to protect planet Earth against a threat far greater than themselves.

Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed is, as mentioned, the sequel to the above title and was originally released in the fall of 2006. Just like its predecessor, the game has now been dusted off and polished for a modern audience. At the beginning, I’m warned somewhat humorously that some elements of the game may be perceived as even uglier and fresher than when the game was released 16 years ago, but that they have chosen not to change too much in order to maintain the original experience. And sure, it rhymes a bit when Crypto calls his female co-star “sexy” and the like, but then he’s still a sullen and bitter little alien anti-hero who was hard to relate to from the very beginning.

What are you gaping at, have you never seen an alien or?

After a number of years masquerading as the President of the United States, Crypto is doing pretty well. Until the Russian intelligence service KGB gets the idea to blow up his and colleague Pox’s mothership with the help of a nuclear missile. It soon turns out to be just a side track in a much more sinister plan involving the entire planet. This is where the adventure begins and soon I’m both running and flying around in different parts of the world.

Just like in its predecessor, Crypto is easy to maneuver both on foot and during flights with either his jetpack or small saucer-like spaceship. This together with the fresh and sandbox-like levels form a mix that makes them interesting to explore. Unlike the predecessor, here they have chosen to vary the levels to a greater extent, and in addition to a city in the USA, I also get to travel to, among other things, Europe and Asia. References to various popular cultural phenomena are also relatively dense throughout the game and each level has its little fun details that are entertaining to discover.

As a Crypto, there are quite a few things I can use to influence my surroundings. For one, there are the mostly exciting weapons that can make monsters and humans alike bounce around the screen, spontaneously dance or melt into a puddle of slime if I so desire. Partly, it’s his psychic abilities that allow me to lift things using telekinesis, take over people’s appearance, make them confused, etc. While the weapons are always entertaining, the psychic powers don’t feel quite as necessary, at least on the easier difficulty levels. Being able to stop people from calling in the military on me is of course kind of cool, but when I can still whiz past them with minimal damage as punishment, it doesn’t really feel worth the time. The exception is telekinesis, which is both effective and fun to experiment with.

The city goes booooom

While I want to remember experiencing the funny script in the first game as one of its biggest draws, the counterpart in Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed not quite as sharp. Probably because, in this case, it revolves a little too much around the embarrassingly strained romance between Crypto and curvy KGB defector Natalya. Crypto is arguably more suited to the role of an angry and sullen alien with a Napoleon complex than a bitter and grunting James Bond pastiche. Having said that, there are still glimmers of light, and even if they are not very many, I do happen to let out a little laugh every now and then.

Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed, like its predecessor, is perhaps primarily a game for the nostalgic who appreciated the original series, but for those who yearn for a bit of clichéd action with vibes of American “trash culture” it might also be to their liking.

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