When booting up Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed, you’ll be greeted by a disclaimer stating that “this game would be offensive to the modern human brain”. It perfectly encapsulates the game’s content, while also putting to rest the argument of whether or not a remake should be 100% faithful to the original.
Set some ten years after our inexplicably named alien protagonist, Cryptosporidium, came to Earth to salvage DNA for the might of the Furon Empire, Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed drops our foul-mouthed, short-tempered, and over-sexed hero into 1969. An attempt to take revenge on the Russians for interfering in his plans has Crypto embarking on an exotic, globe-trotting adventure worthy of the very best of Bond. If Bond were a psychotic little alien killing machine that is.
From Ninjas With Love!
From a wonderfully Hippy-ised version of San Francisco called “Bay City”, to a gorgeous rendition of Tokyo called “Takoshima”, Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed spoofs everything it can from this era – from spy movies to Kaiju hijinks. While the actual gameplay loop remains much the same throughout each location, it’s the mission objectives and surrounding context that help to make it feel fresh and engaging – even when you’ve possessed your hundredth human.
Whether you’re saving British VIPs from mutation, starting a Russian Cosmonaut revolution, or fighting Ninjas, Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed manages to remain addictively fun even with fairly simplistic and repetative gameplay. And that’s a pretty difficult feat to pull off!
The game’s humour, which can be quite juvenile, is rather hit or miss. Whether you enjoy it or not will depend on your ability to accept that everything was fair game for ridicule when Destroy All Humans! 2 was developed in 2006. Be warned – as that disclaimer states – for plenty of Hollywood-inspired stereotypes abound. Those easily offended may want to get their hijinks elsewhere.
For everyone else, sit down and be prepared to laugh and groan your way through a storyline about more alien invasions, unrequited femme fatale love, and further proof that the Furon empire – for all its mighty scientific know-how – is actually quite dense. The tongue, as they say, is very far into the cheek.
It Came From. . . You Know Where
Just like its predecessor, Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed still plays as a third-person shooter, arming Crypto to the teeth with a gradually-unlocked assortment of weapons, most returning from the first game. Outside of his projectile weapons, Crypto also has an arsenal of psychic powers at his fingertips that are all incredibly useful throughout the adventure. Crypto can read minds, hypnotise people to follow him, erase their short-term memories, make a whole group of people collapse, possess people and, by far my favourite, simply make their heads explode to harvest their brain matter.
The most useful ability, for gameplay purposes, is “possession”. It allows you to run around in a human meat suite, thus avoiding detection if you want to get to an objective without a fight, or should you need to wade into a crowd looking for someone. You can, of course, gun your way through these moments as well, but I found the disguise option to be far more favourable.
Adopting the run-and-gun approach alerts humans to your presence (obviously!), and ensures the constant influx of increasingly dangerous opponents as an “alert meter” builds up. Wait too long and the army finally rolls in to make short work of you. Thankfully, humans are rather imbecilic creatures and jet-packing out of harm’s way to the top of a building until the meter cools down is easily done.
If anal probing people until their heads explode loses its charm, you can always hop into Crypto’s flying saucer for some large-scale destruction with antigravity attacks and a disintegrator beam that would make Well’s attacking Martians proud! Sadly, the game doesn’t use your flying saucer in missions as much as it could but there’s nothing stopping you from hopping into it between missions or even during some to wage war against the marginally-evolved primates. There’s nothing quite like taking down buildings by throwing tanks around.
The Art of Abduction
The second game in this series expands the playing field and does away with the formula of forcing you to jump back into missions to complete challenges. Instead, the game weaves its challenges into each mission, rewarding you for completing secondary objectives with more upgrade material.
These are worth tackling as there’s a lot to upgrade. You can upgrade each of your ships weapons and defences, all of Crypto’s weapons, and even Crypto’s psychic abilities. For the last one, you have to hoover up a specific amount of each NPC to turn them into a genetic cocktail blend.
Each region is also full of entertaining side missions that are very much worth your while. If that still isn’t enough, you can scour the city for collectables that unlock artwork and era-specific music.
The Bells And Whistles
Now, I never played the original Destroy All Humans! 2 at launch but, as far as I know, this plays exactly like it did in 2006. The dialogue, humour, and gameplay loop are exactly the same. It’s not a problem, just so long as you can accept that and get on board with game design from this period. It’s true Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed isn’t particularly deep – mechanically speaking – but the massive locations and pure fun factor makes that irrelevant. Despite a packed year of releases big and small, this is some of the most fun I’ve had gaming!
That said, on to what has changed! The visuals… oh the visuals! The game is now running on UE4 and the quality of the visuals is akin to a “AAA” status. This game is absolutely gorgeous with stylised art design both for characters and the environments, which pops wonderfully thanks to great lighting and atmospheric effects. The level of detail on the main characters is stunning and even the NPCs fare well. The level of detail in each environment is also great, from the clogged alleys and parked vehicles in Takoshima, to the graffiti layered on the buildings in Bay City. Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed makes wonderful use of the power of UE4.
These visual updates do have an impact on gameplay. The large-scale destruction you can cause looks better than ever as buildings collapse in a shower of rubble, billowing smoke and debris. I too far more screenshots than I thought I would.
The game does have some issues though. Visually, there’s screen tearing that’s really noticeable in the brighter-lit locations (presumably to lock the framerate target). There’s also the common Unreal Engine curse of objects popping in and textures loading late during cut scenes, when the camera cuts quickly between characters. There was also a bug during which lines of dialogue were repeated instead of playing the next sentence and, late in the game, I spotted some obvious slowdown during cut scenes. These were small niggles in what is, otherwise, an excellent package on the next-gen consoles.
Take me to your leader!
Ultimately, Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed is an excellent remake that shows you can have all the fancy bells and whistles of modern game engines while keeping original, fun-as-hell gameplay intact. With stunning visuals and surprisingly fun, addictive, albeit repetitive gameplay, this remake should keep fans of the series happy, while hopefully making some new ones in the process – just so long as you can lean back and enjoy the wonderful absurdity of it all.
Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed (PS5) ReviewDestroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed (PS5) Review
Story8/10 Very Good
Audio8/10 Very Good
- Those Unreal Engine powered visuals
- Fun, addictive gameplay
- Plenty to do
- Screen tearing
- Audio bug
- Can get repetitive