Destroy All Humans! 2 launched in August 2022 for Windows, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.
Crypto is back with a license to probe. The alien invader returns, groovier than ever. Experience the swinging ’60s in all its chemical-induced glory and take revenge on the KGB for blowing up your mothership. You’ll have to form alliances with members of the very species you came to enslave.
A visual treat, a vibrant portrayal of the 1970s
The original remake was a visual treat, and Pandemic Studios have upped their game with its sequel. The THQ Nordic intro video displays an overweight English policeman wearing a policeman’s hat and white boxers with a heart print, a backdrop of London and fireworks going off in the distance. This hits you before you’re allowed to start a new game – I was instantly bought into this stylish portrayal of the 1970s.
As part of my playthrough, I checked out some Let’s Play videos of the original release from 2006. The remake does a fantastic job of recreating the various locations portrayed. Everything looks and feels as it did, but simultaneously new – it’s a strange sense of Deja Vu.
With the visual style so reminiscent of the original release, the portrayal of different countries in today’s world feels a little stereotypical. While I won’t delve into spoiler territory, within the trailer, you can see most of the locations you’ll visit during Crypto’s adventure. Bay City, a play on San Francisco, includes the Golden Gate Bridge, while Albion, London, includes features like Parliament and Tower Bridge. Outside of these landmarks, everything else is fabricated, but you’re drawn into the fantasy of these locations.
Cutscenes are rendered beautifully, everything from the pulsating on the back of Crypto’s head, the detailing of the supporting cast and the action being portrayed on screen. I did find some texture pop-ins to be quite jarring during my playthrough, however, this wasn’t noticeable during gameplay but might be during any subsequent playthroughs. It’s a shame that there isn’t a memorable soundtrack to compliment Destroy All Humans visuals.
CO-OP – An experience challenging to share
To my surprise, multiplayer is included with Destroy All Humans 2 but as a local split-screen experience. In some ways, this is a win for gaming as there is a distinct lack of local co-op games on the market, so to that end it’s an accomplishment in itself. All of the unlocks and power-ups are shared between both players and the drop-in experience worked seamlessly at first. Within the short time we spent playing local co-op working through the campaign we found this to be a chaotic experience as both players are sharing a mini-map, which isn’t that mini anymore. In many ways, the aspect ratio of the split screen and the use of objectives and mini-map are pretty intuitive. When both players are close, the mini-map is zoomed in and will zoom out as the distance increases between them.
As this was a chaotic experience for us, I think this is evidence that we’ve been spoiled by other games having an online co-op mode, which we severely missed here. Alternatively, this is evidence that we can’t share well…
Chaotic delight, snappy and loose
My playthrough has been chaotically delightful; playing as Crypto has been a blast. There’s this underpinning arcadey feel during the entire playthrough, with upgrades and new ways to rain destruction being introduced frequently enough to stop the game from becoming stale.
There are a lot of choices as you progress throughout the game, including a Disintegrator, which shoots fireballs, and an Anal Probe gun, which is a long projectile weapon which does as it says on the tin. There’s even a weapon which calls meteors down to crush and burn your enemies! There is, however, an issue with the arsenal in that your starting weapon, the Zap-O-Matic, which shoots chain lightning and affects a large number of enemies, is easily the go-to.
I still found myself drawn to the Zap-O-Matic; in some ways, this feels like an oversight in design. In others, it lends itself to the fantasy of playing as an Alien.
Outside of combat, stealth is available. After all, you are an alien who has invaded and secretly became the President. You can body snatch, which allows you to take over humans and blend in, which plays a vital role throughout the game. To talk to NPC’s / mission givers, some characters will only interact with other characters of a specific faction such as hippies or police officers. This is an excellent addition, allowing the game to be played in multiple ways; ultimately, this will lead to chaos.
When things go wrong, where civilians or enemies have spotted you, you can use what has quickly become my favourite thing about this game: Free Love. Crypto wears a visor which will shoot out rainbow beams containing good vibes, which makes anyone caught in its beam start dancing. A dance party breaks out if you get enough people caught in the rays. There’s nothing quite like watching a street full of people breaking out into dance and London Buses bobbing up and down in the background!
Here, as you’re killing enemies, harvesting brains and completing missions, you gain more than enough points to upgrade your arsenal. Upgrading doesn’t feel like a chore as in the original, in that much of the upgrading was attached to completing trials to gain points to allow you to upgrade. It works particularly well as points are granted at set intervals, stopping you from becoming overpowered early on.
To upgrade Crypto’s actual powers, you can periodically use the gene-blender, which involves jumping into your flying saucer and abducting different characters like hippies. It’s a basic but extraordinary side task that doesn’t overeat your time.
Destroy All Humans 2: Reprobed is a strange game, especially when it comes to trying to put a score against the title. The story was a little hit-and-miss with me. If you’ve played the original Destroy All Humans remake, released in 2020, you’ll find something familiar but with just enough to make it worth purchasing the sequel; because of this I score it
8 / 10
Written by Colin.
Edited by Alexx.