Destroy All Humans 2: Reprobed - The Only Legit Crypto
The wise-cracking, homicidal, party-loving Crypto is back…again and this time he is… well I don’t know really. His spaceship has been destroyed, the KGB knows he is a alien and not the actual president of the USA and his guide has been reduced to an AI. Things aren’t going Crypto’s way and as a result, people will die. Welcome to the reboot of the sequel we didn’t know we wanted, but are glad it came about anyways. Destroy All Humans 2: Reprobed is here with a fresh coat of paint, some tighter controls and a whole bunch of bad jokes. But has Crypto’s time been and gone or is there still some joy to be found?
For a little background, I quite enjoyed the remake of the first Destroy All Humans. It was a B-grade blast through 1950s’ America, lampooning everything that era is iconic for. So I expected to enjoy this, the second game in shiner form. I must say that I did, but this time around I have more reservations and a few sticking points that stop it from being as quite as fun as the previous title.
The first of those is probably simply a sign of the game’s age. While the first game poked fun at America’s golden age, here the game travels around the world and instead of humour that targets an era, it now feels like a lot of the jokes are based on racial stereotypes. The Russians and the Japanese cop it and the entire level set on an island near Japan was one whole big cringe from start to finish. I can understand why they did it, the game is after all using the stereotypes of the 1960s to present these cultures, but it just felt like a bridge too far for me and the over-exaggerated accents and cultural touch points felt more offensive than fun.
Thankfully, for the most part, at least, the gameplay is a lot of fun. There is a simple pleasure in causing havoc as Crypto, roaming the streets, possessing humans and then annihilating a whole street full of people when you get found out. The controls use the same scheme as the first Destroy All Humans remake and it works just as well here. Skating around on Crypto’s hoverboard is a blast and the combat has a nice feel as well as the perfect amount of lock-on for a game of this nature. This isn’t a game that will provide a massive challenge, it sits firmly in the power fantasy category, so you won’t die too often, but you will be punished if you make a mistake. It feels like a nice balance between being an all-conquering force and a glass cannon.
The missions themselves pretty much all follow the same formula however so the game is best played in small chunks. They are all variations on the following: Possess human, locate goal with mind-reading, get to the goal, blow shit up and occasionally blow shit up from your flying saucer. That is pretty much the extent of things and considering the game is much larger than the first title, it can get stale. One or two-hour sessions are probably the best way to tackle this one. There are some cracking boss battles however that force Crypto to utilise all of his powers and weapons to come out on top. The Kaju boss in the Japanese level is especially entertaining, forcing players to tackle it from both the sky and land.
Graphically the game maintains a cartoony style that does the job quite nicely. It isn’t going to win any best-looking game awards, but then I don’t think anyone expected it to. There are actually some rather stunning moments in the game, especially in the San Fran and Japanese levels with some rather beautiful backdrops to Crypto’s carnage. Sadly the other maps aren’t so stunning, but that has more to do with their locations than any graphical issue. There is only so much you can do to make snow or old English buildings stand out after all.
Once again, a real highlight is the voice work and sound design. The voice acting is, without exception, pitch-perfect. Whoever is voicing Crypto brings perhaps the best Jack Nicolson impersonation I have ever heard and delivers both the cheesy and serious lines in a perfectly menacing manner. The rest of the cast is just as good (I am even pretty sure I heard Giles from Buffy show up) and deliver the clearly hamfisted dialogue with the verve and sarcasm it deserves. The weapon and combat sound effects are also a hoot, the sound of a brain popping out of someone’s head is bang-on and all play into the cheesy B-grade sci/fi aesthetic nicely.
Destroy All Humans 2: Reprobed gives you exactly what you would expect from the name. It has some issues, namely with its use of dated stereotypes for jokes and in a lack of mission variety, but there is still plenty of fun to be had. This is a game for anyone who enjoyed Mars Attacks, for someone who has a fond memory of third-person adventures from the 360/PS3 era or someone who just wants a lazy game for a Sunday arvo that will elicit the occasional giggle to go along with the human slaughter. Destroy All Humans 2 knows exactly what it is and runs with it, never trying to be anything more and there is absolutely a place for it in today’s overly-serious gaming market.
Destroy All Humans: Reprobed was reviewed on PC with code kindly supplied by Plaion Australia.