The early 2000s. The Lord of the Rings was still new, Star Wars was still good and video games were pure masterpieces even if they sucked. It was something of a golden era for video games where titles like Need For Speed Underground 2, GTA Vice City and Halo 2 were what all the cool kids were playing. Having fun wasn’t looked down upon and games were made to be just that: fun. Destroy All Humans 2 was a product of that time. Between the well crafted world, enjoyable gameplay, and amusing, uncensored story, it’s hard to say what this remaster of Destroy All humans 2: Reprobed does best, but one thing is certain; it is a remake worth probing some more.
In a game that never intended to push any boundaries in graphics, I still found myself stopping my rampage to admire the scenery, especially the Japanese level. From the perfectly manicured gardens to the upskirts of the schoolgirls there was quite a lot to stare at. That is not to say that the other levels were underwhelming however. The San Francisco level was well designed and loaded with the styles, colors, and hippies that you would expect circa 1969. The British level appears to be from a slightly earlier time period but had all the exaggerated caricatures under a vast gray and smog-socked sky. The Russian level was set in a remote, frozen wasteland in the far north of Siberia surrounding a secret Soviet nuclear research facility. Finally there is Solaris, a secret Soviet base on the moon loaded with film sets for the American moon landing and other secret technology. Despite being set on the moon, the level designers did an excellent job making it look like an alien world, and the Blisk areas had a familiar Geiger touch. Regardless of the world, Crypto’s rocket boots are the best and fastest way to get around. All these levels feature amazing verticality that lends itself well to the refined gameplay that the series is known for.
Sliding around the world in 1969 has never been so fun. Crypto’s jetpack and rocket boots make for an absolute blast of a time. While it doesn’t quite replicate the rewarding hunt for orbs that the original Crackdown had, it does manage to create its own style of movement that revolves around using the jetpack to gain elevation and the rocket boots to slide along the ground at high speeds. Couple that with slightly overhauled versions of the original (and very inventive) weapons such as the anal probe gun and you have a recipe for a solid 10-15 hours of sliding around the world while blowing stuff up. The fun doesn’t end there either, Crypto can snatch bodies and use them as temporary disguises to get around the world unnoticed. When that fails, he can cloud the minds of humans to make them forget he was ever there. There are a few balancing issues that must be mentioned however. In the early game many of the weapons aside from the lightning gun were too weak against human opponents and I ended up using the lightning gun against people and the other weapons against hard targets almost exclusively. Later on as upgrades are purchased, the lightning gun becomes one of the most powerful weapons against humans but still can’t seem to do much against hard targets. Flying sections in the space saucer are excellent but the controls need to be tuned. At times I found myself flying into buildings while struggling to keep the saucer at a proper height to aim at targets on the ground. None of these issues significantly hinder the absolute blast I had with gameplay, which itself compliments the faithfully preserved story.
And what a ride the story is. It is a remake after all, and it made me want to hop in a time-machine and go back to the early 2000s. Want a score that has an uncanny resemblance to iconic movie scores? Check. Hot communist babe that keeps rebuffing Cryptos advances? Check. Goofy over the top plot that has no intention of taking itself seriously? Check. Crude humor that would land you a visit from the police? Check. Check your brain at the door and just enjoy the ride. Crypto does steal brains for upgrades after all. The story starts with Crypto, short for Cryptosporidium (who is supposed to be asexual) chasing after girls in the San Francisco Bay area. After a mysterious attack from the locally embedded KJB that destroys the mothership, Crypto is sent on a mission that takes him from San Francisco, to London, to Takoshima, to a remote settlement in Siberia, and finally to Solaris on the moon. It’s hilarious, it’s memorable, and above all, it’s fun.
The entire game is a throwback to the golden era of T rated shooters that weren’t overly gorey and had lots of jokes to keep the mood light. The world is loaded with entertaining weapons and platforming, crude humor, period satire that isn’t too heavy handed, well designed NPCs, gorgeous sidekicks, and a story that doesn’t try to be taken too seriously. From the opening scene to the final boss fight, the enjoyment of Destroy All Humans 2: Reprobed is well worth its asking price and any serious gamer who enjoys a solid throwback would be remiss to pass on this faithful remaster.
SCORE – 9/10