The Destroy All Humans saga had a somewhat strange fate. Born during the sixth generation of consoles, the series never achieved great critical success, but was appreciated enough by the public. After two discreet episodes came two games (Big Willy Unleashed and Path of the Furons) harshly criticized even by fans of the series and this, thanks to the closure of THQ, decreed the end of the series.
Destroy all humans 2 – Reprobato
Platform: PC, PS5, XSX Genre: action-adventure Release date: August 30, 2022 Developer: Black Forest Games Distributor: THQ Nordic
This was until THQ Nordic, after acquiring the IP rights along with many others, decided to bring it back to life, with a remake that probably few really felt the need, given that the game was already only discreet in 2005.
Even more surprising is the fact that the remake was successful enough to warrant a remake of the second chapter, the Destroy all humans 2 – Reprobato which we will talk about today, available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X | S And PCagain by Black Forest Games.
After a passable but not exciting first makeover, what can we expect from this second unexpected return of Crypto-137 (sorry, now Crypto-138)?
Let’s find out together.
Hippies, bad Russians and alien invasions: welcome to 1969
The story of Destroy All Humans 2 – Reprobed (DAH 2 only from now on) begins ten years after the credits of the original title. In a short opening sequence, we discover that the protagonist of the first episode, Crypto-137, has passed away for mysterious reasons.
Fortunately, his Crypto-138 clone is already poised to take his place, continuing to pretend to be the President of the United States. Considering the Furons a hostile threat, the KGB sees fit to destroy the mothership with a nuclear missile. From here begins the adventure of Crypto-138: he must stop the KGB before he can put the spanner in the works again and must take revenge for the destruction of the spaceship.
After the disappearance of Crypto-137, it will be up to its clone to continue the mission of the Furons.
The story remains in the tone of the first chapter: the game he never takes himself too seriously and the dialogues, starting with the opening scenes, are full of double meanings and references to genitals. Although it is a direct continuation of the predecessor, you can very well follow the adventure even without having played it (if you want to recover it, you can find it at a discount on Amazon).
The sense of humor of the game it hasn’t aged very well (and you will see that this will be somewhat of the general theme of this review). Often and willingly, gags are used that in 2006 could have sounded edgy and politically incorrect, but which today seem only vaguely racist and offensive “jokes” uttered by an over 50 trying to feel young.
Sure, the game is a faithful remake of the original DAH 2therefore we do not feel to blame the developers too much for the work done, given that the original material belongs to now sixteen years ago; however, the fact remains that this sense of humor no longer works and the game will hardly be able to get you some laughs unless you are particularly fond of this type of humor.
The only real update DAH 2 received is, predictably, that graphic. The developers in this round have chosen to propose the remake only on ninth generation consoles, both to ensure better graphics and to allow the split screen co-op to run at its best, without too many compromises.
The choice, on this front, paid off: the game is indeed much nicer to see compared to the first episode, even without competing with contemporary high-budget productions.
Despite the care for the technical sector, however, we have noticed several bugs and glitches during the adventure, which sometimes forced us to restart a mission. We hope these issues will be fixed in future patches, but these are not issues that can ruin the game experience.
We will be able to possess humans to blend in with each other.
Humans will have no escape, not this time either
We come then to the gameplay of DAH 2. Basically, the game resumes in all respects structure of the first chapter; which is why, already at the time of its original release, this sequel was harshly criticized for the lack of novelty.
We will therefore find ourselves in the role of Crypto-138 in an open world of the ’00s, where we will have at our disposal several missions to complete. To do this, we will have different weapons and skills available.
This is perhaps the funniest part of DAH 2: using telekinesis, possessing humans, galvanizing them with our beam; all these gimmicks manage to give a particular cut to the classic open world third person shooter experience, making it live in a slightly different way than usual.
As for the missions, we will have several to complete on each map available. There will be classic missions based on the elimination of enemies, but also exploration phases and the classic (hated) “escort missions”.
We wish we could say more interesting, but the truth is that DAH 2 is a old game. The developers have opted for a faithful remake; but since it is a genre that has evolved a lot in recent years, it is impossible not to notice the backwardness of this title compared to what is offered by others.
Let’s start with the mission structure. Most work out like this: talk to an NPC, get the mission, kill enemies, report to the NPC to complete the mission.
All inserted in a quite empty open worldwhere the few possible interactions are ends in themselves, and where in general there is not much to do but test our weapons on passers-by just for the fun of it.
Already in 2006 DAH 2 was not a particularly original title: imagine how much such a game could have to say in 2022, presenting itself to the appeal without any change whatsoever.
Even the weapons management she has aged badly. While it remains one of the funniest aspects of the game, it takes little to realize that we are rarely incentivized to use one weapon or power rather than another. In the end it will be enough for us to clean up with the weapon we are best with, so we will soon find ourselves forgetting everything else.
And this basic and simplistic game structure is repeated for the entire ten-hour duration of the adventure. There are sections that break the rhythm a bit, like those on the spaceship, but they are not enough to give the adventure a different flavor, because after a while you return to the usual formula.
The real saving grace of the game is the mode split screen cooperative. In an age where split-screen multiplayer is increasingly forgotten, the developers have kept this feature present in the original title.
And it’s really impressive how much fun even a just enough game like DAH 2 can become when played in company (if you’re interested in it, you can get it on Amazon).
The jetpack is one of the most comfortable means of getting around.
Net of this feature, however, the rest of the work leaves something to be desired. If you enjoyed the first remake, you could think about it since the formula is left essentially intact; but if you are expecting more, you can find better alternatives elsewhere.
The same is true if you have already played the original DAH 2; unlike the first remake, which added a brand new mission, Reprobed adds practically nothing compared to its original counterpartthe improvements are mostly related to the quality of life.
We have to admit, this second life of Destroy All Humans has left us quite confused. The games were already only fair at the time; the remakes have not attempted to rejuvenate them, to the point that they seem to have been designed for those who were already fans of the series.
At this point, what can the future for Crypto-138? The next two titles in the original series were already considered bad at the time, a clear step back from the first two (and that’s saying something), so we don’t expect more remakes.
Two alternative destinies for this series seem more probable: it could simply disappear again, perhaps to reappear in about ten years; or THQ Nordic could finally give the green light to a new chapter, which tries to rejuvenate this franchise from all points of view.
We’ll see what the future holds: for now, we can only say that these two remakes have failed to convince us that they still need alien invasions.
Version reviewed: PS5