A few years ago, THQ Nordic started filling us with nostalgia with a number of PS2-era remakes; namely Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated and of course, Destroy All Humans! Well, you better prepare to be filled with alien juice, as Destroy All Humans 2 returns this month to probe us all again. Attractive.
Yes, the classic sequel is back in full force on modern platforms, with a redesign that’s largely familiar to anyone who played the 2020 remake of the original. Things have been tweaked in some places and smoothed out in others, but this is absolutely a 2006 video game with a fresh coat of paint. If you adopt this mindset, you’ll probably have enough fun with Reprobed to warrant a game, especially if you have even a shred of nostalgia for the original. However, it is safe to say that we have come a long way since the first launch in the mid-2000s.
Simply put, Destroy All Humans 2 is a 3D action platformer backed by a bountiful arsenal of otherworldly weaponry. Think Ratchet & Clank but a little less refined and you’re there. The levels are more open than the PlayStation-only series and, therefore, a little more aimless, but the selection of weapons and what you can perform on enemies with them is still the star of the show here.
That said, we tended to use about half of the available weapons, as they’re simply the most effective in most combat scenarios. The classic Zap-O-Matic will likely become your go-to, simply because it never runs out of ammo and just requires a quick cool down to keep blasting. Items like the Meteor Strike and Disintegrator Ray are useful for taking on larger groups of enemies and bosses, but the rest are only left for the most desperate scenarios, i.e. you run out of ammo at every level. Even the anal probe isn’t that helpful overall, which is a shame. Literally.
You’ll use these weapons in a nice variety of locations in DAH2, which is another highlight of the game. You’ll start out in a shrunken, fictional San Francisco, before heading to similar variants of London, Tokyo, Siberia, and eventually the moon. There’s a nice environmental variety here and all five locations have been improved very well in the remake, especially Siberia and the Moon.
However, when talking about traversing these locations, the game’s PS2-era origins become apparent. You have a sort of jetpack to float and propel you, and your flying saucer of course, which is mostly for set-piece fights and moving from A to B. However, both of these traversal methods eliminate completely the need for any actual level design, it looks like. Forget buildings, walls, mountains, hills, fences, etc. You can pretty much always hover or hover around anything in this game, and it makes each mission area feel like a big empty space. Both mechanics are useful for getting out of sticky situations, but it just feels like the game would be completely broken without both, as walking around the terrain feels impossible during a lot of these missions.
That’s not the only aspect of DAH2 that feels dated, either. The story, while tongue-in-cheek and clearly a parody most of the time, feels so stuck in this era that it’s a little painful. You spend a ton of your time fighting alongside Russian spy “Natalya Ivanova”, who is as scantily clad as you’d expect. We don’t really mind too much, but protagonist Crypto’s constant flirtatious banter cringes a bit after a while. The game presents dialogue options as a choice throughout, but the first option always progresses through the story properly and the others are mostly for flirting with Ivanova for no real reason. It’s funny the first few times, then it gets boring and kinda weird.
A few of the game’s boss fights are also a bit boring, which again is something to be expected from the era this game originated. hands at times when the enemy would be “overloaded” with rage if left to their own devices for too long, resulting in automatic failure. Again, nothing too blatant but something worth pointing out for sure.
In smaller fights, DAH2 introduces a possession mechanic pretty early on, where you take control of a human’s body as a sort of disguise. It’s basically the game’s random way of bringing stealth into the mix, and again, it’s functional but feels like a get out of jail card when the game wants to change the pace of things a bit. The mechanic is there and it works (sometimes it’s forced as a way to get through missions), but much like traversal abilities, it often feels like a mechanic put in place to circumvent some fairly rudimentary level design.
We don’t want to sound too harsh though – we knew what we were getting into with this remake. Admittedly, we hadn’t played the 2006 original, but we did play the first Destroy All Humans game from 2005, so we understand what era these remakes are from. DAH2 Reprobed is fun in a kind of ‘teenage boy in the back of the class throwing pens at people’, but know that without a heavy nostalgia episode to carry you through, throwing those pens around seems kinda dumb. 2022 .
Destroy all humans! 2 – Reprobed is exactly what you’d expect, an improvement on a game that’s so obviously from another era that it can be painful at times. However, remove some of that and the basic idea is pretty fun and still works on a basic level, albeit with a few caveats as mentioned. If you’ve played the old version and are longing for it, this remake will no doubt scratch that itch and bring you back, but those after a fuller “remake” of such an effort will probably want a little more modernization. It’s time to take the probe out for another 15 years, then.