At some point during the billion hour long campaign for Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed — a remake of 2006’s Destroy All Humans! 2 for PS2 — we began to wonder where it had all gone wrong. There we were, running around as a little alien shooting innocent passers-by with a gun that reduces them to skeletons and all we could muster was a deflated sigh. It wasn’t sympathy — we welcome our new alien overlords. It wasn’t revulsion either because we love turning people into skeletons. It should be gold, but we felt nothing.
We went to our therapist and told them about this and they said, “Push Square, what is it about reducing people to skeletons that just isn’t doing it for you anymore?” and we were stumped. What’s better than shooting somebody so hard that their skin is literally gone and all that is left is a skeleton standing in an amusing pose? We had to do some soul searching. It was like that bit in Forest Gump where he just runs for days thinking about his problems or whatever, only we’re comically out of shape and running is for dorks so we just sat drinking Cherry Pepsi and eating Bombay Mix for a bit looking sad.
The conclusion we came to is that Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed just isn’t for us. And we don’t mean that we just don’t like it or that it’s good but just not our jam. We mean it literally. It’s not for us. The target demographic here is incredibly specific: this game makes barely any attempt to ingratiate itself to a modern audience and instead is being aimed squarely, almost exclusively, at the same people who played the original in 2006 and liked it. And that’s fine.
Nostalgia is a powerful agent, and simply reliving something that you loved from your formative years but given a fresh lick of paint can elevate what would otherwise be a throwaway experience into a meaningful or emotional one. If you played Destroy All Humans! 2 and had a rip-roaring time with it, laughing your back off at all the jokes, enjoying every minute of blasting people with silly weapons, then what’s not to like about this? It’s the same thing, but by virtue of the fact that it looks better and has some quality of life improvements, it’s better than ever. The problem is that if you didn’t play the original game fifteen years ago and you have no nostalgia for it, then Reprobed is absolute tripe.
The game follows on from the story of the original Destroy All Humans! (also remade in 2020). You’re an alien on Earth in 1969 forced to do battle with the KGB who has some nefarious plan or other. There’s an improbably proportioned Russian lady spy and a posh British man and a Japanese schoolgirl and a bunch of other stereotypes involved. There are five small open worlds to explore, new weapons to unlock and upgrade, side-quests, collectables, and you can dress your little alien up as Elvis if you want which we appreciated greatly.
The gameplay is a drag. Mission types involve escorting an NPC to a marked location on the map, killing a certain number of enemies, defending a base from waves of enemies, and other things that would be the filler missions in a much better game. There’s an array of weapons to choose from but for most encounters, you only need your psychokinesis skill which allows you to pick up and throw small objects and people. Picking up a human enemy and throwing them directly up into the sky means that they’ll die when they hit the ground, and it’s much quicker than trying to use the mostly fiddly and unsatisfying weaponry at your disposal.
The boss encounters in Reprobed are uniformly terrible and represent the lowest points of the game. The difficulty spikes are absurd, and at one point we had to check that we hadn’t accidentally changed a setting somewhere. They often feature mechanics that aren’t well explained and the enemies you face have way too much health. The final boss in particular is so egregious an example of dreadful boss design that it should be studied in a laboratory somewhere like they have scientists in hazmat suits studying Ebola. Like the Ebola virus, this should probably never have been released into the general population.
On top of all of that the game has some technical issues, too, that weirdly mostly only occurred in the second half of the adventure. It crashed on us a dozen times during a seven-hour playthrough plus a few hours more for side-quests, resulting in lost progress and replaying bits of the game we didn’t even like the first time around. One time an enemy we needed to kill to progress spawned under the floor so we had to reset. Sometimes we couldn’t interact with items we needed to interact with to move on. It also suffers from catastrophic frame rate problems in some larger battles, with one particularly hectic encounter with a giant monster rampaging through Japan looking more like a powerpoint presentation than a video game.
The humour in the game will likely prove divisive. There are few things we find less funny than an alien anally probing somebody. Obviously, stuff being put right up someone’s bum was comedy gold when we were like twelve or something, but in our thirties, with the country in tatters and gargantuan mortgages and an ever-increasing list of neuroses, it’s just not enough to make us smile anymore. Maybe it’s just us but shoving a big, long, slender, wriggling green tentacle up an unsuspecting bloke’s balloon end while he makes noises indicating that he’s enjoying what is tantamount to sexual assault — well, it’s not Seinfeld is it?
Still, comedy is entirely subjective and if anal probing, big booby ladies, sexual innuendos, silly accents, stereotypes, and other such things make you laugh then there’s probably enough of it here to carry you through the mostly tedious campaign. It’s not our bag but we’re not here to tell you what to laugh at. If this all sounds like a hoot to you then you can basically add a couple of points onto the score at the bottom of this review without any judgement from us. Go on, you have our blessing.
It’s apt that the character you play as in Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed is named Crypto. Like crypto, the game is an interesting idea on paper, but we don’t really need it, we don’t want to hear about it, it keeps crashing, and if you invest any money into it then you’re probably going to end up with buyer’s remorse.
Destroy All Humans 2! – Reprobed – 2nd Coming Edition (PS5)
- Amazon (UK)
Destroy All Humans! 2 – Reprobed (PS5)
- Amazon (US)
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