Destroy All Humans! 2 – Reprobed Preview: There's Nothing Like Dumb Fun
A couple of years ago, Developer Black Forest Games launched a complete remake of 2005's cult classic Destroy All Humans!. Now the same team is working on Destroy All Humans! 2 – Reprobed, a remake of the second entry in the franchise originally released in 2006 for PS2 and Xbox. It's set to release on August 30, 2022, for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S.
I was able to go hands-on with a preview version of the game, where crypto has returned to terrorize humans once again.
Destroy All Humans! 2 – Reprobed kicks off with a warning: most of its content has been unaltered and might be too much for the modern human mind to handle. While the message is meant to be satirical tongue-in-cheek, it's also a legitimate word of caution: the dialogue and story are filled to the brim with offensive jokes and racial stereotypes that haven't aged well. While the story remains true to the original, the developers could have done without the tasteless humor, making the game much less offensive to modern audiences.
I was able to explore the game's first two locations, Bay City and Albion. Bay City is a parody of San Francisco set in 1969 overrun by hippies, whereas Albion is Destroy All Humans! 2's version of London. These cities are instantly recognizable and make for great playgrounds for alien destruction. Wherever you go, there are always humans going about their day — until they see Crypto zooming around causing absolute mayhem.
Combat is by far the game's greatest strength and the main reason why I completed the first two areas in one sitting. There is nothing more satisfying than wreaking havoc across a whole city while watching the AI's pathetic attempts at stopping me. Even in the early stages, where your choice of weapons is limited, Crypto is a force to be reckoned with.
This, however, means that boss fights aren't as challenging as they should be, even at higher difficulty settings. At no point did I feel forced to use the different weapons at my disposal. So far, the bosses can be beaten quite easily, without employing any specific strategies or tactics. Hopefully, it's something that's tweaked in the final build.
The remake has been reassembled from the ground up in Unreal Engine 4, and it shows. It won't be able to compete with some of the latest AAA titles in terms of visuals, but it doesn't look dated and can certainly pass as a modern title. The new graphics help bring the open world to life with vibrant colors and detailed character models. This time around, the developers decided to skip last-gen consoles entirely in order to benefit from the power of newer hardware and push the game even further visually.
My biggest gripe has to be the flying saucer sequences. The saucer controls feel janky, dated, and aren't the most intuitive. While these sections where you rain destruction from above are a nice change of pace from the typical combat and escort missions in these two levels, the UFO's combat mechanics are nowhere near as satisfying as those for Crypto himself. And it's mostly because of the awkward camera angle and unnecessarily complex controls, especially for controlling your altitude.
However, that's not to say there aren't a few issues with Crypto, either. Traversal is somewhat of an issue in the current build, as Crypto-138 isn’t the fastest and can't sprint, though things get much more bearable as you unlock the ability to skate. This allows you to zoom around the map at lightning speed once you've fully upgraded your skates and thrusters.
Speaking of upgrades, you can upgrade weapons and gear from the pox mart, which uses a simple system that clearly tells you what each upgrade does and how much it will cost. What makes upgrading your gear even more enjoyable is that each upgrade has a noticeable impact on the gameplay. In line with the more nostalgic feel of Destroy All Humans 2!, it is a relief that the developers avoided the unnecessarily complex upgrade trees that we've grown used to in similar titles.
Apart from the main missions and side quests, there are also some multiplayer modes, including co-op split-screen, such as Duel-mode and PK-Tennis that I have yet to try out.
Destroy All Humans! 2 – Reprobed is far from a finished product. I did encounter some bugs throughout my four hours with the preview build. Sometimes, character voices in cutscenes are drowned out by surrounding noise in the open world. But it's important to remember this is a preview version of the game, and these issues should be ironed out in the final product. Even so, in true fashion to the series, the game’s overall clunkiness suits it well and adds to its silliness and humor.
So far, it seems that Destroy All Humans! 2 – Reprobed will play out similar to 2020's remake of the first game. What you'll be getting is a game filled with alien shenanigans that doesn't take itself seriously (though the jokes could have aged better). It's been a while since I've played a game this silly, fun, and addicting.
If that sounds like your kind of game, keep an eye out for when it launches on August 30, 2022, on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S. Pre-orders are available now; those who pick up the sequel up early will gain access to Destroy All Humans! Clone Carnage, a standalone multiplayer mode, for free.
[Note: THQ Nordic provided the copy of Destroy All Humans! 2 – Reprobed used for this preview.]