Developers over the last few years have put a great deal of time and effort into re-releasing old games on modern day platforms. Some of these games really do not need to be released again. However Destroy All Humans! 2 is certainly one of the games that we didn’t need, but certainly deserved. Let’s be honest, I doubt many people are dying for a new Destroy All Humans! game, it’s a slightly niche video game. But for those who did love the series, you will be happy with what you find here. It might not add anything new, but there is still so much fun to be had. And a great deal of anal probing. Video games are weird sometimes…
For those new to the franchise the premise is simple. You’re the alien president of the United States of America, naturally, but those pesky villainous Russians turn up to cause trouble. The hero Crypto needs to travel the world and take care of this threat. The story is humorous and over the top, complete with stereotypical Russian accents and self-referential lines. The cast is made up of colorful characters and multiple open world cities. The player can visit these cities and they are just as stereotypical and cheesy as the characters. An open world game wouldn’t be complete without side quests and collectibles for the player to take part in. The side quests, while great at the time, are what you would expect from an open world game. Same can be applied to the collectibles. The formula has become slightly stale, but it has to be remembered this game came out 10 years ago. When it originally came out, it would have felt more fresh and intuitive.
While the story is great, in a crazy odd way, it’s the gameplay that personally always stood out the most. Somehow even after all these years, parts of the gameplay still feel fresh and unique. Naturally upgrading weapons, exploring the world and other open world stereotypes don’t particularly stand out. However plenty do, for example body swapping. While it has been done since, in such games as Prototype, by far the mechanic is at its best here. Crypto can hijack the NPC’s body at will and use them for his nefarious purposes. The player can use it as a disguise, or maybe to fit into a crowd so they can scan people’s minds for information. Or maybe the player just likes playing dress up, either way it’s up to you. It’s a well thought out mechanic and has plenty of uses in free roam and missions. If the player prefers, they can use Crypto’s various powers. They can cause free love to stop NPC’s being alert to you. Alternatively the player can bring war to the city, throwing objects around with psychokinesis, the choice is yours. If you really want to cause destruction, then jump into Crypto’s spaceship. The player can fly around the whole map, attacking everything in sight, causing stronger enemies to try and bring you down. The ship has other uses as well, you can gain gene upgrades by abducting specific types of NPC’s. It adds a new level of depth to the game, it may be a simple concept, but it’s a much more lengthy and enjoyable approach to upgrades. Who doesn’t want to fly around abducting hippies to get the next upgrade?
Of course, when talking about a Destroy All Humans! game, weapons have to be mentioned. As mentioned earlier, there’s the anal probe. You can’t have an alien game with this type of humor and not feature an anal probe as a weapon. That’s not to say there are not any other enjoyable and odd weapons. All feel unique and have their uses. The disintegrator is an interesting weapon, with cool death animations. Using Crypto’s powers the player can craft ammo out of objects in the world for this particular weapon. It makes enemy fights easier, not that the player really needs it. Like the original release, the game is not particularly hard. I never really died, even from boss fights. With some quick uses of the jet pack and shooting like mad, you won’t have a hard time fighting anything the game can throw at you. Let’s be honest, you’re not playing the game for its difficulty. It’s the story and the majority of the gameplay that keeps people coming back for more. That and nostalgia.
Nostalgia benefits the games visuals. The game is not a remaster, it’s a straight port to PS4. As you can imagine, the graphics are rough. But for many, they won’t care. It reminds the player of a different time, and while some will always want remastered visuals, many want the game to stay exactly the way it was originally, myself included. The game plays exactly as it did originally, and that’s just fine. Some may disagree, but a port of a game should not receive a lower score if nothing has changed. If it was a remaster then that would be different, but it isn’t, so looking old and outdated really isn’t an issue. Technically, the game runs well. It loads quickly and plays smoothly. From a technical stand point, there is not much to say. As a quick aside the game has a platinum, so hard-core fans can expect to put a great deal of time into the game if they want that desired final trophy. The trophy list does not seem particularly hard or inventive. Complete all types of missions, buy all upgrades and collect everything. It shouldn’t take too long to 100% everything, but it gives players a reason to stick around after the main game has been completed.
It had been a long time since I played Destroy All Humans! 2. Picking it up now, it reminded me of how much I missed this silly game. Parts of the game may be slightly outdated, but every bit of the fun the game had to offer is still present. If you loved it originally, you will love it now. Will it attract new players? Most likely not, but I doubt any of the PS2 to PS4 games do. It’s here for the fans and that’s awesome. It’s a game that’s easy to sit down with, laugh at the cheesy lines, chuckle at some probing and get excited when you catch a nerdy reference. It’s good to have Crypto back, and as the game likes to say, make war not love!
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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