Making old things new again is one of those trends that has seen a resurgence in recent times, and in the gaming space, the arrival of THQ Nordic and Black Forest Games’ Destroy All Humans! 2 – Reprobed is eerily similar to the remaster of the first game back in 2020. As expected, this sci-fi action-adventure romp retains pretty much all of the same pros and cons for a sequel, and that could swing either way depending on your personal preference.
On the remaster front, Destroy All Humans! 2 – Reprobed does everything well. The game has never looked better with its 4K textures, laudable lighting, and a revitalised world. There are more locations to visit and wreak havoc in, and gameplay-wise, the developers have made improvements to how our alien anti-hero Crypto-137 moves and fights.
What has unfortunately not been updated is the dated humour that Destroy All Humans! 2 – Reprobed peddles at every turn, from the voiceover work to the puns found in many of the game’s sequences. Unless you are looking for a trip back into the 2000s, it can be hard to ignore just how bad some of the writing can be. A remaster would have been the perfect chance to push out an update of sorts, but alas, that was not to be.
That said, at least the game knows exactly what it is going for and commits fully to it. The whole premise is nonsensical to the max, yet it somehow works without pulling any punches. The misadventures of Crypto and the many bombastic characters players will meet, the presence of the Soviet KGB, and the mysterious aliens known as the Blisks all combine for a crazy trip into a time where video games took themselves way less seriously.
Broken down into five distinct maps, Destroy All Humans! 2 – Reprobed is not exactly an open-world experience, nor does it provide players with much to do in each area. Outside of the few side quests and main missions, the most it offers is interaction with payphones, body snatching unfortunate humans, or architectural destruction with your saucer in your free time.
Even the missions themselves are seldom unique, never straying too far from escorting a VIP, finding and killing an individual, or causing enough chaos as a distraction. It is not groundbreaking stuff, and the less-than-ideal comedy that comes out of Crypto’s mouth constantly certainly doesn’t help its case. The skip button has never been used more.
The use of side objectives is perhaps the only saving grace, tasking players to do things in a certain way, such as staying up high all the time or using a specific weapon to kill enemies. It ups the ante just enough to keep things from becoming a slog, and if you want maximum upgrade points for the expanded weapon upgrade system, completing the objectives is paramount.
At the heart of it all is combat, and Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed does give players some new toys to play with, such as the Dislocator or the companion Gastro, which helps mix things up a little. Otherwise, the many human enemies are never too threatening, especially when you can simply use psychokinesis to send them flying into the horizon.
Enemies in later stages do pack more shields or specific weaknesses, though, so there is more reason to use the full breadth of the arsenal, and thankfully, certain boss fights are more challenging and give Crypto more of a run for its money. These rare occasions are more experimental and subsequently more fun, something that cannot be said for the majority of this remaster.
Leaving the ground and getting into your saucer provides a different kind of gameplay experience, albeit not entirely pleasant. Sure, you have even more destructive powers at your alien fingertips, but there really isn’t any reason for it. Aside from making travel between predetermined landing points a little faster, you will probably spend the most time with the Gene Blender to unlock upgrades.
This means scouring the maps in Destroy All Humans! 2 – Reprobed to find the right human archetypes to suck up, such as police officers or stealthy ninjas. With the paltry resistance of anti-air weaponry and the advanced shields of the saucer, there is never real danger to Crypto, unless you count the extended time needed just to find the specific humans – a chore that only becomes more boring as you wait for them to spawn.
Having the option to enjoy split-screen co-op is definitely a good choice, as doing mindless things is only made better with someone along for the ride. Being able to cause mayhem with a partner is fun, with a Duel mode allowing you to feed your competitive streak further by seeing who can destroy the most stuff in the shortest amount of time. The PK Tennis game, though, just doesn’t cut it as either a sport or a good use of your co-op time.
As for bugs, Destroy All Humans! 2 – Reprobed is certainly not immune. There were instances that prevented us from exiting the saucer, mission characters who went missing from action, and occasional freezes that made progress impossible. It was nothing that restarting couldn’t fix, and the game’s checkpoint system made it easy to get back into the groove, but it doesn’t excuse the quality of work overall.
Evaluating Destroy All Humans! 2 – Reprobed is a difficult task. On one hand, it does a great job of updating a 2006 game to match, at least, the visual standards of modern gaming, but on the other, it never took the chance to make sure that the gameplay and writing are of similar quality. Even if the intention was to retain that B-movie style, this remaster just feels like a missed opportunity that makes it quite difficult to have your mind blown in face of an alien threat – unless you’ve always been a fan.
Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed is available on the PSN Store for $54.90.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed looks good as a remaster, but everything else will feel so alien and subpar that you would wish you could forget about it as soon as possible.
Gameplay - 6.5/10
Story - 5/10
Presentation - 8/10
Value - 5/10