Destroy All Humans 2: Reprobed!

Let me just get this out of the way: I had a decent amount of fun causing havoc in Destroy All Humans 2: Reprobed! As a sandbox game that lets players run roughshod in mini-open-world representations of real-world locales, Reprobed, for the most part, succeeds. As for how long that will hold anyone’s attention, or for how much that justifies the cost of entry ($39.99)? Well, that will be up to the individual and their tastes, and possibly also how much nostalgia they have for the series going in. 

For me, it amounted to several stretches of jolly, each lasting about 20 minutes or so, peppered throughout a campaign that felt far too long and was a bit of a slog (mostly anytime anyone started to speak). It was also mired by decrepit and dated attempts at humor, a strong dash of misogyny, and what I am going to assume were unintentional moments of light racism. Oh, and a joke about pedophilia. 

How about a little good news? Reprobed does look pretty good in this new remaster/remake. Each of the various mini-sandbox levels is surprisingly detailed, and it seems like a lot of attention was paid to every nook and cranny. This game has some of the best-modeled bicycles I’ve seen in a game, and the storefronts, beauty salons, shops, and restaurants are actually modeled and detailed, despite the player not being able to enter or interact with them. The particle effects pop and sizzle, and cars blow up real good.

But for as good as it looks, I can’t shake the feeling that, much like when someone in their 60s gets plastic surgery to look younger, they are still in their 60s on the inside, and it shows no matter how young they look on the outside.

Destroy All Humans 2: Reprobed!

Now, I didn’t play the remaster/remake of the first game, so I can’t comment on how well this one follows it. However, do far as I can tell, it doesn’t matter much — you can still enjoy Reprobed! as long as you just roll with the ridiculousness of it all.

In Destroy All Humans 2: Reprobed!, you play as Cryptosporidium-138 (Crypto for short), an alien from the Furon race and apparent President of the United States. You are enlisted to track down some new mind-control scheme and stop it before it can destroy all humans so that you can then destroy all humans. Your adventure takes you trotting around the globe, stopping in various re-creations of real-world locations, fighting some local faction in this grand cabal at every step along the way. Rinse and repeat.

As you progress, you’ll unlock new variations of your transforming weapon, from the base electrifying ray, to a version that melts people with molten lava, to the ever-popular anal probe. It’s pretty fun to see what kind of damage can be wrought with each one, but some are less practical than others, and some even take a little getting used to before you’ll figure out how to use them effectively. You can also upgrade each weapon variant, as well as your suit, abilities, and trusty flying saucer. 

Destroy All Humans 2: Reprobed!

Most of the missions take place on foot and have you running around killing X number of Y enemy type, flipping switches, or just generally being a nuisance. A solid amount of your time will be spent listening to mind-numbingly boring dialogue about a story you will more than likely not be interested in, only to be resuscitated back into coherency when you realize the yammering has ceased and the game is waiting for you to make an arbitrary dialogue choice. And really, these choices should’ve just been removed in favor of letting the dialogue play out. Most of the time, the decision you’re asked to make is nothing more than a “Please continue blathering” prompt, or choosing whether or not to accept the mission. And, I mean, why the hell do you think I’m doing any of this if not to accept the mission? But I digress…

There are moments when you need to take to the skies in your flying saucer, and these segments are pretty fun. You can also summon your saucer at specific landing zones and fly around to your heart’s content at any time while free roaming. But nothing in Reprobed! ever soars higher than perfunctory, and any small moments of enjoyment often fade rapidly, either because those sections are so short or because boredom quickly settles back in. It’s hard to put my finger on why, but Reprobed! is just so dull.

There are sections of silence that bookend the dialogue or cutscenes, or awkward transitions between cutscenes where you see Crypto in the game world for a split-second, as if you are back in control, before you are then jolted into the next cutscene.

All of that being said, there is some mindless fun to be had, even if only in small doses. Thankfully, the game looks pretty good and plays fairly well. None of the gripes I have stem from the controls; I don’t remember how responsive they were when I played the original Destroy All Humans 2 back in 2006, but in my time with Reprobed!, I never felt like I was fighting with the game to get it to do what I wanted. 

Destroy All Humans 2: Reprobed!

So then, why are you getting the feeling that this review is only going to get worse from here? Well, clever reader, that’s because Destroy All Humans 2 Reprobed! is, as I mentioned earlier, incredibly boring, with little to no actual humor or any attempt to update the moldy jokes or references that were already dated back in 2006. And in some cases, some of the dialogue or general design choices, when viewed through the lens of 2022, are questionable and even problematic.

But before we unpack all that, I should mention that I did run into a slew of technical issues, like characters floating in the air for no reason, rampant texture pop-in, missing audio, or going into cutscenes while standing on the ground only to come out of the cutscene atop a nearby building. And speaking of buildings, random ones would just be on fire for no apparent reason, only to suddenly not be on fire, as if someone had flipped the extinguish switch. Thankfully I didn’t experience any crashes, which more than likely would’ve led me to Destroy All PS5s (or at least mine) in a fit of rage. However, most of these issues will hopefully, easily be addressed in a patch.

So then, the first issue I’d like to touch on is one of the more questionable updates Reprobed saw fit to include: the new character model for Natalya Nikolaevna Ivanova, the female Russian spy who helps Crypto along his journey and also serves as his potential love interest. In the original game, she was still quite buxomly and curvaceous (for 2006 video-game standards, I suppose), clad in what I assume (for the time) was supposed to be a leather jumpsuit that did show off a modicum of cleavage. However, in Reprobed!, her cleavage has been ratcheted up to maximum boobage levels here — with jiggle technology, no less! I swear, the poor dear is one inhalation away from a disastrous wardrobe malfunction.

Destroy All Humans 2: Reprobed!

Considering almost every other character in the game resembles something straight out of Genesis’ “Land of Confusion” music video, I’m not sure why it was necessary to devote time and resources to upping Natalya’s fap factor (or “faptor,” if you will). 

And speaking of choices over sexual content, there is one monumentally cringey joke that rears its ugly little head during a mission in the fake Britain map, Albion. While talking to a British spy named Reginald Ponsonby-Smythe, who appears to be a mash-up of George Lazenby and Roger Moore filtered through the lens of ClayFighter, with a dash of Stephanie Sterling’s old dandy fop character, there is a line of dialogue that leads to some confusion between the Brit and Crypto. I don’t recall the line leading up to it (mostly because I was half asleep during most of this game’s cutscenes), but my cringe-o-meter went off when I heard this little pearl: “If she says she’s 18, you can’t call her a liar.”

This is pretty troublesome at best. I mean, even back in 2006, you’d think that someone involved in this game’s development would have at least questioned that little nugget, especially in a game intended for teens and young adults. And perhaps they did but were overruled. But surely in 2022, someone should have had the wherewithal to flag that as highly inappropriate. And yet, here it remains. I can only assume the entire script — and probably also the voice recordings from the original game — was simply plugged into this remake with no regard for scrubbing to see if any of it was overtly outdated or questionable.

Destroy All Humans 2: Reprobed!

Oh, and remember when I mentioned unintentional moments of light racism? Well, there was an early mission where I needed to infiltrate a hippy faction in order to discover where this mind-controlling soft drink was being manufactured. In order to do so, I needed to take over the body of a hippy to extract some intel. I grabbed the first NPC I saw, which happened to be a white biker-type dude. And just for a little context, Crypto has the habit, being a superior alien lifeform and all, of calling humans monkeys, really leaning into that tired evolution trope. So when, dressed as a white biker, you hear Crypto talk about killing all the monkeys, it takes on an inadvertent racial undertone that I’m sure wasn’t intended by the developer. It probably also felt less problematic in 2006, when this script was written and presumably this dialogue was recorded. But in 2022, it just comes off as tone deaf. It seems to me that, given the likelihood that someone playing this mission would end up disguised as a white character (although one could hypothetically choose a black avatar), maybe should’ve been addressed during development.

Again, maybe that’s just a personal thing, but I would be surprised if I was the only one that has this reaction.

So look, at the end of the day, I’m not sure who this game is for. It has its moments of enjoyment, which, depending on a person’s tastes, might carry more weight than they did for me. And who knows? There might even be folks who are enthralled by Reprobed!’s story. But unless you are a diehard Destroy All Humans fan — or if this gets added to Game Pass or PlayStation Plus down the line — I don’t see Destroy All Humans 2: Reprobed! as anything more than a quick trip down nostalgia lane, or a passing afternoon’s worth of mindless fun quickly forgotten.

Destroy All Humans 2: Reprobed!

Destroy All Humans 2: Reprobed! is a glass half full of Rolling Rock. It was fine when you were younger and didn’t know better, but today it doesn’t hold up to the myriad of other Lagers of finer quality.

Disclaimer: I was given a review code for Destroy All Humans 2: Reprobed! on PS5, but the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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