Review – Destroy All Humans! 2 – Reprobed
One of the best things THQ Nordic has been doing over the past few years is their constant revival of older franchises from the PS2 era of gaming, either via hilariously-titled remasters or, in a few cases, straight up remakes. One of the main examples of the latter was Destroy All Humans. The remake of the mid-2000s classic (?) was janky, buggy, and somewhat unpolished, but it was fun. It retained the cathartic gameplay and dark humor from the original game, leaving a lot of room for improvement in case THQ and Black Forest Games decided to remake Destroy All Humans 2 as well. Which they did. And even added a trademark pun to the title, as is tradition nowadays: Reprobed.
Sharing the same engine as its predecessor, as well as its terrible multiplayer-focused spinoff, the remake of Destroy All Humans 2 feels like more of the same, but more polished. First of all, I was surprised to find out that, somehow, this is just available on the PS5 and Xbox Series S/X consoles. It doesn’t feel like a next-gen exclusive in any way, but it’s a vast improvement over the original. The jank is there, but it’s less noticeable, or at the very least, less annoying to deal with.
The game does take some advantage of the better hardware at its disposable to practically eliminate loading times in between missions, ensure an always stable 60 frames a second, reduce the amount of issues involving its combat hit detection (one of my main issues with the remake of the original), and improve its visuals… slightly. It’s much more appealing to look at, that’s for certain, but its characters and animations still look very dated. The humans still look more alien than the aliens themselves. Whether this was an intentional art design choice or just a hindrance caused by a tight budget remains to be seen. For a game that is supposedly next-gen only, it certainly doesn’t look like one.
One of my main issues with the remake of the first Destroy All Humans was the poor quality of its sound design. Even though that game had retained the hilarious voice acting from the original release (including a magnificent role by Invader Zim‘s Richard Steven Horvitz as Orthopox 13), the quality of the audio was subpar at best. It sounded highly compressed, poorly mixed, and rushed.
This might actually be the biggest improvement in the remake of Destroy All Humans 2. Yes, it’s still the same voice acting as before, but it now sounds as if it was released yesterday, and not with a can of peas back in 1974. Every (hilarious) line of dialogue sounds crisp and clear. Hearing Crypto, our adorable protagonist, complain about hippies and Soviets every two seconds, will never not make me smile. There are nods to James Bond as well. The sense of humor is dated for today’s standards, but THQ and Black Forest wanted to retain the feel of the original game for its target demographic (looking at you, Saints Row). There’s some licensed music as well, as well as an option to mute it in case you want to stream the game online.
As for the rest, I just have a small complaint regarding the brevity of the game’s main campaign. Even though it’s more absurdist than the first Destroy All Humans, poking fun at hippies, communists, and everything that was popular in the peak of the Cold War, it doesn’t last for long. Its open world is not very vast as well, although there are multiple areas to visit, as well as many collectibles to look for. I had more fun tackling the campaign and calling it a day. The writing was just too good, and the cathartic gameplay feels unlike anything released in this day and age. Yes, you can still use anal probes on passersby. Wouldn’t be an alien game without them, right?
The remake of Destroy All Humans 2 takes what worked in the previous remake and polishes things up to remove a good chunk, but not all, of the jank that made its predecessor feel a tad bit disappointing at times. It’s still short, and it’s nowhere near as feature-filled as other open world games in the market, but there’s nothing else that looks and feels like this delightfully dumb title out there. A relic from the brilliant PS2 era, without a doubt. Now that the two main games have been remade, I’d love to see what Black Forest Games can do with the franchise without depending on previous titles. Time to see what a full-fledged, brand new Destroy All Humans would look and feel like in this day and age.
It looks sharper than its predecessor and it runs at an infinitely better framerate. With that said, for a game that is supposedly next-gen only, it certainly doesn’t look like one.
It took the core gameplay from the previous remake and polished it up. Better hit detection, better framerate, less bugs, but still janky.
The same voice acting from before (which is a good thing), with a much better soundtrack to top it off, and less compression issues.
Fun Factor: 8.0
The remake of Destroy All Humans 2 is better than the previous remake largely due to a higher level of polish.
Final Verdict: 7.5
Destroy All Humans! 2 – Reprobed is available now on PS5, Xbox Series S/X, and PC.
Reviewed on PS5.
A copy of Destroy All Humans! 2 – Reprobed was provided by the publisher.