If you missed out on the wacky and randy play of the Destroy All Humans! games back in the early 2000s, their gamemakers want you to know that you needn’t feel, uh, deprived. THQ Nordic has recently released updated and retooled remakes of the originals, this one being the second game in the series called Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed.
Fans of the original PS2 entry can essentially expect a game that’s pretty loyal to the original with a number of new story-expanding locations and missions, a handful of new space-alien weapons and an overall graphic update.
For those who don’t know what to expect, well, Reprobed is something of a wackadoodle comic story about aliens who are attempting to take over Earth. The first game, Destroy All Humans!, centered in on a bulbus-headed alien invasion in the 1950s and this follow-up continues the tale some ten years later in the ‘60s.
Players amble and zap their way through 1969 as a somewhat murderous little red-eyed dude named Crypto (or Crypyospordium 187, if you want to be formal), who sounds much like a bad imitation of actor Jack Nicholson and who can navigate his way in earthly society by slipping into the bodies of weak-minded humans.
In this episode, the soviet KGB has gotten wise to this disguised space invader and destroyed his alien mothership. That missile attack has rained bits and pieces of mothership tech and weapons down on the fictional Bay City, as well as destroying Crypto’s long-running disguise as the President of the United States. And now that he can no longer party with groups of carefree hippie chicks, the little gray protagonist must set out to wreak revenge on the Soviets, resecure his techy dominance of humanity and maybe start up a sex cult—all while killing as many humans as possible along the way.
Despite having a plotline that might seem rather gruesome, Reprobed is designed to be as humorous as possible (though much of the giggling does feel a tad dated these days). To that purpose, the quests are focused on humor, and alien weapons and gadgets granted throughout the story are equal parts destructive and zany.
For example, there is a lightning zapper that makes victims jitter with electricity. A “dislocator” sends anyone it makes contact with bouncing off the walls and floor. Other devices make their human victims dance around or (in true alien form) cause them to be probed against their will and have their heads pop off. And, of course, Crypto is always up for loads of sarcastic commentary in every situation. He can also read people’s minds when he pleases, which generally leads to snarky and sexual reference-filled quips.
Gamers roam through an open-world map and follow up on a wide variety of relatively short story quests. They can also compete in one-on-one battles with friends and play through the game in multiplayer.
Gameplay is relatively easy. And there are some genuinely witty moments.
The fact that this game is T-rated is actually a bit deceptive. The comedy for the most part is pretty crudely focused and on the level of a guffawing teen boy who regularly tosses out quips about genitals, bra-burning, orifices, tantric sex, orgies, orgasms and sex cults.
In that same light, some of the female characters here expose quite a bit of cartoony upper-body flesh. One regularly appearing female Soviet agent is very over-sexualized and the focus of Crypto’s lusty desires. A male character exposes his backside.
The language stays within the above-mentioned T-rated class, but still packs in many uses of “b–ch,” “crap,” “a–,” “h—,” “d–n” and “b–tard,” along with a few crude blasphemes of God’s name. And drug use of various smoking and imbibing kinds is regularly joked about.
Then there’s the violence.
Again, it’s all designed to be somewhat whimsical, but some zapped people are slammed into trees and buildings, victims explode into chunks or are left as pools of bones and muck. Probed humans have their brains harvested and their heads popped. Crypto causes massive destruction—demolishing bridges, buildings and landmarks—with his flying saucer. And the battles with crowds of enemies, huge mutants and Godzilla-like beasts can be intense and frenetic. Some scenes are torture-focused.
In the early 2000’s the Destroy All Humans! games were dubbed crude and sardonic classics. And whether you agree with the “classic” laurel or not, they’re still rocking their coarse and clownish claim-to-fames … only with better graphics.
After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.