In an age where games are increasingly serious in tone, it’s quite a breath of fresh air to play a foul-mouthed alien who can throw people a mile into the air and probe enemies to death. Destroy All Humans 2 Reprobed is a remake of a PS2-era classic that reminded me that not everything needs to be high art – sometimes running around just zapping hippies with a laser blaster in a sardonic 1960’s San Francisco hits just the right spot. The cheesy, lowbrow dialogue, over-the-top voice acting, and wanton destruction are all extremely faithful to the original, and all of that has a very strong junk food charm that’s novel in this day and age.
There’s a simple purity in this absurd and irreverent open-world adventure that had me destroying Alcatraz island using a lethal flying saucer or tracking down the villainous hippie known only as Coyote Bongwater. And while Reprobed’s story was mostly used as a vehicle for crass jokes and setting up ludicrous scenarios for me to run rampant and yank human brains right out of earthling heads for the heck of it, I have to respect how much silliness and entertaining shenanigans is prioritized above all else. That has a unique, shameless allure that jives amazingly well with the derisive tone of this chaotic spoof.
The two locations I explored – Bay City, a colorful, psychedelic satire of San Francisco, and Albion, a Cold War era and mutant-overrun reimagining of London – were every bit as ridiculous as I remembered. As a San Francisco local, nothing puts a smile on my face faster than running around an even zanier version of the city I know and love, and causing complete bedlam. I bounced cars up and down in cartoonish defiance of the laws of physics until they exploded and blew a hippy terrorist’s dirigibles out of the sky with a giant laser beam. It’s completely goofy stuff to be sure, but it’s a kind of turn-my-brain-off fun that can be extremely cathartic and is in short supply these days.
I only got to visit the first two open-world hubs in my preview build, but even in these early stages the tools of destruction available to me did a great job at letting me cause complete mayhem in interesting and creative ways. For example, while in my flying saucer I could beam items up to my ship only to shoot them back out at high velocity a moment later or reverse gravity in a given area for a few seconds before it all came crashing down to destructive effect. On foot, my capacity for causing pandemonium was equally potent, with the likes of a probe gun that leeched brains from my victims or a love-powered raygun that compelled humans to start dancing uncontrollably.
Destroy All Humans 2: Reprobed Preview Screenshots
If there’s anything that harshed my mellow while running amok, it’s that (at least in this early build) all the disarray I wrought often led to bizarre bugs or things breaking randomly. Sometimes mission objectives would break, causing me to load a previous checkpoint, or character voices would become imperceptibly faint for no reason, or some crazy glitches would pop up on screen. That said, what I played was in no way a finished product, so hopefully they’ll iron out some of that wonkiness before its full release.
It’s been a while since I’ve played something as unabashedly silly as Destroy All Humans 2 Reprobed, and so far that’s looking like it will be a very welcome change of pace. I’m looking forward to raining more terror down on the citizens of Earth when it’s launched later this year.