The first Destroy All Humans remake was an unexpected but faithful translation of that cult game. An endearing yet average title from 2005 can only be enhanced so much, but Black Forest Games did modernize enough to justify its existence. Destroy All Humans 2 – Reprobed is similarly bizarre since it is unusual to remake a game and its sequel a few years later. Even though it is also a better rendition of the original experience with its share of explosive, alien-driven antics, it’s also less impressive because of the prior remake in addition to being poorly balanced.
Reprobed could almost be mistaken as an expansion to the 2020 remake since it looks nearly identical and has just about all the same mechanics and its contemporary control scheme. Guns have more upgrades, added functionality, and a few of them have even been completely overhauled. The Dislocator is one such example, as it no longer purely uses physics to slowly propel objects around and now bounces its targets around more violently. The saucer is still faster than it was in the originals, with welcome defensive options and the ability to more accurately aim its weapons.
The array of mental powers is also almost identical to the last game in that they have all been comfortably crammed onto the controller. Psychokinesis is the most obvious example of this improvement, as it lets players easily fling almost anything or hold it in place through the intuitive use of a single button. Its power has also been heavily increased over the original Destroy All Humans 2 and even the last remake. It’s now possible to effortlessly blast something off into the skyline instead of just down the street. They also impressively don’t fade away during their flight, meaning it’s possible and quite satisfying to see the target explode on the ground a mile away.
Crypto has also retained the agility he gained in 2020. The jetpack matches the utility of the last remake and still gives players easy access to rooftops and the ability to more easily attack from the sky. Dodging is another borrowed tool that is clearly outmatched by the S.K.A.T.E. system that lets Crypto glide across the ground with hoverboots. The mobility they offer is staggering, as they cut down on a lot of the slowly plodding movement of the original and make combat more kinetic. Again, almost all of these options were in the last remake, but it’s remarkable how Black Forest was able to modernize Destroy All Humans 2’s dated systems.
However, it is also unremarkable because of how familiar it is. It’s still smooth and there’s a value to brainlessly blasting hapless humans with an arsenal of overpowered weapons, but the first remake was already a sufficient helping of this style of game. Another serving would risk exposing how repetitive and ancient its blueprint is, which is exactly what Reprobed has done. The novelty of playing an old title with new controls only lasts for one game.
The mission design is where the game shows its age the most because they are often dull and even worse in this remake. So many of the objectives aren’t actually about causing mass destruction — betraying one of the few words in its title — and are often about just getting to a place, pressing a button, or completing a simple task.
Skating around may liven up combat and traversal, but it also lets Crypto move faster than he ever could. And since this game is built on the foundation of the original, there aren’t enemies or checks on that newfound speed, meaning it’s almost always possible to blaze right past every foe and finish the mission. There’s rarely a reason to stop and shoot the hordes of fodder that pour in since they’re not always related to the goal; they’re just meant to apply pressure that’s easily avoided by zooming away.
The hoverboots also don’t consume fuel, so there’s no reason to stop. Psychokinesis is not tied to a resource, either, which is also broken because of how it can kill almost everything with one toss. Reprobed is incredibly easy even on the harder settings because of how effortlessly its many new mechanics can be abused and demonstrates why games usually put limits on such powers. Fulfilling an extraterrestrial power fantasy of wreaking havoc is part of the allure of the series, but it’s too easy to optimize the fun out of that destructive exercise and turn it into a mind-numbing process that rarely pushes back.
Its audio and visuals are similarly conflicted. Although most of the male human character models are disproportionate, grotesque trolls, Black Forest has updated the game’s environments and filled them out in ways that better realize the overall tone. More vivid color palettes and additional buildings give more life to the barren worlds from the original, a staggering difference that is truly demonstrated when the two are compared side by side. The team even redesigned some areas to great effect, with the most notable examples being Bay City’s new Golden Gate Bridge that somehow wasn’t there before and the completely reworked Blisk base on the moon that is now more elaborate and alien.
Black Forest has also touched up the cutscenes and conversations by adding new animations and camera angles that weren’t there before, splicing in more personality to what were previously stale dialogue scenes (many of which still drone on for too long). Some are more subtle like new gestures that more accurately match the line while others are more elaborate like Pox putting up holograms around Apollo 11 as it lands on the moon to fool the astronauts inside. However, while the added scenes are more visually interesting, they usually don’t have new sound effects and are jarringly silent.
Constant pop-in and distracting screen tearing during conversations are one thing, but reusing the same audio from the 2006 original is a poor limitation because of how tacky the writing is. The occasional well-delivered joke is overshadowed by Crypto’s repeated mentions of his new genitals and general sleaziness. He incessantly hits on Natalya, his busty Russian accomplice, by condescendingly calling her “dollface” while repeatedly dropping insufferably cringeworthy pick-up lines with the swagger of a long-divorced creepy uncle. It’s unbearable and demonstrates how the game recites the same eye-rolling jokes over and over.
The audio isn’t muffled like the last it was in the remake, but it’s old-fashioned in other ways, particularly with its accents. While the Russian characters traffic in the same tired and boring stereotypes, many of the Japanese ones are extremely questionable and surprising to hear in a modern game. These dubious examples have non-Japanese actors putting on thick, offensive accents that should have been rerecorded to better fit the times. The game is seemingly aware of this, calling it a “Hollywood accent filter,” which is a feckless way to deflect how bad they actually sound.
2006’s Destroy All Humans 2 was a clear and substantial upgrade upon the franchise’s debut. It was smoother, prettier, and had a whole host of improvements that almost completely nullified the original. But that’s not necessarily the case here.
Destroy All Humans 2 – Reprobed is better than the first remake on paper, but Reprobed’s advancements are severely diminished because of its repetitive nature. Its streamlined mechanics mean controlling Crypto mindlessly fulfills the power fantasy of destroying a lot of humans, but it’s also nearly the same power fantasy the last game had and isn’t as fresh or challenging this time around. Sequels and remakes can often stand out because of their ability to greatly excel over their predecessors, so it’s unfortunate that Reprobed — a sequel to a remake and a remake itself — doesn’t.
As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 6 equates to “Decent.” It fails to reach its full potential and is a run-of-the-mill experience.