Destroy All Humans! 2

Game Description: Destroy All Humans! 2 is the sequel to the widely acclaimed hit! The irreverent sci-fi action to the Swinging Sixties with new and improved game features, open-world gameplay and co-op multiplayer. Go back to the days of Free Love, the Cold War and other 60's era icons. Use an upgraded arsenal of weapons and enhanced mental abilities to battle a variety of enemies from secret agents and giant creatures, to Soviet Forces and alien warriors. Turn the tables on traditional sci-fi action games by playingthe Alien and taking on the most feared enemy in the galaxy -- mankind.

Destroy All Humans! 2 – Review

Destroy All Humans! 2 Art

In my recent review of Rockstar's Bully, I called the game on the carpet for being a one-off, more-of-the-same experience that neglected to polish the rough spots permeating all of that developer's titles. It's an interesting coincidence then, that my next game up for review would be Pandemic's (DAH2). A textbook sequel in every sense of the word, DAH2 is even guiltier than Bully of hewing closely to a previously-established formula. However, Pandemic has made great strides to polish and improve an effort that was quite enjoyable the first time around, and their work is appreciated.

Starring the same antisocial alien from the first Destroy All Humans!, DAH2 advances the story forward 10 years, leaving the Red Scare '50s behind to examine (and ridicule) the Free Love '60s. It's great timing, actually, since the invading gray Cryptosporidium and his leader Orthopox manage to clone genitalia for themselves at the game's opening.

Destroy All Humans! 2 Screenshot

Although artificially generated nubby bits and their use is riffed on several times throughout the game, DAH2's real draw isn't the hit-or-miss writing, but rather, its open-world "sandbox" style play.

Roughly analogous to something like Grand Theft Auto with flying saucers, Destroy All Humans! 2 provides a focused and polished experience. Employing several different types of weapons at Crypto's disposal both on foot and in his UFO, players are free to follow the story's tasks or to simply explore and demolish things. Locations under attack include a bleak Russian installation, a growing Tokyo look-alike (complete with warring ninja factions), and of course, a hippie-fied segment made to resemble the famous Haight-Ashbury area so prominent in films and media from that era.

To be perfectly frank, the only difference between DAH2 and its predecessor is that all of Crypto's abilities and equipment have been reworked to function painlessly. Crypto can transmogrify inanimate objects to instantly replenish ammunition, his saucer can regain health almost immediately, and the game offers two different abilities which are capable of nullifying large groups of attackers. An even more significant difference is that after being defeated, Crypto is re-cloned without losing any progress while a mission is underway. There are a wealth of other small touches that will probably only be noticed by people who played through the first game (the ability to find hidden items is a great bonus) but the end result is that Destroy All Humans! 2 is much friendlier and less frustrating than the original. In my book, this is an extremely positive thing.

Destroy All Humans! 2 Screenshot

However, despite being a fan of '50s sci-fi and someone who enjoyed the first Destroy All Humans!, I have to admit that I was resistant to sit through a game so similar to the first. It's to the developers' credit that the sheer smoothness of gameplay and re-tuned mechanics made it easy to let myself get beamed back aboard the mothership for another round of anal probing. That said, the level of finesse in its craftsmanship can only take this franchise so far.

I enjoyed tossing tanks into the ocean with telekinesis and leveling city blocks with my destructo-ray, but there's nothing here to win over people who didn't appreciate this formula the first time. Pandemic has done an admirable job of improving something that was better-than-average to begin with, but any future installments should be cautious about making another trip to the same well. Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Disclaimer: This review is based on the Xbox version of the game.

Destroy All Humans! 2 – Consumer Guide

According to ESRB, this game contains: Crude Humor, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, and Violence

Destroy All Humans! 2 Screenshot

Parents should be cautious about letting their children play this game. Despite the "T" rating, incidents of salty language popped up more frequently than I would expect, and the level of sexual innuendo is through the roof. Although things never get extremely graphic, my feeling is that this game is bordering on "M" territory. In terms of violence, players are capable of disintegrating passersby, as well as hitting them with the old anal probe and watching the brains explode out of their heads. It's great fun for people mature enough to appreciate the content, but my gut feeling is that young ones should stay away.

Fans of the first Destroy All Humans! can expect a clone (ha ha) of the first game, with the exception that all the mechanics have been completely re-tuned to be a lot more player-friendly. The difficulty level is also much lower than the first game, and the entire adventure is quite frustration-free. I didn't find the writing as humorous this time around, but there are still some good chuckles to be had, and in general, the game is as smooth as butter. If you liked it the first time, you'll like it this time.

Sandbox gamers who enjoy the open-world set up of something like Grand Theft Auto will likely appreciate this game, though it is definitely on a smaller scale. The story and missions are more focused, the areas are smaller, and there isn't as much content as the genre's current front-runner. These things are not necessarily negative, however, and as someone who can enjoy games that don't devour every ounce of my free time, I felt there was enough to satisfy.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers have the option to turn on subtitles in the game's menu. Although practically all of the dialogue is delivered via voice over, Pandemic did an excellent job of captioning the speech and I had no problems playing the game with the volume turned completely off. A tip of the hat to Pandemic for making sure the audio side of this game was accessible. Thumbs up.