Destroy All Humans 2
Review of Destroy All Humans 2
THQ and Pandemic gave the action game genre a nice change with the original Destroy All Humans!, casting players as an alien invading Earth to help save his people from extinction due to "reporduction problems". The open-ended gameplay along with a script that poked some fun to 50's sci fi movies made for a solid game that provided a number of laughs as well. We knew it wouldn't be long before a followup was made and sure enough, we are now presented with Destroy All Humans! 2.
DAH2 takes place in the swinging 60's, 10 years after the events of the original, and free love is all around. Cryptosporidium-138, a clone of the original game's character and member of the alien race known as the Furons, has disguised himself as the US President and spends his time partying with the ladies (and taking advantage of the new-found "assets") instead of tending to matters such as the Cold War. Russian Intelligence has discovered his true identity, destroyed his mothership orbiting the planet and attempts an assassination. His commander, Pox, barely escaped the desruction of the mothership by downloading himself into a hologram and heading to Earth. Time to find out what's going on!
Destroy All Humans 2 Gameplay:
Progress in the game is made by taking on various missions given to you by talking to Pox or certain humans in the game. While the missions themselves are set up in a linear fashion most do not have any sort of time limit so one an do some extra exploring to find items such as Datacores and Furotech cells (used to unlock and enhance weaponry), find and open landing zones for your saucer or just have some fun with the humans or take on the military. One of the problems of the original game was too many stealth missions along with too much mindless shooting with limited weaponry in the story missions. This was somewhat taken care of with the stealth aspect being more or less optional and a bigger variety of weaponry. If you get tired of going it alone a second player can join in to team up on the missions. Only problem here is players must stay somewhat close together- if too much distance comes between them player 2 is warped back to player 1's location.
You are hardly defensless, though, as there is a variety of weaponry and mental powers at your disposal such as the Zap-o-Matic (your basic weapon, shoots arcs of electricity), a Disintegrator Gun, psychokinesis to move objects and the ability to transmogrify inanimate objects into ammo when you run low. Other abilities include Cortex Scans to read minds (which is handy to find out where to go) and the Body Snatch, which allows you to take over a human body and go in the open. This ability is crucial as you must take over certain bodies to talk to other humans to progress. As an example, in the first area a character known as The Freak will only talk to other hippies. You take over the body of a police officer and you'll get nothing. While in a body you'll see a meter slowly run down in the top right corner- eventually this will run out and you will be ejected. You need to be careful about where you do a snatch as well- if you are seen you'll need to quickly make them forget seeing it using "free love" which makes people start dancing and conveniently forget what happened.
Throughout the levels you will also find statues of Arkvoodle of the Sacred Crotch, an ancient Furon god. By appeasing the demands of this god you will unlock landing zones for your saucer. These come in handy for shortcuts to different areas of the levels, which can be somewhat large.
Speaking of the saucer, you have several different weapons and items here. The basic weapon is a Death Ray- the energy is unlimited but needs to recharge between shots. New to the series is the Abducto Beam. This is a tractor beam that can be used to pick up vehicles to move them or drain them of energy to replenish your cloaking device. people can be picked up and stored into the Gene Splicer, accessible when standing under your saucer. By capturing specific combinations of humans you can augment Crypto's abilities. You also access the Pox Mart this way, where you can spend the found Furotech cells on upgrades of all your weaponry, both on foot and for the saucer.
As you may have gathered up top the story is hardly what one would consider a prize winner but there is a good dose of self-depreciating humor there taking potshots at some of the stereotypes of the period. The difficulty level is fairly low in most places but there are a few missions that can be overly difficult because a character you are with can't properly defend themselves. Overall play is short, maybe 8 hours from start to finish. For the amount it lasts, however, it is still a good time.
Destroy All Humans 2 Graphics:
The look of the game hasn't changed much from the original, which is both good and bad. While solid enough there are a couple of niggling bits. Some objects don't necessarily show up until you are almost on top of them such as military vehicles or objects on foot- draw in distance is somewhat limited. Another problem is the lack of specific character models. You'll see maybe 6 different types of humans at times, tops- it seems a bit odd to see 4 people on the sidewalk looking exactly the same. These can probably be chalked up to the limitations of the PS2's ability. It doesn't take away completely but at this point of the system's life I would have thought a bit more could be done.
Destroy All Humans 2 Sound:
Here is where the presentation stands out- the voice work in the game is very well done. Crypto sounds like a constantly-ticked off Jack Nicholson and other characters are done well. The exchanges between Crypto and Pox seem especially good, the actors doing their voices sound like they have clicked nicely. The music is just there with less emphasis on the sci-fi or music particular to the timeline- nothing stands out. Sound effects are mostly good although sometimes you will find small glitches like no explosion after a laser blast or differences in volumes between 2 people talking. It's nothing constant but it happens often enough to take away a bit from the experience.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Destroy All Humans 2' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Lyndon MacLeod © Absolute PlayStation
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