|System: PS2, X||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Pandemic||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: THQ||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct 2006||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1 - 2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|Review by Mike||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Mike Chasselwaite
Destroy all Humans 2 is a sequel. Ill give you one guess as to the name of the game that its a sequel to. As far as sequels go, this isnt so much a great continuation of the series as it is a refinement. The original game showed lots of potential but a lot of it was unrealized due to lackluster missions that dragged on too long and all of that damn collecting. In Destroy all Humans 2 we see a franchise that has hit its stride and is spewing potential like a drunk on a Tilt-a-Whirl.
Crypto, the raunchy alien is back and badder than ever. Hes full of piss and vinegar with a bad attitude, bad manners and a naughty vocabulary. He may be an alien but hes more human than most people I know. In this game he has many objectives but his main goal is to retrieve alien items that were scattered all over the town when the mothership was destroyed by KGB agents. Taking place in the late 60s, as opposed to the 50s time period of the last game, Crypto will encounter hippies of the love generation while he finds himself immersed the culture, language and music of those psychedelic days. This retro vibe gives Austin Powers a run for his bread, man.
The main story has a lot more variety to it not only in terms of plot twists but gameplay, yet its more focused than the original. There is less collecting and stealth, and what does pass for stealth is short and sweet. Everything has a purpose which is reinforced by the conversations that Crypto has with other characters before each mission or side quest. The side quests are far more involved and relate to the central story. There are much more than just mini-games. Side quests are a source of currency called Furotech cells. There is a finite amount of these cells in each level which means you cant go back into the same side quest to keep generating points. These Furotech cells, along with alien artifacts can be collected to unlock an assortment of goodies as well as upgrades for some of the precious alien-tech weapons.
The Dislocator is a weapon that shoots out a disk that really shakes things up. It picks up people and objects and spins them around at tremendous speeds. One particular weapon of mass destruction is the Meteor Strike which attracts meteors from space and brings them crashing down to specific regions on Earth. Upgrade this weapon and youll really be able to rain on everybodys parade. If youre looking for something a little more portable, you can ride around in your flying saucer and man the turrets like a heavily armed battleship.
Mission include collecting humans for the brain farm, escort, explore, and seek and destroy in addition to some more bizarre fare such as demonstrating your superior alien abilities to make the hippies join a cult believing that you are god. Other than weapons you will have inherent alien abilities at your disposal such as being able to take possession of a persons body to disguise yourself when talking to another human. You can also read peoples minds or use your own to move objects with your telekinetic powers and turn junk into ammunition. Youll even be able to fly around using a jet-pack. Theres always something calling for you to use one of your talents which leads to a good mix of gameplay elements. There is still a lot of humans to destroy but its not the sole focus of the game.
A friend can join in the fun at any time during the game to take part in the split-screen, co-op mode. With your new alien bud, you can deliver twice the destruction, not that you really need another helping hand. You are basically in control most of the time until its time to face the bosses. There are also some heavily fortified areas that will provide a platform-style challenge. This is all made easy by the fact that you respawn almost at the same place that you die with all ammo and health replenished. The only downside to the co-op mode is that you are electronically tethered to each other even though its a split screen. If you venture too far from the main character you will automatically be teleported back to his vicinity. I suppose you could also say that this tether feature encourages teamwork, if you must be optimistic.
Taking place in the 60s, the colors are vibrant if not psychedelic. Graphically the game is good but not great. Admittedly the town is huge and there is lots of detail but there is constant fog that limits the view distance, sometimes to only a few feet. Pop-up is prevalent. But all is forgiven with the excellent gameplay and jarring humor that reminds us that not all comedy has to be aimed at 12-year olds and old ladies in Peoria. There is plenty of sophisticated lampooning going on. With the game even making fun of itself nothing is safe from being spoofed.
If you own a PS2 or an Xbox, thats more than enough reason to get hold of this game. Its #$%&ing out of this world.
CCC Freelance Writer
The only game that promises to be a complete pain in the @ss... by Patrick Evans
July 24, 2006 - I keep telling the guys here at the office that there really isn't a better way to start your day than with a planetary invasion full of anal probing and laser blasting. Chasing hippies and local police down as they flee for their lives elicits gamer instincts equivalent to that of a lion chasing a gazelle. If you are like me, then you will love to hear that the human blast-fest that is Destroy All Humans! is coming back, this time with more weapons and gameplay.
Just as in the first, players will assume the role of extraterrestrial Cryptospordium-137 sent to Earth to extract DNA. This time, instead of only terrorizing the poor citizens of the U.S., this Furon will take his galactic conquest to other countries as well. Law enforcement and civilians should watch out in Russia, Great Britain, and Japan as the alien invasion promises to be a furious one.
Not only was the list of targets expanded, but the list of weapons for which to conquer said targets has expanded as well. One of the early favorites of the new weapons has to be the Meteor Strike. Calling a ginourmous chunk of rock from above, Crypto can, and will, devastate just about anything with his extraterrestrial artillery strike. Players will also be able to use a weapon that sends enemies and objects flying in every which direction like that bouncy glowing ball from Men In Black. You know, the one that caused the New York Blackout? As if that weren't cool enough, kinetic abilities can run on forever, so there doesn't have to be an end to tossing poor, unfortunate hippy women haphazardly about the environment for laughs.
In approaching the gameplay structure this time around, it seems Destroy all Humans is borrowing a page from Pandemics other successful playbook Mercenaries. Each locale that you visit will be set up as an individual open-ended environment, leaving you free to blast and probe whatever you want. Taking the fight to the other environments would see you completing various mission objectives related to the overall plot and unlocking the other countries' open ended environments.
The greatest addition to the overall package may very well be the prospect of two-player cooperative mode. With a friend, players can choose to blast through the entire single-player story mode, probing and tossing cars until the cows come home. While tag-team coop has also been announced for the Mercenaries sequel as well, I would have to think that the prospect of trying to throw two people into one another in mid-air, or worse, non-stop anal probing, certainly has the possibility of hours upon hours of fun.
While the new additions seem like they will be lots of fun, the complaint of longevity against its predecessor may not have been fully addressed here. While the original was great for a while, extended play led to boredom. Hopefully, Pandemic can prove the doubters wrong by providing all the human-zapping action we can handle when Destroy All Humans! 2 releases in October.
CCC Staff Writer