When Destroy All Humans! was released last year, it was applauded for its brilliant sense of humour and fun missions, but eventually the gameplay became extremely repetitive and while the script kept things entertaining, my enjoyment became dulled as time went on. Destroy All Humans! 2 tries to make things a bit longer lasting, both in the game's length and its enjoyment, but ultimately the same problems that cropped up in the original rear their ugly heads once more. This leads DAH! 2 to be an improvement on the original, but still not as good as it could be.
The original DAH! took place in 1950's America, lampooning and parodying the B-Movies of the era. Fast forward ten years and we find that Cryptosporidium-137 from the original game died during his exploits, replaced by his clone Cryptosporidium-138 (the purpose of the first game was for Crypto to harvest DNA from humans in order for the cloning process to work properly). However, Crypto-138 has one advantage over his deceased "brother"... genitals. Genitals he's currently enjoying the use of while he abuses his power as the president of the USA.
Unfortunately, the Russians know about this alien impostor and have decided to take the Cold War directly to Crypto and his commander, Orthopox-13 (again voiced by Richard Horvitz, voice of Invader Zim). The KGB destroy Orthopox and his space station, but not before the Furon scientist downloads his brain into a holographic projector and delivers himself to Crypto. From here Crypto must once again fight to conquer the world from those who would oppose him.
As with the first game, Destroy All Humans! 2 decides to take the mickey out of the period it's set in, so in this case it's the swinging 60s. Hippies roam the streets, giving Crypto ample targets for annihilation, 60's rock music fills the soundtrack, along with a wealth of pop culture references and in-jokes. The script is as comical, ludicrous, and enjoyable as the first game. However, again like the first game, some jokes fall flat, but there are more than enough to keep you giggling for hours.
'One thing the first game got right was Crypto's weapons and psychic abilities, and they are great here too.'
The initial structure is largely the same as in last year's game. Crypto is plonked in a sandbox environment which he must traverse in order to complete missions handed to him by various NPCs - my favourite being 'The Freak', a hippy pot dealer and informant. While the missions are fun, they usually boil down to going to a certain area, shooting a lot of people, and then either collecting a specific item or eliminating a certain enemy. The only real difference is that you now longer return to your spaceship for new missions, but this makes little difference to how the game plays.
One thing the first game got right was Crypto's weapons and psychic abilities, and they are great here too. Most of the weapons and abilities from Crypto's first outing return - the Electro-zapper, telekinesis, the always fun "Anal Probe", and mind reading capabilities to name a few - but they are now joined by a few new additions. These include the Furon disc thrower weapon, which picks up any object, be it a car or person, and hurtles them round the area until they are destroyed, and the new body snatching method for taking control of humans.
But the simplest, and most fun to use, is Crypto's new "free love" ability. When Crypto is spotted out of his disguise, his alert level rises, and one of the solutions to this problem is using this ability. When used, it causes all the people in your immediate vicinity to start dancing wildly, giving you ample time to escape to a new area. Time and time again this ability saved my bacon when escaping from the military. Further more, all of Crypto's weapons are upgradeable by collecting weapons pods.
In the case of his psychic abilities, you can use Crypto's saucer to abduct members of the unsuspecting public and then use their DNA to enhance his powers. While a fun feature, it can get a little annoying as each upgrade requires you to capture a specific number and type of human, meaning you'll be searching levels high and low for those five police officers needed to upgrade your mind-control abilities, which can be a chore in the rather slow saucer. Still, while you're up there you can at least torch people and buildings with its weapons, which are also upgradeable.
All in all though, the game doesn't change the formula much from the original, the graphics are marginally improved, and the mission structures and types are pretty much identical. Still, a little variety is attempted in the levels, ranging from the hippy capital of America, Bay City, to the London look-a-like area of Albion. But when you're in these new areas the missions rarely deviate too much. There's also support for some fun two-player co-op play, but it's not enough to change the way you'll think about the game.
Destroy All Humans! 2 is an improvement over the original, but these improvements are marginal, and it still has a lot of the same issues that occurred in the first game. An enjoyable script and weapons will keep you playing until the game's climax, but don't expect to be blown away by the experience. Destroy All Humans! is a series that has huge potential, and hopefully the inevitable next-gen outing will finally do it justice.