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Destroy All Humans! 2

Score: 95%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Pandemic Studios
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 2 (Co-op)
Genre: Third Person Shooter/ Action/ Shooter


Graphics & Sound:

With a semi-realistic, yet cartoony presentation, Pandemic's Destroy All Humans! 2 is visually pleasing, but nothing more. The texturing of characters and the worlds won't win any awards, but you can easily get drawn into the game anyway, so this isn't necessarily a hindrance. Besides, the visual effects more than make up for it, with every fiery ray of the explosions happening all around you.

On the audio side of things, DAH!2 has two sub-categories going on. The environmental ambience, including the denizens, which is simply ho-hum, and the actual dialogue that takes place, which can bounce between forgettable to hysterical. Then again, maybe it's the fact that there's such a big difference that makes our anti-hero's one-liners so funny sometimes. Either way, the Jack Nicholson somewhat-sound-alike cracks me up at times, and I'm sure it will you too.


Gameplay:

This sequel certainly isn't pushing the limits of the aging Xbox by any means. But one has to ask, "Does it need to?" I say no, because a game like Destroy All Humans! 2 should be based almost entirely on gameplay, and gameplay it has got. There's something to be said about the effect that Grand Theft Auto has left on the world, good, bad, or otherwise. But one thing remains true, that there are many clones out there for one good reason: the gameplay is great! Destroy All Humans! 2 takes that GTA formula and gives it a slight titty-twister. Cities to wreak havoc on? Check. Multiple cities to do so? Check. Main missions and optional sub-missions? Check. Car-jackings? Errrr... sort of. Instead of ripping unsuspecting victims from their vehicles in a shameless act of thievery, DAH!2 allows you to instead steal the bodies of those hapless citizens. Now isn't that much better? You'll use these pedestrians for much of your bidding, because they will allow you to gain trust from others, instead of scaring the crap out of them. What cracks me up though is that the wise-cracking Crypto (your alien character) may change his exterior, but his voice remains the same, even as an attractive young girl.

The basic premise of Destroy All Humans! 2 is that Crypto is posing as the President of the USA in the swinging '60s, baby, yeah. Unfortunately for he and his alien race, Crypto was more interested in hot chicks than to make peace with the USSR, who has just nuked his mother ship. Now Crypto is out to right his wrongs, and in the process, Destroy All Humans! Crypto has a myriad of weapons and abilities at his disposal, from his Disintegration Gun to the ability of psychokinesis. With this, Crypto can pick up and manipulate almost all objects within the environment, including the humans. He also has the ability to hop into his spaceship and move from one area of the map to another a bit more quickly, as well as use his intergalactic mode of transportation as a weapon of mass destruction. He can even abduct humans for research, increasing Crypto's abilities to quickly inhabit their bodies, as an example.

Also included in your character's abilities is the very important aspect of making the humans forget that you exist. You may think thereís only one method to do so, but vaporizing them isnít the only way to give them amnesia. You can actually lure humans in, and then use your powers to also make them forget what they just saw. But for a group of humans who may have seen your skinny, you can always make them dance to groovy songs. When they wake, they will be clueless once again. And for those of you who prefer multiplayer games, never fear. The cloning of Crypto allows you and a buddy to take on the humans via split-screen.


Difficulty:

When you put it all together, Destroy All Humans! 2 has you controlling Crypto through 5 different environments. The missions range from very simple to sometimes seemingly impossible. However, those difficult missions tend to be of the side variety, which means that they are not required to complete the game. In all, the gameís pace and difficulty have a very nice mix, causing you to possibly replay some missions, but not to the point of being frustrating. In fact, if you play it right, most of the time you will be able to manipulate your surroundings to regain much-needed energy.

Game Mechanics:

Destroy All Humans! 2 has a controller setup that bleeds perfection. This is partially due to the ever-present on-screen icons that act as a cheat sheet while youíre learning the controls. And after you become familiar, itís smooth sailing as each power becomes second nature, almost as if Crypto has taken over your mind.

Overall, I canít recommend Destroy All Humans! 2 enough. The fun and addictive gameplay will keep you going longer than you wanted to play when you first sat down. However, I do feel it appropriate to add that many of the happenings in the game insinuate sexual references (like the "Clean Snatch" that appears after a perfect body-snatching), and there are also a few times when the dialogue has the characters saying a few words that seem a bit too much for a Teen-rated game.


-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

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