Games: Cranky, creepy Crypto: ‘DAH2’ is fun ... if you like anal probes, stealing brains
Between the original “Destroy All Humans” and the sequel, our cranky little friend Cryptosporidium got himself elected president of the U.S. and had some new “equipment” installed. Both are key elements of the game, which finds Crypto up to his neck in Cold War intrigue and up to his new equipment in, well, horniness.
After the Soviets nuke Crypto’s mother ship, he heads to “Bay City” — looking very San Franciscish — to quiz the local hippies. You see, it’s the ‘60s, man, and the KGB has duped a local guru into helping them peddle their mind-altering Revelade to the flower children. It’s all part of the same plot.
Crypto needs to commandeer human bodies and wander around reading people’s minds to get the clues he needs to complete his missions. Most of the game’s humor flows from the comments overheard from passers-by or read from people’s minds. Guess what they’re thinking about most of the time? Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, and more sex. As I said: It’s the ‘60s. And the humans aren’t only ones with dirty minds. Crypto delivers his share of crude comments, often directed at his super-developed human sidekick Natalya.
During most of the game, Crypto sneaks around taking over the bodies of humans and working his way toward the ultimate cause of his mother ship’s destruction. If the cops or military catch on, the fireworks begin. Along the way, almost every alien cliché makes an appearance – from abductions to anal probes.
Crypto eventually heads to England, which is filled with 007 wannabes, kinky-thinking businessmen and more hippies. In Japan, he squares off against competing schools of ninjas and a nasty giant monster. Then, it’s off to a dreary, mysterious Siberia before the final showdown.
Gameplay is basic third-person-shooter. Graphics aren’t anything special — buildings are detailed and varied enough to keep them from getting boring, but an awful lot of the people on the streets look exactly the same. Crypto occasionally walks on air or falls below ground level. However, none of this is a big deal since players get this game for the oddball action and snarky comments, not the pretty pixels.
The action is well-paced on most levels, with primary missions offering a good deal of running and gunning. For example, help a scientist escape from a castle held by ninjas and KGB agents, or blast the heck out of a Soviet town to create a diversion for rogue KGB agent Natalya. However, a few of the side missions seem a bit cruel or gratuitous — i.e., destroying a Japanese salaryman’s beloved car.
Between Crypto’s crude comments to Natalya and the human’s naughty thoughts, the game shapes up to be a little stronger than your typical T-rated fare. In addition, there’s the anal probe, which sends recipients scurrying off, clutching their rear ends, before they collapse and eject their brains out their bottoms. These brains, as well as the people abducted by the flying saucer, are used in gene-blending experiments that yield upgrades for Crypto.
Sure, it’s supposed to be all in ornery fun, but it still feels very creepy.
Platforms: PlayStation 2, Xbox. Rating: T, for ages 13 and older. On the Web:www.destroyallhumansgame.com
Star Trek: Encounters
Can you swagger like Kirk, think like Piccard or be earnest — yet ineffective — like Archer?
Find out with “Star Trek: Encounters,” a new console game that lets you experience space combat depicted on five “Star Trek” series.
Players start off with the earliest Enterprise, which was commanded by Jonathan Archer in “Enterprise.” It’s basically a tutorial level that becomes increasingly demanding.
Players then work their way through the generations to the Voyager, blasting away with phasers and photon torpedoes at all of the foes made famous by 40 years of “Trek.”
The controls are easy to learn, and the gameplay is smooth. The nebulae, planets and other backgrounds are usually quite pretty and the spacecraft are rendered well, though you can’t zoom in to appreciate them during gameplay.
Arcade-style games let one or two players fire away in three different styles of combat as either the Federation or one of its foes. They can be very fun.
Unfortunately, some of the levels in the story mode are frustratingly tedious, making me wonder whether anyone other than a true fan would put up with the constant repetition needed to clear them.
— Brian Bowers