What is it about Trepang2 that is so familiar? Ah, yes… the Steam Next Fest. The opening mission, an escape from a secure location, is exactly the same as the demo that Trepang Studios And Team17 released before, and though the map was somewhat bloated, the urgency made it fun.
Now, what’s it all about? Ah, but that’s for you to find out, me ol’ mucker, as the campaign will reveal some home truths about you. “I don’t need no stinkin’ story tellin’ me who I am and who I’m not”. Yeah, but when you’re a black ops soldier with super abilities and a sketchy memory, you best follow the narrative.
Don’t worry TikTok generation – you don’t need to pay too much attention to this yarn (though it is fun), as you’ll mostly be doing a Neo/Max Payne around all the bullets, blasting through scenery Red Faction style or kicking the crap out of grunts. Trepang2 is what your mate down the pub would call a double-hard bastard.
Trepang2 Review (PC)
Trepang2 is so hard that for an FPS veteran such as me (I was at the gates of Castle Wolfenstein back in the day, don’t you know), I had to tone down the difficulty level. You go ahead and shame, I don’t care – it’s super hard but great fun, nevertheless.
After you’ve escaped a labyrinth of corridors and monitors without one energy-saver plan in effect, the motley crew that kind of rescues you, takes you to a hidden lair that acts as a hub between missions. It wasn’t entirely clear what to do here other than customise agent(?) 106 or participate in a combat sim.
After a 20-wave onslaught, I came out of that sim battle-hardened and pleased to see a waypoint had been laid for an actual mission. As good as the combat sim was, I wanted to be on the front line, and despite being a customisation whore, the options for kitting out your amnesiac hero were a bit pointless.
On A Mission
A world map will give options to run through a campaign or side mission – not in any particular order, but when you complete one, a new challenge awaits. The first mission was a bit bland on the ‘unique’ front, but satisfying nevertheless. Then, imagine my surprise when I reach a lab-type location, and it all goes Resident Evil. Kinda.
Without spoiling it, Trepang2 ups the ante with some fun enemies and a cool action story to boot. A couple of missions later, I was in Yorkshire, almost reliving the PS3’s classic FPS Resistance: Fall of Man, but fighting those twerps from Eyes Wide Shut. It was ace.
Remember how I said Trepang2 was hard, though? This isn’t one of those games where you can sail through in baby mode and reap the rewards. Play through the harder, more extreme difficulties, and you can unlock better weapons and more elusive targets to hunt down. Even better? You can unlock old-school cheats like big head mode and whatnot. These guys have thought of everything!
In and Out
While this wasn’t on par with something like Chernobylite for the story and voice acting, it won on the action. You know how to move around in an FPS by now, so what’s so different here? Exploration uncovers weapon parts that allow you to customise a gun mid-level, but 106 has two abilities from the get-go.
The first is the focus, which is arguably the Max Payne mechanic, but without throwing yourself across the floor like a goalie, putting your pelvis out. I seldom used this, which was weird, other than for focusing firepower on a boss without shooting around them, wasting bullets.
Our second skill is going invisible, which is marvellous for readjusting when the odds aren’t in your favour. These skills work great, but nothing is better than unlocking the dual wield option and having a shotgun in each hand. This makes the BFG look like a feather duster.
My issues? Not many. Trepang2’s loading times are embarrassing. Not for the developers but for me. Just as I’m about to get comfortable, the level has already loaded. Gameplay is also super slick at high resolutions on a mid-range PC. My beef has to be the classic FPS issue of not knowing where to go. There are no toggles for objectives, and far too many times, wandering around without a waypoint. But that’s about it. I won’t moan about the difficulty – that’s part of the lure.
If you haven’t guessed, I really like Trepang2. I do like a good ol’ tale, but as stated, the frantic gameplay makes up for that, and considering the number of difficulty modes, this’ll keep you out of mischief for some time. Seriously though, is this game named after a sea cucumber? Sexy.