Published on October 23rd, 2023 | by Ali Arkani
Bullet time, gore, action!
Summary: Trepang2 is a great mixture of horror and action. It may not be the most original idea of the year, but it certainly packs some of the best aspects of many famous shooter games into a cohesive and unique experience.
A unique experience.
A long time ago when the FPS genre was not yet dominated by the likes of Call of Duty and Overwatch, Monolith Productions released a game called F.E.A.R. In short, the game was a mixture of Max Payne’s bullet-time shooting, DOOM’s gory fast-paced gameplay, and Halo’s astonishing enemy AI. That perfect mixture was lost to the sands of time until 2023 when Trepang Studios resurrected that idea with Trepang2.
Trepang2 follows Subject 106; a special operative aiming to destroy an evil corporation called Horizon that is trying to create the ultimate soldier under the disguise of humanitarian research. As 106 infiltrates Horizon compounds, more sinister secrets are unveiled. Though a high-octane, gory FPS is not expected to have a great story, Trepang2 manages to keep the audience invested in its story with a nice balance between introducing questions and answering them in every mission.
As explained at the very beginning of the review, Trepang2 is meant to be fast and action-packed. The game is mostly focused on dealing with groups of enemies using ranged weapons, but there are strategic options available as well. Stealthily approaching an enemy from behind or using the invisibility ability which is available early on in the game allows you to hold them as a human shield. In this position, you can pull the pin off the enemy’s grenade and throw them toward their comrades, just kill them without notifying others or keep using them as a bullet sponge. Sliding toward enemies also throws them off balance and lets the player grab them, Thus, the game allows experimenting with different combat scenarios.
The other most prominent feature of the game is the use of bullet time. The combat in the game lies heavily on this feature since it provides breathing space and more accuracy to the player. There are different classes of weapons in the game such as handguns, SMG, Sniper rifles, shotguns, assault rifles, and miniguns. Each class tries to favor a specific play style or fit the layout of a specific level. For example, sniper rifle is the best option in big open areas of the game where players need to engage enemies from afar and shotguns are the ultimate weapon for confrontations in offices or other confined spaces.
While weapon design and level design work hand in hand in Trepang2, unfortunately, there is only a single model of weapon in each class. Thus, if the weapon in the class is not your cup of tea, you just have to drop it. That is the issue I had with the assault rifle in the game since it really lacked accuracy and damage while the SMG class was at least more accurate and much more efficient in dealing with groups of enemies. The good thing is that the weapons can be customized with attachments. You can add silencers for a stealthier approach or use scopes for more accuracy. Weapons could be dual-wielded as well in case the player prefers ultimate carnage.
The other great aspect of Trepang2’s combat is the AI. Unlike most games, enemy soldiers in Trepang2 are not dumb moving targets waiting to be shot. They try to flank you from different directions, if you spend too much time behind a cover, they flash you out with grenades and when you try to close in on them, they immediately move away and try to run. The way the enemy units spread out and surround the player in every scenario is something rarely seen in modern FPS titles.
There are two types of missions in Trepang2: story missions and side missions. Players can choose a mission from their HQ and be transported to the location with a chopper. The variety of missions is quite impressive; especially when it comes to side missions. Different types of side missions involve defending a specific target from a wave of enemies or clearing out a location. Attachments for weapons are mostly found in side missions and that is another motivation to get through at least a few of them.
Trepang2 is a great mixture of horror and action. It may not be the most original idea of the year, but it certainly packs some of the best aspects of many famous shooter games into a cohesive and unique experience.