If you have ever played F.E.A.R. or Max Payne 3, then you will almost immediately have a feeling of nostalgia stepping into Trepang2. Trepang2 is reminiscent of all of the very best parts of early-2000s shooters. You assume the role of Subject 106, a person with supernatural abilities who has no memory of anything and who needs to escape a research facility. He possesses superhuman strength, can turn invisible at will and can even slow down time and dodge bullets. During the short campaign, you guide Subject 106 through spectacularly-illuminated environments, making use of his abilities to find out what has happened and get to safety. Welcome to our Trepang2 review!
Grab your umbrella – things are about to get bloody!
Ultra-violent games are all well and good but most fall short of greatness as there tends to be little depth to them. Ultra-violent games that tell a decent story, are interesting and which provide players with hours of fun in the process, however, are something very special indeed. Trepang2 falls into this category.
In the first few minutes of the game, Subject 106 has escaped from his cell and is trying to find a way out. You are handcuffed, so can only use stealth at this point, unable to attack. You dodge enemies using shadows and vents to your advantage and slip past them, to eventually get to a security office. Here, you just happen to find keys for your specific pair of handcuffs and also some weapons lying about. After this point, you can continue stealthily or use a weapon and fight your way through the hoards. (Be honest – you know you’re going to fight!)
Short but sweet
Despite being a short game, there are still plenty of levels to work through (one of which happens to also be a Backrooms-style level). They are all different and enjoyable in their own way, adding a nice amount of variety in a short space. There is also a low-violence option, which does what it says on the tin, and even an option to replace blood with confetti!
Both movement and firing guns feel incredibly responsive and precise. At times, the controls feel a little too responsive, but it’s not difficult to adjust. Being able to move with precision is vital in Trepang2 because if you aren’t precise, you will definitely perish. Aiming and firing has been implemented really well. It feels so good to pull that trigger each and every time. You also have the option to toss grenades at enemies, which will explode immediately if they hit an enemy directly. As expected from an ultra-violent game, this results in a spectacular fountain of blood and gore. It is really quite impressive to behold if you ignore the context!
All out melee
Gunfighting aside, the melee mechanics are so much fun to use. Specifically, one of my favourite moves is to run at an enemy, leap into the air and then perform a two-footed dropkick on them. It feels and sounds so good when it connects, that it became my go-to move for a while!
Enemy onslaughts are frequent, with each wave tending to be different and more difficult than the last. However, they only become overwhelming until you remember that you are superhuman and have special abilities! You can turn invisible, which grants you a few precious seconds of sneaking around undetected. But be quick as this lasts for a very short time. If anything, it always feels a little too short and it would have been great if this lasted longer. Invisibility won’t work if the enemies have already spotted you. You can use this time to perhaps step away from the bulk of the enemies and throw a grenade back at them to reduce their numbers.
Nods to the classics
However, the star of the show and the ability that I found myself using the most is a very strong nod to The Matrix and Max Payne 3: slow motion (aka: bullet time). Subject 106 can instantly slow down time, which in turn allows him to dodge bullets and take enemies by surprise. This ability is incredibly fun to use because you are moving in real-time whilst navigating an environment that is moving in slow motion and the result is epic! Running at a slow-moving enemy and then slide-tackling them up into the air before they can react feels amazing.
What feels better still is to then spin around and blast their still-falling body with dozens of bullets, killing them before they even hit the ground. Even better still is that this never gets old. It is one of the most frequent methods that I use if enemy numbers are manageable.
Both abilities have cooldowns attached to them, however they are very short and don’t really impact gameplay at all. The only time it becomes a problem is when you are trying to deal with an onslaught and the only real way to stand a chance is to use bullet time. When it runs out mid-battle, the ten or so seconds that you have to wait are excruciating because you are being barraged from all angles!
Another area that Trepang2 shines in is that of enemy artificial intelligence (AI). Enemies talk to each other and communicate Subject 106’s position, as well as change tactics depending on the current scenario. For example, if you are running at an enemy who is shooting at you, he will stop attacking and run around a corner or down some steps to keep himself safe, before resuming his assault on you. Not only that, but you can literally hear the enemies speaking among themselves, communicating their whereabouts.
Trepang2 follows a linear story, so there isn’t much more to explore once you finish the campaign. However, it does in fact have a secret ending, meaning that you may want to play through Trepang2 at least one more time! There are collectables scattered around the map, which take the form of glowing objects in the environment. These consist of intel in the form of mobile devices such as phones and tablets, and weapon parts which you can use for upgrades at a later point.
Lighting makes the mood
The environments in Trepang2 are basic, but that’s not a bad thing at all. Why? That’s because those basic environments are made to look utterly stunning all thanks to lighting. Lighting is expertly incorporated into each level to create the perfect atmosphere every single time. There are shadows, floodlights, neon lighting and often even the flickering light from several fires which you will have caused. Another cool feature of each level is that they are all destructible environments. It makes the whole experience even more immersive!
Blood drips down the walls and wobbling viscera lays at your feet as you stand in a room full of deceased enemies and their respective body parts. You just single-handedly cleared the room, wiping them out and despite the grim setting, it felt so damned good doing it! Turning your attention to your gun, you will notice something else: blood spatter. There is loads of blood spatter on your gun, which slowly disappears over time. This makes the experience all the more immersive. Factors like these make the game so visually gripping because there is a constant flurry of blood, sparks and often fire all around and when put together it all looks utterly amazing.
The music in Trepang2 is immediately noticeable as it tends to be rather loud heavy metal. Given the setting, the levels of action and the quantity of blood, the music is a perfect fit! It is expertly woven into the action to reflect the current situation and adjusts accordingly without a pause.
Some games do their best to shock you with ludicrous amounts of gore and violence and little else. Despite being an ultra-violent game, Trepang2 doesn’t do this. Yes, it is an ultra-violent game, but in addition to that it also allows you to have an incredible amount of fun whilst inflicting spectacular levels of destruction upon your enemies. There is also a decent story at the heart of it. As you work your way through you begin to learn more about Subject 106 as well as what is going on. The whole experience has been fine-tuned to perfection, with the perfect balance of action, gore and story.
The levels of fun to be had from the very beginning of Trepang2 are astonishingly high. Yet the campaign feels astonishingly short for such a fast-paced game. This is a shame as the developers could have bulked Trepang2 out a lot more to provide a longer experience. It feels like the action has been cut short when you reach the end. Despite this, the short time you do spend with Trepang2 will no doubt be some of the most enjoyable hours that you will have ever spent gaming!
- Perfect soundtrack.
- Great enemy AI.
- Focus Mode / bullet time is amazing to use.
- Excellent level design.
- Destructible environments.
- Great use of lighting to generate atmosphere.
- Short campaign.
- Controls are sometimes slightly too responsive.
Trepang2 is currently available through GeForce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming. This review was made by Mus from PapaBear Gaming. You can check out his channel right here. You can follow him on Twitter by going here. That was it for our Trepang2 review.