Trepang2 Review

Trepang2 header

If I were to invent a genre name for Trepang2, beyond being a first person shooter, I would call it a FEAR-like. It’s immediately clear that it’s very strongly influenced by that series’ whole schtick. It’s got more slow motion gunplay and supernatural creepiness than you’ll know what to do with, and then it throws in the ability to go invisible for good measure. Why not, right?

Trepang2 begins with you being broken out of a prison, introducing you to the main mechanics of the game as you go. In addition to the aforementioned optical camo cloak, you also happen to be super strong and can slow down time for some delightfully messy gunplay. You’ve also got a few other FEAR staples thrown in as well, such as the spike gun that will pin enemies to walls and the acrobatic jump-kick melee attack.

Your cloaking and bullet time are limited by a meter that fills up quicker as you take out more enemies, so you end up with an incredibly enjoyable loop of beginning a fight, using your slo-mo to take out a bunch of enemies, cloaking to reposition and doing it all again. So long as you’re doing that and keep mobile, you’re not only staying alive, you’re having a vaguely balletic, but very bloody good time. You can grab an enemy from behind to use as a human shield, then pull their grenade’s pin and launch them towards enemies to blow them all up. It’s as gruesome and gory as it is satisfying.

Thankfully all these are mostly faceless goons working for Horizon, the mysterious company that not only kept you prisoner, but has been doing illegal and extremely dangerous experiments on people. These dangerous experiments Horizon have been carrying out are the subject of the missions, with you and your surprisingly expansive team being sent in to basically find out what the experiment is and then most likely blow it up or fight it.

You’ll find most of the exposition on computer screens between firefights and whilst it might not win any awards, I really enjoyed discovering the messed up things Horizon have been doing. They’re creepy and, of course, build up to the boss you’re going to have to face off against at the end of the level. These bosses again, likely won’t win any awards either, but they’re still enjoyable and the added backstory certainly doesn’t hurt.

Your team is a surprising highlight in all of this. They don’t just follow you around, they’ll chatter over the radio to you, send teams in to cover you, or they’ll be slaughtered whilst you watch from behind one of those unbreakable panes of cutscene glass that so many games have – you know the ones. Their grim but determined presence entertained me more than I thought the faceless goons would.

Not everyone is faceless, as you’ll occasionally come across named and much tougher Horizon mercs to fight. These are also a highlight, as they don’t just appear in front of you for a fight and never get mentioned again, they tend to chase you about a bit with their mercs first, with them communicating over the radio before they try to trap you or something before a mini-boss fight. It helps give Horizon a bit more character and adds some stakes to the fights as well.

Between missions you return to base where you can refill your ammo and upgrade your gear. Most of the gear is locked behind completion of a certain level at a certain difficulty, but you’ll get most of them by playing through on normal anyway. Whilst you’re at base you can also take on side missions, which you’ll want to because they’re all quite fun, even if many basically come down to being a horde mode. One of them was incredibly creepy in its own right, though.

You’ll also want to play the side missions because there’s only six or so main missions here, which isn’t a lot – they are quite a bit longer than you might expect and progress through several areas, though. Also helping to fill out the game is a combat simulator, which will happily spawn horde-style combat encounters tailored to your preferences on a variety of maps. There are also a lot of difficulties to replay the main and side missions on and cheats that can be unlocked that let you play around with infinite focus, cloak, and stuff like that.

Graphically speaking the game won’t blow you away, but it looks just good enough for what it is. What that means is that when you’re in slow motion shotgunning people into a red mist whilst your grenade explodes with that cool FEAR-style shockwave around it, you won’t care even a little bit about some blurry textures. It’ll just look amazing. It does continue to channel FEAR here as well though, with a lot of emphasis on moody shadows that leave ominous looking shapes ahead of you to creep you out a bit. It certainly sets the right tone for both reading accounts of eerie experiments and semi-sneakily slaughtering squads of enemies though.

Perhaps the one place the game doesn’t match up to FEAR is the enemy AI. While they’re not completely stupid, they do sometimes stand outside of cover like idiots. This is especially true in the combat simulator.

Trepang2 is a clear love letter to the FEAR games, taking heavy inspiration from that series and mixing in some optical camo and monsters that aren't a scary little girl with an increasingly horrendous backstory. It's not a perfect game and it is a bit short, but once you trigger the slo-mo and start blasting, you won't really care.
  • Well designed gunplay
  • Looks pretty good
  • Difficulties, combat simulator, cheats
  • Creepy stories (in a good way)
  • It is pretty short
  • Enemy AI isn't amazing