I’ve missed the type of game Trepang2 is. When you want to strip back all the levelling up, looting and upgrading weapons, and deciding which icon to go to on the map next, this shooter is exactly what you need. We’ve become accustomed to the type of experience that throws a lot at your feet, when all you want to do is think about where the next bullet is going. Thankfully, developers Trepang has brought its supernatural stealth-action shooter to consoles, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Back in the mid-2000s, I became obsessed with a similar shooter that Trepang2 shares many similarities with. F.E.A.R. managed to offer up a by the numbers horror FPS with excellent gunplay, and it’s clear this has taken inspiration from it. After breaking out of a prison in spectacular fashion, you’re thrust into a short but sweet campaign that allows you to be creatively violent. Enemies are smart, and will hunt you down while using cover to avoid your attempts to slaughter them.
You’ve got a handful of techniques at your disposal. Bullet time allows you to slow down the action in order to place bullets carefully between the eyes of an enemy soldier, pierce a nearby gas cylinder that destroys the environment and anyone close once it explodes, or dropkick an enemy after jumping off a balcony. Everything can be done at the regular, fast-paced speed, but there’s nothing more satisfying that wiping out five soldiers at a time with upmost precision. Cloaking can also be activated, allowing you to sneak from cover to stealthily take out the enemy.
Using both mechanics together can lead to interesting results. With the AI being as smart as it is, one false move can lead to untold carnage, but by mixing up every technique in the playbook, along with a range of weapons and explosives, you’ve got more than enough to cover the walls in innards. Trepang2 is incredibly gory, and you’ll often see buckets of blood fill the air and paint the floors, with the occasional organ falling at your feet. It’s glorious, and not only does it ooze violence and intestines, it also oozes endless replayability and fun. You can run and slide into soldiers carrying shields to send them flying, make use of the cleverly designed environments for cover, or just face the music and endlessly cycle rooms, dodging fire, and showering an almost endless supply of bullets.
Weapons can be picked up from nearby enemies or crates in certain rooms, along with new parts like suppressors and laser sights. Assault rifles, shotguns, and 9mms are just a few of the weapons, and they’re never in short supply. Sometimes you might run out of ammo, but that’s why managing when and how to attack plays into the strategies you’ll employ in the field. You can sneak up to someone and grab them from behind – kill them if you wish – but what’s really cool is pulling a pin out of their grenade and launching them into anyone nearby. Stealth is always an option, but so is all-out warfare.
The story features supernatural elements, focusing on an evil corporation known as Horizon who have been experimenting on people to create the ultimate super soldier, however (and not surprisingly), it all goes horribly wrong. These monstrosities pop up every now and again, but you almost forget at times this has supernatural elements. Honestly, it doesn’t matter that much because I’m not playing to find out more about the experiments or those responsible. There’s plenty of intel to find and read up on, but Trepang2 is at its best when your waist deep in a gunfight.
Trepang2 is a solid shooter that feels amazing to play. When you’re incorporating the different mechanics, range of weapons and grenades, and smartly designed environments into combat, it’s liberating and constantly enjoyable. The story isn’t likely to grip you, and follows many familiar tropes of the genre, but who cares when you’re drowning in ammo and claret? It’s the perfect palette cleanser for those who want a break from FPS titles that ask too much of you nowadays, instead giving you a stripped back shooter that makes its fluid and varied gameplay the main focus.