Updated: Sep 21
This F.E.A.R. spiritual successor packs a lot of punch
There aren’t too many moments in Trepang2 that allow you to catch your breath. Between elite soldiers, cultists, and even a Mothman, everyone wants you dead. Bullets, grenades, and bile were flying at me from every angle for almost every minute of my time in this game and I have to say that overall, it was an absolute blast.
In Trepang2 you play as Subject 106, someone so bad that they are locked up in a vault inside of a blacksite filled with elite guards. Luck isn’t with the guards though because a mysterious someone has infiltrated the site, unshackled 106, and left the vault door open. As soon as you finish a short section of moving through some vents and the first few squads of guards undetected, Subject 106 finds an H&K Mark23 pistol and some armor. You then quickly discover why they wanted 106 locked up.
Much like the game series F.E.A.R., 106 is given the ability to slow down time, and much like the Crysis series, they are also given the ability to use a cloak and leave the enemy frantically searching to relocate them. This is just the tip of the iceberg because 106 can also slide, jumpkick, take an enemy as a hostage (allowing you to dispatch them or even turn them into a human grenade), or surprisingly just straight up kick an enemy in the face so hard that their head explodes. The small dev team that created this game wanted players to just have a fun time experimenting with all of these moves and create a spectacle of absolute carnage and badassery.
Trepang2 isn’t a walk in the park though. Every mission is filled with enemies pouring out of almost every door, dropping in reinforcements from helicopters, using grenades to keep you from taking cover, flanking, and just doing everything in their power to keep pressure on you at almost all times. The enemy variety is nice too, with having soldiers of different ranks fighting you with increasing amounts of armor and firepower. You aren’t just fighting soldiers either, there is even a section involving some zombie-like enemies who try to puke on you, and cultists in a castle that either try to swarm you with bullets or immolate themselves in front of you in hopes to take you with them. The cultists were a lot of fun to fight, but the zombie enemies I personally could have done without. Boss fights also are included, but they are a bit of a mixed bag. Some of them are fun, but they mostly just boil down to being against bigger baddies with a lot more health and that’s about it.
The arsenal that you can carry is impressive, with the Mk23 pistol, the Kriss Vector SMG, the absolute beast of a weapon SPAS-12 shotgun, the VHS2 assault rifle (which I used probably more than any other weapon next to the SPAS-12), the SL8 DMR sniper rifle, a minigun, bolt launcher, frag and flash grenades, molotovs, throwing knives, and tomahawks. What’s even better about this fantastic array of weapons is that after a few missions into the game, you can find a serum that allows you to use all of the guns akimbo. I never knew how much I needed to be able to dual wield two SPAS-12s in a game until I played this. Add on top of that the ability to find weapon cases hidden within missions that can unlock different attachments like suppressors, compensators, and scopes; or even change the firing type or ammo type on a few weapons. This can change the feel of a battle entirely and it’s wonderful to be given options like this to play with. Guns and grenades also feel like they have a great amount of heft to them and periodically sound speaker-breakingly loud. There were a few times that I am certain my sound bar’s speaker was bottoming out with all the explosions happening all at once.
The missions are broken up into primary and secondary ones, with the primary of course furthering the developing plot, and the secondary just being side objectives like taking out high value targets (elite enemies that show up in certain missions and some only show up on certain difficulties), exploring a crash site, and hacking servers while fighting off hordes of soldiers. My least favorite of these was definitely the hacking ones, not because they were bad, but because of these certain enemies that have equipment on their backs that interfere with the hacking signal, and even reverse its progress, so having to hunt them down in haste while also having to try and avoid more serious threats like some of the juggernaut soldiers (who have insane amounts of armor) that were swarming the area, was a bit of a pain.
Mission locations like the Pandora Institute have a lot of detail put into them, with that one having everything from offices, bars, courtyards, and even a hospital within it. Although the stages are quite linear, the game’s settings and atmosphere feel believable and keep the pace of the action moving at a brisk clip. There is also a bit of a destruction aspect to the combat, with things like concrete pillars and walls taking damage from gunfire and grenades; this is a nice touch because it shows off the aftermath of 106’s battles quite beautifully.
There are some issues though: enemies can have a lot of jerky animations at times when they have passed on from their virtual lives, and they can even get launched far into the air (however this one was quite hilarious), or get stuck in doors, but thankfully the latter issues didn’t seem to happen too often. The AI’s pathfinding can seem to break when it comes to the player occasionally and they just wander off in a different direction or even run right by you. I had one of the high value targets lose me even though I was right behind him, so I gave him a hot lead enema and he didn’t even seem to notice. For the most part the enemies didn’t seem to have issues with this sort of thing, but it is something that I’m hoping can perhaps be fixed in a future update. The next issue is more of a personal gripe, but I do wish that the Focus (the slo mo feature) and Cloak gauges on the HUD stayed on all of the time or at least had an option to do so. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to use Focus only to not have any meter left and I had no idea.
Overall, I have to say that Trepang2 is a really wild and fun albeit short, ride. My playtime for the main campaign missions was a little under four hours, but with the side missions it was around six. Outside of the primary and side missions there is also a combat simulator that can add several hours of playtime. It’s a horde mode with a great selection of maps and I found it to be a fun way to just unwind my day with some pure insanity. On top of that there are several difficulty modes, and the higher ones can unlock things like particular high value targets and even cheats like infinite ammo or health.
All in all, I think people who are fans of high-octane action and fun with a John Woo, John Wick, or F.E.A.R. style to it are going to have a blast with this title.
● Combat feels fantastic and is full of tools for the player to have fun with
● Graphics look clean and environments are full of great atmosphere
● Being able to dual wield SPAS-12s
● Hours and hours of fun to be had between the campaign and horde mode
● Skittles camo
● Enemy bodies can sometimes be a bit janky
● Some boss fights can be a bit bland
● Enemy AI needs some tweaking in places
Reviewer played on PC.
Trepang2 is available now on Steam and GOG.