Trepang2 is a ballistic, hyper-violent, adrenaline-infused FPS that is heavily inspired by Monolith Productions’ influential 2005 FPS, F.E.A.R. From the visual design, to the spooky shenanigans, to stylish displays of 106’s powers, and the extremely tight gunplay on offer, Trepang2 is, in many ways, the spiritual successor we’ve been waiting for. It’s also one of this year’s best FPS.
It’s the near future – and you know what that means. Things are pretty messed up that’s what. It also means that science has, as predicted, run amok. And guess whose job it is to sort stuff out? That’s right. You. And after being held in a military black site for years, it’s definitely time for some payback. So step into the shoes of “Subject 106”, a super-soldier extraordinaire whose job it is to bring down the corporation that created him. Heavily armed soldiers, other super soldiers, the results of genetic mutations – even worse things are waiting.
Trepang2 bucks the trend of most FPS these days by being a completely single-player game. There are no multiplayer components here as the developers have clearly focused on creating a tight, single-player campaign based on the core mechanics of stealth, brooding horror, and explosive bouts of combat. It’s a balancing act that almost succeeds brilliantly, with only the stealth mechanic feeling like the weakest aspect.
106’s powers include super strength, relative super speed, an invisibility cloak that drains too quickly, and the iconic bullet-time/slow-mo ability that recharges with each enemy killed. It’s the synergy between all of these abilities in combat that makes Trepang2’s combat shine.
You can sneak around if you like, but the game really is at its best when you’re diving into the thick of combat with nary a care in the world. That isn’t to say Trepang2 is easy. Even with 106’s abilities at your disposal, the game throws some tough encounters your way with up to twenty enemies on-screen at once, flanking, tossing grenades, and communicating your position. The enemy A.I. does a great job of putting up a fight and using the environment to their advantage.
But so can you. Trepang2 shines once you’ve figured out that a continuous chain of slow-mo kills will keep your meter full and leave you relatively unscathed amid the carnage. 106 is an absolute beast in combat.
You can cloak to sneak in close, or just to disappear when the action gets too hot. You can jump over ledges and tables while slow-mowing your way through everything or power-sliding under shielded enemies to knock them into the air and pepper them with whatever you have on hand. In slow-mo, your standard kick becomes a devastating Sparta death stomp and, if you’re so inclined, you can use enemies as shields or meat grenades. It’s really thrilling stuff.
Despite the near-future setting, your assortment of weapons isn’t particularly inventive. In fact, they’re rather generic but all viable and meaty in combat – especially once you gain the ability to dual-wield weapons of the same type and make your John Woo dreams come true. The tactical shotgun – kibble-maker, I dub thee – is amazing, but dual-wielded shotguns are godly and there’s almost nothing that can stand against you when packing a pair of these bad boys.
Trepang2 features some incredible body-obliterating combat. Enemies die horribly, often coming apart in bloody chunks that would require you to burn your outfit after wading through them. They can be dismembered – think brains literally blown out – or turned into a chunky crimson mist when hit with a shotgun shell up close. When it comes to violence and gore, Trepang2 earns its mature rating.
As for 106’s powers, slow-mo looks exactly as you’d expect, with time slowing and the visuals distorting around you, allowing you to dodge bullets with their trails visible in the air. The environment disintegrates in combat as grenades detonate in visible, concentric shockwaves, while hundreds of bullets tear pillars apart and reduce fancy offices to rubble. It all happens at a fair clip with no performance issues on the Xbox Series consoles either.
For the most part, the level design keeps the action flowing nearly constantly. It does slow down a bit when the spookier aspects come into play in a bid to create tension, but these moments become fewer as the campaign progresses and the action heats up. Despite F.E.A.R.’s considerable influence, Trepang2 prioritises blood-spattered combat over horror and survival elements.
Wrapping up, Trepang2’s more modern DNA is infused with the best design elements of early 2000s FPS. It’s a retro-styled, cathartic wish-fulfillment experience in which you – like the modern DOOM games – the deadliest thing in the room. It’s F.E.A.R. on steroids and it’s absolutely glorious for fans of the genre.
Trepang2 was reviewed on Xbox Series S|X using a code provided to gameblur by the publisher. It is also available on PC and PS5.
Trepang2 (Xbox Series) ReviewTrepang2 (Xbox Series) Review
- Excellent slow-mo combat
- Shotguns are devastating again
- Solid level design
- Gory as all heck
- Stealth is weak