Welcome to the Team Operative 106
First-person shooters today are either Call of Duty-like or games inspired by the classics like Doom and Quake. That is why it’s always refreshing when a game attempts to break this trend. Trepang2 is one such game that breaks from the trends as it’s a shooter that is more like F.E.A.R. First Encounter Assault Recon.
Trepang2 is a fast-paced shooter that was clearly influenced by the many fast-paced and experimental shooters. At the same time, it stands out with its own identity and defining experience. From its setting to the characters and gameplay, it hits all the right marks when it comes to being an intense first-person shooter.
Shooters Back in the Day
To understand and appreciate Trepang2 requires one to have a solid understanding of shooters from the mid 2000s to the early 2010s. This was a time when developers were taking risks and experimenting with all kinds of concepts. This era saw titles like Breakdown, the first Far Cry (along with its different variations), and Singularity just to name a few. F.E.A.R. First Encounter Assault Recon is an obvious source of inspiration from its gameplay to the atmosphere and overall setting. That said, one also can’t overlook the other games that also had an influence or defined this era.
Hello Prisoner 106
The story revolves around 106, a super soldier who has no recollection of their identity or the process that transformed them. After escaping from the clutches of the sinister Horizon Corporation, they are quickly recruited by Task Force 27. They are tasked with either infiltrating or leading a strike team to Horizon’s many bases of operation with the goal of shutting down their horrific experiments. At the same time, they must also work to learn the truth about who they are.
Drawing clear inspiration from F.E.A.R. First Encounter Assault Recon, the game embraces its roots openly and transparently, proudly acknowledging the influence it has had on its story, setting, and characters. The developers make no attempt to conceal this fact as they intentionally emphasize it, desiring players to recognize the connection. Trepang2 is obvious with its inspiration, it also makes the effort to be its own game. The end result is an action-packed experience that is also rich with horror and science fiction elements.
Planning the Next Mission
Trepang2 is a first-person shooter with some minor tweaks that make it unique. Gameplay mechanics are the standard you see in most shooters. You can carry two weapons, you shoot your enemies while also adding attachments to give you an edge. Being a super soldier, players could also slow down time or turn invisible (for a limited time). This being a shooter, players will blast waves of mercenaries, mutants, and other horrors that are encountered. At the same time, the combat is satisfyingly gory and you could really appreciate it when slowing down time.
At the Task Force 27 base, players can select their mission and prepare for it or practice this in the simulation. There is the main mission that progresses the story along with side missions that allows you to unlock weapons and attachment. The simulation allows you to practice or just put your skills to the test. Basically what happens at the base either preps you for what is coming while also adding to the overall replay value.
While the game is more fun when you are slaughtering the enemy, players are also encouraged to take a stealth approach. The ability to either go guns blazing or using stealth tactics is balanced, allowing players to have an option. Being invisible does have its advantages but one needs to be tactical about it. Silenced weapons also allow one to sneak around if they want to avoid combat.
But let’s be honest, it’s more fun to go in guns blazing than trying to sneak around.
Horror Around the Corner
Trepang2 draws a lot of inspiration from F.E.A.R. First Encounter Assault Recon and with it comes some of its issues. Key among them is how the horror moments are undermined by the fact the player is a walking personification of death.
At first glance, the game successfully incorporates horror elements that present moments that evoke fear. However, there is a crucial factor that alters this dynamic: the player’s are not in the role of an ordinary person. Instead, they assume the role of a super soldier possessing extraordinary abilities, capable of effortlessly decimating hordes of creatures and fearlessly confronting grotesque abominations. Basically; you’re not trapped in a room with mutants, it’s the mutants that are trapped in a room with you.
Get to the Extraction
A game like Trepang2 is a reminder of an era when developers and studios would take risks. These works would experiment with different gameplay mechanics or stories to bring a unique experience. Sometimes those risks are worth it because the end result is a work that is unforgettable.
Trepang2 is a satisfying fast-paced and over-the-top shooter that is also a reminder of an era defined by innovation. It’s an experience anyone can easily get into and will be mesmerized by the intense action. If you enjoyed classics like F.E.A.R. First Encounter Assault Recon then you will want to play Trepang2.
Disclaimer: Team 17 provided the game used for this review.
This review is the critique and thoughts of one writer. If you want to see how other critics felt then check it out on OpenCritic.
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- Easy to learn gameplay setup.
- Combat that is fast-paced and over the top.
- Players have a balanced choice to go guns blazing or use stealth tactics.
- The perfect homage to shooters from the mid-2000s to early 2010s.
- Horror moments are undermined by the fact you are a walking personification of death.