Trepang2 review

2023-06-21 by Callum Andrews

  • Reviewed on

  • Platforms


  • Developer
    Trepang Studios

  • Publisher

The best form of flattery

Every now and then, I stumble upon games that leave such a profound impact on me that I can't help but ponder replaying them time and time again. These games may not be hailed as the epitome of gaming excellence, but they possess an intangible allure that lingers in my thoughts for years. One such game that captured my attention and fueled my anticipation was F.E.A.R. Its mere existence was enough to ignite an irresistible urge within me to delve into its world.

I vividly recall the excitement that coursed through me as I witnessed the screenshots and videos, unsure if my trusty device could handle the technological marvel that awaited. But despite any doubts, I was resolute in my decision to acquire the game. And oh boy, did it deliver! Even today, F.E.A.R. remains firmly entrenched in my list of all-time best shooters, widely regarded as a groundbreaking masterpiece in its heyday.

Ironically, though, I still find myself unable to embark on a replay of this extraordinary game. Or do I? Enter Trepang2—a game that may very well be the closest we've ever come to experiencing a spiritual successor to F.E.A.R. since its initial release. Unapologetically embracing its influences, Trepang2 proudly wears its F.E.A.R. heritage on its sleeve. Rather than attempting to reinvent or redefine what made its predecessor great, it unabashedly follows in its footsteps, striving to capture that same essence. While it may not surpass F.E.A.R. in every aspect, it wholeheartedly endeavors to honor its legacy. And for that, I couldn't be more grateful.

Let's dance

Prepare yourself for Trepang2—an oddly named, adrenaline-soaked shooter that has etched itself into the core of my gaming memories. This game's violence is nothing short of remarkable, rivaling the likes of Doom (2016, with Eternal still awaiting my eager hands) and the legendary Soldier of Fortune series (where you could literally dismember foes in all their gruesome glory). As you step into the shoes of the formidable protagonist known as 106, an unstoppable killing machine, you are unleashed upon the world by the enigmatic organization known as the Syndicate. Your mission? To unleash untold havoc and dismantle the treacherous Horizon, an organization steeped in nefarious activities, including unethical scientific pursuits.

In all honesty, the story of Trepang2 remains rather shallow, meandering along until the final moments when hidden truths come to light, surprising even the most astute players. Scattered logs and notes found throughout the game's diverse levels offer glimpses into the world's lore, but they do little to propel the narrative forward. However, let's not fault the game for its narrative's shallowness; after all, it exists primarily to provide a faint semblance of context amidst the relentless onslaught of shooting and killing. The story should never be the reason one embarks on this merciless journey.

No, my friends, the true allure lies in Trepang2's combat—a relentless dance of destruction that you will savor to the fullest. With six main missions spanning various locales and clocking in at a satisfying 8-10 hours, the game offers a substantial experience. For those seeking more, fear not, for six side missions await your attention. These aren't mere fillers; their completion rewards you with an expanded arsenal of weapons, accessible within the game's central hub. The hub area, a return point after each mission, doubles as the Syndicate's headquarters. Oddly enough, it feels eerily deserted, almost as if it were exclusively your domain. A lone quartermaster occasionally graces your presence with commentary before you embark on a new mission. It is here that you carefully curate your loadout, selecting the ideal weapons for your next lethal encounter. Side missions grant you freedom of choice, while the main missions unfurl in a sequential manner, revealing themselves as you progress.

Within the hub area, you'll find records of your triumphs—a list of high-value enemies vanquished, those formidable adversaries armored with an extra dose of resilience and unyielding firepower. Should you desire to hone your skills, a combat simulator awaits, offering an avenue for relentless practice. However, I must confess, the thrill of Trepang2's missions alone provides more than enough excitement, rendering the simulator a mere trinket in comparison.

Your weapons are your lifeline—the varied weapons that this game has to offer. None of them are rendered redundant as you progress; instead, they retain their usefulness, each serving a unique purpose. However, strategically favoring certain weapons over others will undoubtedly pave a smoother path as you face increasingly daunting encounters. In the beginning, a humble pistol is bestowed upon you, a familiar starting point seen in countless shooters. But fear not, for it won't be long before your grasp tightens around an SMG, and as the game unfolds, a rifle, shotgun, sniper rifle, grenade launcher, mini-gun, and a plethora of other devastating instruments become your arsenal. Witness as enemies are reduced to naught but a swirling pink mist by the sheer might of these high-powered wonders. Ah, an intriguing feature inherited from F.E.A.R.: the limitation of carrying only two weapons at a time (or rather, four, as I shall explain). This departure from the norm, where protagonists often transform into walking armories with a dozen weapons at their disposal, is a welcome change. Not only does it preserve immersion, but it demands quick thinking on your part. Imagine carrying a grenade launcher into a mission—rest assured, you won't be departing with that very same weapon. Scarcely will you encounter enemies wielding such firepower. Instead, you adapt, relinquishing the weapon after depleting its ammo, seizing the opportunity to claim a fallen foe's armament.

Oh, and let me not forget to mention the awe-inspiring auditory experience that accompanies each weapon's discharge. Goodness, seldom do I contemplate such details while engrossed in shooters, yet this time, it was impossible to ignore. The sound design is simply remarkable, lending a sense of authenticity to each firing sequence. Coupled with a pair of quality headphones, it's a symphony for the ears—separate from the game's own musical score.

Speaking of music, the game's soundtrack seamlessly transitions from mellow ambient tunes to pulse-pounding heavy-metal and techno beats as the action intensifies. Combined with the cacophony of gunfire, the anguished cries of enemies, and the adrenaline coursing through your veins, it's advisable not to crank up the volume too high if you lack headphones or share living quarters with others. This auditory bombardment can prove distracting, especially when "crucial" exposition unfolds amidst the chaos. Amidst the symphony of sounds, valuable information might slip past your awareness.

Beyond the array of weapons at your fingertips, the player, embodying a super-soldier, possesses a handful of extraordinary abilities to aid in the annihilation of all obstacles. No true spiritual successor to F.E.A.R. would dare omit bullet time, and indeed, "Focus" fills that void, enabling you to refine your shots or indulge in other entertaining exploits while time slows to a crawl. But that's not all—prepare to wield the cloak mechanic, allowing you to vanish from sight, albeit fleetingly. This invaluable skill proves its worth whether you're seeking an escape route during a fierce firefight or silently stalking your unsuspecting prey.

Unleash a symphony of movement as you wield an arsenal of exhilarating maneuvers at your fingertips. Engage in lightning-fast melee strikes, glide across treacherous terrain with grace, and seize enemies in a vice-like grip. These versatile abilities are not mere embellishments; they are essential tools that will guide you through the unforgiving challenges that lie ahead. With each precise strike and nimble evasion, you will navigate the treacherous path toward victory, conquering every obstacle that dares stand in your way. The game demands your unwavering mastery of these skills, for they hold the key to survival and ultimate triumph.

Ah, but there is one last "ability" that reveals itself, a game-changing revelation unveiled midway through your harrowing journey—the power to dual-wield weapons. A peculiar design choice, indeed, as the developers carefully considered the impact of this formidable skill. One could argue that bestowing such power from the game's inception might have rendered the entire experience a cakewalk. Instead, a moment of reckoning awaits just before a climactic boss encounter—a serum, coursing through your veins, grants the coveted privilege of dual-wielding any weapons at your disposal. All it requires is a pair of matching firearms, and the world becomes your playground. Such a tantalizing prospect adds an entirely new layer of devastation to your arsenal, reshaping the very fabric of destruction. In the game's twilight hours, my personal preference gravitated towards dual-wielding shotguns, their incendiary rounds leaving trails of fiery chaos in my wake. Brace yourself for an inferno of untold proportions.

Dance of death

Once I grasped the intricate mechanics of the game and learned how to wield them with finesse, a mesmerizing dance began to unfold. Step to the left, glide to the right, swift movements intertwined with calculated slides. In the realm of Trepang2, the rhythm evolved into a thrilling sequence: sprint, slide, focus, deliver a precise shot to the first enemy's visage, swiftly eliminate the second foe, third enemy falls under the weight of your relentless assault, and then, a seamless retreat. What's truly remarkable is that this captivating symphony of gameplay never grew dull. If anything, I found myself eagerly awaiting the next encounter, the next opportunity to showcase my unstoppable prowess. The developers intended for players to feel invincible, a veritable force of destruction armed with an arsenal of abilities, allowing them to dispatch enemies in the most stylish and exhilarating ways imaginable.

Now, I must acknowledge that my account may give the impression that the game is a cakewalk. But let me assure you, such assumptions would be gravely mistaken. True mastery comes from skillfully employing the full range of abilities at your disposal. Admittedly, achieving this level of mastery will not always be the case. Perfection eludes even the most seasoned super-soldier, and mistakes will be made. The enemies you face will be quick to exploit your errors, serving as a harsh reminder of your mortality. Encounters can be approached in various manners, be it an all-out assault (often the most exhilarating choice) or a cautious stealth approach. Stealth, a component often treated as an afterthought in FPS games, has been commendably integrated here, offering a viable and rewarding path to success. It's a breath of fresh air for stealth aficionados like myself.

While the enemies you face exhibit competence in their attempts to halt your progress, they fall short of the tactical brilliance demonstrated by F.E.A.R's adversaries. Flanking maneuvers and intricate tactics are absent from their repertoire. Their primary strategy involves hurling grenades to flush you out of cover, while most opt to hold their ground or charge headlong at you. Make no mistake, they pose a formidable challenge, particularly due to their sheer numbers and resilient armor.

The boss encounters present a mixed bag of thrills. Some truly test your mettle, delivering exhilarating battles that leave you breathless. However, others devolve into repetitive waves of mindless enemies charging relentlessly, a missed opportunity for greater creativity. Nevertheless, these minor shortcomings do little to dampen the overall enjoyment of the game.

These recent years have been a boon for avid shooter fans, and I fervently hope the trend continues unabated. Trepang2 stands as an essential experience for any lover of the genre, transcending the boundaries of mere gaming to captivate the hearts of all true enthusiasts. I eagerly await the future endeavors of these talented developers, for I am certain that they will continue to bestow upon us magnificent creations worthy of unwavering support.

Trepang2 emerges as a thrilling testament to the power of engaging gameplay and masterful execution. With its intricate mechanics, exhilarating encounters, and the sheer joy of unleashing your superhuman abilities, it captivates players and invites them into a mesmerizing dance of destruction. While the enemy AI may not reach the heights of its predecessor, and some boss fights leave something to be desired, these minor flaws pale in comparison to the game's overall brilliance.


With its unforgettable gameplay, compelling mechanics, and immersive experience, Trepang2 secures its place among the pantheon of remarkable shooters, leaving us hungry for more adventures to come.