Trepang2 is a fast-paced FPS developed by Trepang Studio and published by Team17. The game launched on Steam and GOG on June 21, 2023, and is coming soon to Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5. Straight away it feels a lot like playing Ninja Gaiden and even the more recent System Shock Remake. It features hectic in-your-face and bloody action, and the ability to slow down time or go into stealth for to gain an advantage on the swarms of enemies.
A mysterious group breaks you, Subject 106, out from a heavily guarded black site. Your memories are gone but your combat abilities are enhanced far beyond human limits. You must fight back, find the truth, and face a threat even deadlier than yourself. Master your superhuman strength and speed to knock waves of heavily armed mercenaries into next week. Slow down time to dodge rapid-fire bullets and use cloaking to become invisible and snap your enemies’ necks when they least expect it.
The first hour or so of Trepang2 was absolutely fantastic as we explored new areas, found weapons and started to get hints as to the underlying story being told. The gory action combat was thrilling, backed up by fantastic audio design as you hear squads communicating your last location, and slow-mo bullet time to dodge oncoming fire and return fire with devastating effect. You can use stealth too, but I rarely used it outside of some emergency escapes to heal, as bullet time was just so much more fun and versatile. It gave me vibes of playing Max Payne for the first time, mixed with some melee action from Ninja Gaiden.
Armed initially with a pistol and a submachine gun, we mow through enemies as they try to get the jump on us. In between bouts of hectic bloodthirsty combat, there are PDA’s and computers you can interact with to collect lore objects. Occasionally this detracted a little from the high pace of the combat, but at the same time they were a good distraction to get a reprieve from fights too. These lore objects provided a heck of a lot of backstories if you’re willing to take the time to read it within the game’s menus – well worth it in my opinion as it filled a lot of gaps for me.
Trepang2 features a wide variety of weapons including shotguns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, and melee weapons. Each weapon has its own unique stats and abilities and there were modification stations spread through each level where you could swap out barrels, scopes and other pieces once you unlock them through gameplay. You can also find crates spread through levels which came in handy as I did run out of ammo in both weapons, particularly when fighting bosses.
I also loved using Alt to slide past enemies, grabbing them from behind, using them as a human shield or throwing them against oncoming enemies. Combat was definitely the high point of the game for me. However eventually I came across some supernatural aliens that ties into the story, and these created poison clouds when they died. The exciting action combat I was fully immersed in was replaced with having to deal with these lesser quality alien creatures and the choking poison gas. In these moments, the gameplay switched to feeling a bit like playing Serious Sam, and I love that series, but it changed the tone of Trepang2 for me.
It went from semi-serious military escape sequences to a sudden shift to be up against aliens, and it just felt out of place. I was much less interested in jumping back into the game the following evening due to this. Thankfully the more military style gameplay and environment settings were in the majority of the game’s 6-8 hours depending on how much side content you do, and I much preferred this. In between missions, you head back to a safe house where you can change your clothing appearance despite the game being in first person. You can also fire up a combat simulator which sees you facing waves of enemies or load up your next mission.
The mission briefing table shows campaign missions with yellow dots and side missions with green dots, as well as redacted missions to unlock further into the game. For missions you have completed, it will list the difficulty you achieved that mission, and each mission allows you to select the difficulty if you wanted to repeat content. I was happy just doing each mission once and continuing the story.
Side missions had some variety, such as hacking computers and defending them, but they had units that would counter-hack which became a headache. Just as you thought you had completed the final hack; more waves of enemies would come so it just became a frag fest. Thankfully if I died it would just take me back to the final wave checkpoint but there were some frustrating moments trying to complete those final few minutes in a few side missions.
Overall, Trepang2 is a great FPS with some hectic and bloodthirsty bullet time and stealth combat action, but the supernatural side of the story detracted from the initial premise. Some people wanted more of the alien side, but I would have preferred full military and espionage style missions. Stripping the story back, it was a classic corporation delving into the supernatural and unleashing hell, but I felt it lost its charm in the alien moments. Still, the gunplay is excellent with bullet time moments reminiscent of Max Payne.