Trepang2 Review: An FPS Gem That Breaks the Cycle (PS5)

Trepang2 Review: An FPS Gem That Breaks the Cycle (PS5)
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Describing Trepang2 as a nostalgic breath of fresh air would be an understatement due to how effortlessly it pays homage to action horror classics while simultaneously bringing something unique to the table. There are plenty of references here that pay tribute to both old school titles, like Max Payne and House of the Dead, and modern games like The Last of Us, but Trepang2 never completely relies on them to be a memorable time.

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This is all thanks to the brilliant usage of slow-motion shootouts, the variety of ways in which encounters play out and the player can approach battles, and some clever enemy AI that smokes the protagonist out one way or another.

Trepang2 was released on June 21st for PC and launches on October 2nd for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.

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Trepang2 | Launch Trailer

Trepang2 Is One of the Most Memorable FPS Titles of 2023

Trepang2 will be remembered as one of the best FPS games of the year.
Trepang2 will be remembered as one of the best FPS games of the year.

Trepang2 is a masterful mixture of various video game genres that combines an intentionally claustrophobic first-person perspective with stealth, horror, action, and shooting, somehow balancing all of those elements near-perfectly. At times, it leans more towards the action during its seamless running and sliding guns blazing segments, while on the other hand, there are sections where the horror side of it takes the front seat.

It may not be the most terrifying game out there, but it has more than enough scary aspects that provide Trepang2 with deeper layers than its other typical enemies can offer.

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The cherry on top is that Trepang2 never overstays its welcome due to its short but sweet main campaign that always keeps to the point without ever really slowing down. It is almost impossible to explain what the game is about without making it sound extremely generic, but the story puts players in control of Subject 106, a typical super soldier protagonist who has to complete missions for an even more stereotypical secret organization called Task Force 27.

The opening sequence involves Subject 106 escaping from a dark and depressing experimental prison, and it is clear that things are messier than they seem to be on the surface.

Also Read: Trepang2 Review: Shoot Your Way Out (PC)

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The central antagonist and main opposing force in Trepang2 also falls under an overused pop culture trope: a highly evil organization called Horizon Corporation that seems to be purely bad just for the sake of it.

Subject 106, with the help of the aforementioned good task force, basically has to take the higher-ups at Horizon down because they have been experimenting on humans to try and create their own army of super soldiers but are failing miserably, giving birth to unfathomable abominations.

Although all of that sounds like the most cliched plot ever written, Trepang2‘s standout strength lies in the way the game owns and executes it, successfully pulling it off with such explosive and gory violence that it never feels forced and is always a bloody spectacle.

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The Monsters in Trepang2 Sometimes Feel Like Gimmicks

What kind of teeth-whitening routine do the monsters in Trepang2 follow?
What kind of teeth-whitening routine do the monsters in Trepang2 follow?

The various monsters in Trepang2 are definitely not the most frightening creatures ever put on screen, but their appearances are almost always effective because of the difference in flavor that they provide to the villainous lineup.

However, they sometimes feel like a gimmick due to how quickly the game completely forgets about them before throwing the player into another Call of Duty-style shootout against evil soldiers or crazy cultists without properly mentioning them ever again until the next encounter. That is unfortunate, as the battles against these monstrous abominations are actually quite entertaining, but the game never realizes their full potential.

There are genuine moments where Trepang2 starts to set up something really creepy, but that only lasts until the next step in the mission arrives as the game randomly decides to move on to more explosions and gunfights. Additionally, the lack of intriguing characters with deeper backstories is also a significant reason as to why the tense elements in Trepang2 usually end up taking the backseat to the fiery action sequences.

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That may have been done intentionally, but consequently, Horizon Corporation starts to feel like a joke.

Also Read: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Game Review – Blood, Sweat, and Fears (PC)

Putting that gripe aside, it is obvious that Trepang2 aims to take gamers back to the classic 2000s era of straightforward shooters while keeping the pace up, whether the player is involved in an intense battle or just trying to get from one point to another.

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There are more than enough boss fights in this game to keep Subject 106 occupied, and thankfully, there are always fun without getting too complicated, meaning that players just have to repeatedly do one certain activity during each battle to proceed further. A clear example of this is The Mothman, whom the player has to avoid by running around a maze until the monster starts to spit acid, during which some parts of his body become vulnerable to attacks and damage.

Trepang2 Features Gorgeous Level Design and Visuals

Trepang2 has stunning visuals, especially when missions take place outside of claustrophobic research facilities.
Trepang2 has stunning visuals, especially when missions take place outside of claustrophobic research facilities.

Every level in Trepang2 also consists of various collectible items, ranging from parts that can be used to customize weapons to intel in different forms like documents and laptops to expand on the game’s lore, reminiscent of the Batman: Arkham series, but sadly, none of it holds any weight or adds to the overall experience.

Fortunately, the story is basically just an unimportant means to get Subject 106 into impossible situations so that players can shoot everyone in their way to safely guide the protagonist out. Other Task Force 27 members accompany Subject 106 on almost every mission, but they are usually of absolutely no help and are just present to describe the intensity of the circumstances that the protagonist has to deal with all by himself.

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There are even instances where the aforementioned Task Force 27 members actually joke about how strong Subject 106 really is since he is always the only one showing any kind of competence. This further adds to the cheesy Hollywood action movie vibe that Trepang2 embraces from the very beginning, as it feels like the game has comfortably accepted its true nature.

Another aspect in which Trepang2 expertly succeeds is its immersive and genius level design because it encourages the player to handle situations using stealth, which plays a huge role throughout the campaign.

Also Read: Everspace 2 Review- The Sky is Never The Limit (PS5)

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Sure, there is always the option of using the invisibility ability that Subject 106 possesses, but silently taking down enemies one by one until all hell breaks loose is what makes Trepang2 such a thrilling experience. But for players who do not have the patience, the game wastes no time in introducing the protagonist’s invisibility and slow-motion powers.

These abilities, combined with the fluid agility that the main character has, make Subject 106 feel like he is superhuman, even though that feeling quickly goes away on any difficulty other than “Easy.”

Trepang2: Final Thoughts

Console players should not miss out on Trepang2.
Console players should not miss out on Trepang2.

Trepang2 is a highly enjoyable first-person shooter that smartly combines impressive old-school homages with modern gaming technology. The enemy encounters are always unpredictable and varied, while the level design intrigues the player into taking care of situations with patience, but it sometimes falls flat when it tries to randomly throw in monsters and horror aspects because the plot just isn’t strong or frightening enough.

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Thankfully, the game is aware of its flaws, which is why it focuses much more on the explosive action spectacle to keep things moving at an amazing pace that never once slows down, ultimately making it a bloody good time.

8/10

8 Out of 10

Trepang2 was played on PlayStation 5 and reviewed on a code supplied by Team17.

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Extensively talking about everything pop culture is something Osama truly enjoys doing, so when it started to get a little annoying in person, he joined FandomWire and found a whole community to share his thoughts with. He consumes media in almost all forms, including linear story-based video games (The Last of Us), hip-hop/R&B music (The Weeknd), top-tier television (Better Call Saul), classic movies (Superbad), as well as reading books and watching anime.