Trepang2 Review

June 21, 2023


Also on:
No items found.

A wise man once said that the easiest way to judge a first-person shooter is by how its shotgun feels. Even though it’s an entirely subjective measurement, you’d be hard pressed to find a game that has a good boomstick but is otherwise terrible. DOOM 2016’s shotgun was phenomenal, and the game was great. The pellet guns in Rainbow Six Extraction left a bit to be desired, and the title was mediocre. Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War’s two 12 gauges sucked, and it was the least enjoyable entry in the franchise since Black Ops 4. Trepang2’s SPAS12 is one of the most satisfying weapons to ever be coded into a video game, and so even though correlation doesn’t necessarily equate to causation, the game is nothing short of spectacular. 

To be clear, Trepang2 isn’t great just because there’s an immensely enjoyable volley gun in it. In the roughly six-hour long title, you play as Subject 106. After being freed from a not-CIA blacksite, you’re given the relatively straightforward task of enacting revenge on the people who locked you up. To do that, you hook up with the not-not-CIA, which sends you on a handful of main story missions and optional side quests, all of which involve doing little more than killing a ton of dudes in beautifully designed environments. 

While the game does have a plot, and that plot is generally enjoyable if a bit too derivative of Trepang2’s spiritual predecessor F.E.A.R., the main strength of the title is its gameplay. Even though the minute-to-minute action of its linear missions isn’t especially innovative, and is clearly influenced by the likes of the aforementioned DOOM and F.E.A.R. franchises, it’s fun in a way that very few games are. Subject 106 is a genetically modified supersoldier who can turn himself invisible and use not-bullet time, and so enemies rarely pose a serious threat to you. You’re an apex predator who was created for the sole purpose of killing baddies, and killing baddies feels great. 

One-handed pump shotgun reloads will never not be cool

To put that another way, Trepang2’s gameplay is effectively perfect. Unlike almost every first-person shooter developed in the past decade, it doesn’t have any flaws or even passively annoying mechanics. Every single misstep most shooters make is avoided in a way that would make id Software proud. Trepang2’s core shooting is better than almost every other title on the market, its levels are a flawless mix of psychological horror and gory gunfights, there’s a variety of enemy types, and even the obligatory boss battles that end most of its missions are great. Every single annoyance that persists in the genre, whether that’s related to progression, game length or something else entirely, was clearly foreseen by Trepang2’s developer and successfully dealt with ahead of the game’s launch. 

At risk of repeating myself, this makes Trepang2 outrageously fun. It has features that may not make a lot of sense on paper, like the ability to equip cosmetics and a menu that lets you change your enemy’s movement speeds, but in practice these things makes the title so much better than its competitors. Blasting through waves of enemies while dual-wielding shotguns loaded with incendiary shells and wearing pizza print pants or fighting intentionally bullet sponge-y baddies with their movement speed dropped down to 1% is absurdly amusing. If you want to, you can make enemies sound like they’ve been huffing nitrous oxide, increase or decrease the game’s difficulty to a comedic level, make your guns shoot knives instead of bullets, or enable dozens of other gameplay modifiers that not only make Trepang2 replayable, but also just regularly playable regardless of your skill level. 

Something something grindset

That’s something that can’t be said about a lot of games, and Trepang2’s technical aspects are also worth praising more than even the latest Call of Duty’s. Even though you can play the game on a 10-year-old laptop, it runs flawlessly, sounds great, and has graphics that are actually worth writing about. Everything in the game looks either cool or creative, has a quintessential amount of audiovisual feedback, and there aren’t even any bugs or performance hiccups to complain about. 

If you enjoy first-person shooters, then, there’s no reason not to buy Trepang2. Although its gameplay won’t be winning a lot of awards for innovation, every other aspect of the title is effectively exquisite. Its narrative is worth sitting through, its visuals leave nothing to be desired, and its gameplay is shamelessly spectacular. In an industry that seems hell-bent on creating the most mediocre games since the mid-2010’s, Trepang2 is a refreshing reminiscence to a time when video games were actually enjoyable. Anyone who doesn’t like gibbing goons with gloriously animated guns should stick to the likes of Microsoft Flight Simulator. Everyone else, however, owes it to themselves to spend an afternoon blasting baddies with one of the best shotguns ever coded into a video game. 

You can subscribe to Jump Chat Roll on your favourite podcast players including:

Let us know in the comments if you enjoyed this podcast, and if there are any topics you'd like to hear us tackle in future episodes!

Trepang2 is the most unabashedly fun first person shooter since 2016’s DOOM.
Derek Johnson

Somebody once told me the world was going to roll me, and they were right. I love games that let me take good-looking screenshots and ones that make me depressed, so long as the game doesn't overstay its welcome.