Trepang2 is an FPS released in 2023 developed by Trepang Studios and published by Team17, evoking nostalgia for titles like F.E.A.R., which gained prominence almost two decades ago. Like its predecessor, Trepang2 focuses on shooting opponents wearing military attire in enclosed settings while incorporating paranormal elements to enhance the storyline. The protagonist is endowed with unique powers: time slowing and invisibility for a short period. These abilities are crucial for navigating through challenging encounters where up to ten soldiers can be engaged simultaneously.
It is unclear whether Trepang2’s AI is as sophisticated or intuitive as F.E.A.R.’s, but enemies exhibit heightened awareness of the player and show more caution when in close proximity. You can hear them exchange information, panic and retreat when they feel that things are not going their way. Nevertheless, they occasionally charge toward the protagonist even with knowledge of his location. The game offers a range of innovative tactics, such as sneaking up on adversaries to take them by surprise or utilizing human shields temporarily, which is always very satisfying.
You will find destructible environments, allowing for partial damage to structures like pillars and explosions from fire extinguishers. That gives you a little leeway to distract enemies temporarily. A variety of weaponry is also available, as you can pick up weapons from fallen enemies. You can however carry only a few at once. Upgrades can be applied to these weapons by interacting with workbenches scattered throughout the game. Pretty standard stuff in that regard, but you don’t have unlimited bullets so you need to be careful to not run out.
The first level takes place underground as you attempt to escape a secret facility. The graphics are initially unimpressive due to the setting but improve significantly in subsequent levels, featuring visually stunning environments in contrast with the initial gloominess.
Challenging and thrilling gunfights characterize Trepang2, particularly during boss encounters that require multiple attempts and checkpoint resets. Low-light combat scenarios can become chaotic as players spray bullets into the darkness to illuminate enemies’ positions. Headshots are usually effective but not always feasible due to the opponents’ protective gear. Shooting them in other parts does not work as well as you might expect - they tend to behave a little like bullet sponges.
The game’s music is a weakness, consisting of basic techno beats that lack melody and may even induce stress. A more engaging orchestral score would have been preferable. Despite its shortcomings in this area, Trepang2 remains an entertaining FPS for fans who prioritize gunplay and excitement above all else. Don’t expect any open world, sub-quests and the extra stuff that almost every game has nowadays. This is a FPS following an old-school formula, and shamelessly sticking to it.
The Steam Deck’s performance is satisfactory; adjusting settings allows the game to run smoothly at approximately 40 FPS with a minimal power consumption of around 7-8W GPU, ensuring extended playtime on a single charge. Controls are well designed and provide an overall enjoyable experience. It has a verified rating, and it’s amply justified and clearly deserves it.
Note: We were provided a Steam key by the publisher for reviewing this game.