Trepang2 is the latest ultraviolent FPS I played a demo for during the ongoing Steam Game Festival. I remember first discovering the game back when I was doing my article series about upcoming indie games in 2020 at the beginning of the year, and was immediately interested in learning more. Here are my impressions after playing the demo for around an hour.
The demo features a basic campaign level that acts more as a showcase for the combat engine than anything else, though there are some hints at the game’s intended story. Trepang2 has some heavy F.E.A.R. vibes that I hope the developers can expand upon as the game continues development.
You start the demo handcuffed in a dark cell, deep within a top secret facility of some kind, when a series of mysterious messages begin to scroll across a static-filled TV. The messages are telling you to escape immediately because soldiers are now sweeping through the building, executing all of the test subjects.
These early segments teach you the game’s rudimentary stealth system, and help build the rather spooky atmosphere the developers seem to be going for. You can also find files on desks throughout the facility that contain cryptic information about human experiments.
They are test subjects being driven insane to the point of suicide, and other stories of subjects showing signs of inhuman strength and powers. There is even a strange spooky moment along the lines of the Alma segments in F.E.A.R., though without any creepy ghost girls quite yet.
Finally, you get your cuffs off and grab your first gun. From that moment forward, Trepang2 becomes a glorious cacophony of carnage as you blast your way through entire squads of heavily armed and highly trained black ops soldiers.
Further reinforcing the F.E.A.R. vibe are a pair of special abilities. You can cloak for a few seconds with the E key, and enter a bullet time slo-mo “Focus” mode with Q. The cloak regenerates over time, but to regain your Focus ability you have to kill enemies.
Your character also has a few other feats of super strength, including a mighty kick and slide move that can send enemies flying. For the most part though I just relied on my guns, in no small part due to how extremely fun they are to shoot.
Every gun in Trepang2 is loud and produces a satisfying amount of recoil and feedback as you spray bullets into unsuspecting guards. The Vector submachine gun doesn’t shoot bullets so much as it throws handfuls of them in the general direction you are aiming, while shotgun blasts can reduce enemies into a pile of limbs and organs at close range.
Besides the rather excessive gore engine, Trepang2 has some decent environmental destruction. You can see concrete pillars get gradually worn down by gunfire until their inner support structures are exposed. This destructing extends to armor as well.
You can strategically shoot pieces of armor off enemy soldiers, something you’ll need to do for the more elite enemies before you can actually start putting bullets into their body. Helmets fly off with headshots, which is generally followed by the wearer’s head in a follow-up shot.
There is a fairly decent selection of guns so far too; including a pistol, a shotgun, an SMG, an assault rifle, and a suppressed version of the same assault rifle that oddly is programed to use different ammo. Despite there being three automatic firearms, the game does a decent job of making them feel different.
The SMG is a 50-round bullet hose that isn’t especially accurate, while the assault rifle does greater damage and is more accurate over longer distances. The suppressed assault rifle is also quieter, which plays into the game’s stealth elements.
While Trepang2 has some excellent gunplay already, it certainly has its fair share of jank. The physics are a tad crazy, and its not uncommon to kick a corpse around when you walk past them.
The AI, while moderately accurate, can sometimes act a little brain-dead. Their animations can also often contort in ways that don’t exactly look healthy for one’s spine.
Of course, I’m willing to look past all of that since this is a pre-alpha demo, and the game doesn’t even have an estimated release date yet anyway. I’m just saying that these are things that the devs should hopefully fix before the game’s final release. I also really hope that the developers double down on the atmospheric F.E.A.R.-like stuff they seem to be going for in the story.
If you want to spend a few hours reducing heavily armed soldiers to a red paste with shotguns in slow motion, then the Trepang2 demo is full of some high quality and satisfying carnage. You can try the demo out for yourself on the game’s Steam page.