It would be fair to say that by and large, games that employ stealth mechanics are generally loathed. The trial and error of it all generally lends itself to ridicule and a dismissal of the game in question all together. It’s too bad really, because it excludes a large amount of people from trying out some games that are truly fun. Monaco happens to be one of those games.
It should be established right off the bat that this game has a straight up Ocean’s Eleven vibe. You play as a group of criminals that do one thing and one thing well:Steal other people’s expensive stuff. Our very own Raven Poplar described it as “A more dynamic Metal Gear Solid that is presented and played like Link To The Past”, which is a large part of what makes this game very good. You complete heist missions that either have you stealing a valuable jewel, a series of artifacts, or helping a fellow thief break out of whatever area they are in, and they will in turn, offer their specific skill set in order to pull off bigger and bigger jobs. The mission designs grow more and more complex as you go on, with cameras, guards, sensor beams, sensor plates, and bio-metric scanners that attempt to thwart your larceny-laced hi-jinks. This is where multiplayer comes in, and this is where multiplayer shines. Whilst it is possible to complete every mission by your little lonesome, getting a few people together for a team based round of good ol’ fashioned heisting is made even more fun as each player will play a crucial part in navigating the myriad corridors and guards. Because each character has a specific skill, it is up to everyone to know their role
and shut their mouth and use them to their full advantage to get in and out without a trace. Just like Keyser Soze from a brilliant film called, The Usual Suspects (ask your parents, and then go watch it). I played a few rounds with our very own Raven Poplar on Steam, and it was a blast with just us as a crime committing duo. The characters themselves have certain personalities and distinct looks that make the story line in the game rather enjoyable, with a tale of teamwork, with a little bit of backstabbery for good measure.
The game controls simple enough, and best played with a controller,with you controlling 8 different directions, most of the time will involve using the analog stick or d-pad to either move about, or use your abilities to hack computers, pick locks and so forth. You will also get some stealthy items to help you along, smoke bombs, EMP devices, a tranquilizer dart equipped crossbow and a….shotgun? Oh well, make a omelette, break some eggs….mmmm….omelette… From a visual perspective, the graphics are quite simple and very blocky, which may deter those of you who are, to use some technical vernacular, “Graphics Whores”. Do not be put off by the visuals however, the presentation is well done regardless. For a game that involves a lot of hiding in the shadows, this game is quite colorful and each character has their own distinctive look and personality. The music itself is composed of someone who was a clear fan of Schroeder from the Peanuts cartoons. The slow and intimidating scores that play while you are sneaking about is a clear inverse to the frantic piano jazz that is belted out when you make a misstep and let the whole neighborhood know of your presence.
The best thing one can say about Monaco, is that it is a seriously fun game to play without taking itself too seriously. It is one that is simple to play, yet difficult-although not impossible-to pull off the heists with 100% completion scores. Speaking of completion tendencies, there is actually incentive for one to loot every single piece of loot along the way. All in all, Monaco is a game that is was a blast to play, and one can only hope for a sequel of some sort. Now if you excuse me, I have an appointment at The Louvre in Paris, I heard security is a little bit lax on Tuesdays, and there is a certain Da Vinci painting that would look quite grand in my safe house.