Monaco PC Review
Pocketwatch Games takes you away into a world much different from those of their first two games, Venture Arctic and Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa, to the a small country Monaco located on the French Riviera in Western Europe. Instead of creating an ecosystem in Africa or controlling the forces of nature in the arctic you will be um… stealing. Now this may sound bad and it is, but it’s also really well done and I’m not the only one who thinks so. Monaco won the grand prize at the Independent Games Festivial in 2010.
Monaco sets you in the shoes of eight criminals trying to escape the country. But only recently escaping prison you’re broke and in desperate need of friends and cash to fund your escape. After escaping you need to find an ‘in’ to the criminal underworld and it just so happens that person is getting transferred to a different prison. In short after rescuing him you set off to rescue more companions. All the while starting in on a large scale crime spree on your way out of the country. There are two different storylines, one that follows that of the Locksmith and one that follows the Pickpocket.
Each character is skilled in different areas of expertise. In Monaco you can play as:
The Locksmith: A blue-collar infiltration expert
The Lookout: She can see and hear everything… a natural leader
The Pickpocket: A hobo with a monkey and a penchant for crime
The Cleaner: A silent psychopath… Jack the Ripper in pink
The Mole: Big and dumb… likes to tunnel
The Gentleman: He doesn’t always wear a disguise, but when he does, he looks fantastic
The Hacker: Armies of viruses shut down security… a modern day warlock
The Redhead: Manipulative and murderous… a lady always gets what she wants
You can play by yourself, but multiplayer is where this game shines. Teaming up with friends or strangers online and using all the abilities is probably the funnest way to play. Pocketwatch Games also did a good job with the online lobby system. The system lets you know who is waiting to play and lets you jump in and out seamlessly. During the mission screen is where most of the dialogue takes place. You can really get a good feel for each character and their personality, so I’d suggest reading it at least once during your play through.
Monaco doesn’t limit you to your characters inherent ability. Most maps have items to grab and use to aid you in the heist, but they don’t carry over to the next map. The items use is limited so use them wisely, but with every ten pieces of loot you collect you are granted another use (a cooldown period of sorts).
Monaco isn’t necessarily a stealth game but it does help to try and be stealthy. There were some instances while playing that I alerted a guard or employee and proceeded to fumble around the map alerting everyone to my whereabouts, only to escape by hiding in a bush or vent. A handful of times I wasn’t able to escape, and therefore killed, but dying doesn’t mean an instant failure or level restart. All you need is someone to revive you, which is kinda funny to watch as it sounds like someone trying to reassemble a dead body.
I also want to make mention of the games musical score. At first you only notice some simple piano, you might even say elevator music. The soundtrack nicely transforms in moments of suspense, like blowing cover or during escape sequences. The best example is when committing masterful bedlam, the music picks up and sets this tone of true urgency. It’s just great.
This game is probably the best indie multiplayer game out on the market, and with no flaws that I have come across is definitely a game to check into if you are looking for something to play with friends.
+Fast paced action
+Good musical score
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