The asymmetrical horror genre has been rising in terms of its popularity. While some of the genre’s titles have gone on to be major hits, such as with Dead by Daylight, others have failed to capture the hearts and minds of gamers and have ended up falling by the wayside, just as Friday the 13th the Game and Hide or Die have.
Indie game developer, Junkfish, recently released their second asymmetrical horror game, Monstrum 2, to the gaming masses. Typical of the genre is the fact that one player plays as each the monster, while the others play as the puny humans. In this case, one monster against four “prisoners.”
The game takes place on the Sparrowlock, a Hong-Sha Miller research facility. It’s a structure derived from an old repurposed sea fortress. It’s dismal, it’s dreary, but it’s anything but typical. You see, each match is played on a procedurally-generated map of the facility, which sets Monstrum 2 apart from many, similar titles that use the same maps over and over again. Therefore, there’s a lot more replayability here since you never know what each exact map’s layout will be like.
Another cool thing about Monstrum 2 is that you can gain experience after each map, depending on how well you did. You can use your accumulated experience and in-game funds to purchase various customization options if you desire to equip them. Or, in the case of the monsters, different variations of their models.
The goal of the prisoners during a match is to locate a multitude of fuzes scattered throughout each map and then power up the fuze boxes. Some of the fuze boxes are welded shut so you’ll have to find a welder to burn them open. Once all the switches have been flipped, a number of generators will need to be activated.
Finally, preparations must be made with regards to evacuation—either via helicopter or submersible, depending on which goal your match has loaded up. The prisoners must accomplish their objectives within the time limit, but luckily, each of them has two lives.
There are three monsters to choose from so far. The Brute is a large wrecking ball of a creature that can charge at the prisoners, stun them by stomping on the ground, and locate them by pinging them with its built-in sonar. Next up is the Bhagra, a dog-like creature with lots of fangs and claws that can stalk its prey by tracking them and also crawl along on the ceilings—making it much more suitable for ambush attacks. And lastly, there’s the Malacosm, a psychic monstrosity with tentacles for legs that can invade the minds of prisoners (to see where they are) and also teleport to spots that it designates with its deployable sentries. These three monsters are the result of amphibious experiments that went horribly wrong and each of them looks the part, with the Malacosm standing out as the most alien-looking of them.
Gameplay-wise, Monstrum 2 is generally pretty fun to play and the procedural environments all look suitably creepy, almost like a deep-sea version of the spaceship in the original Alien film. They’re dark, foreboding, and have low-lighting that helps to enhance the forlorn vibes. For me, playing as the prisoners felt pretty panic-inducing as you anticipate the appearance of whatever fiend you’re playing against in a match. The monsters are naturally more powerful so that fact really forces the prisoners to communicate and use teamwork if they want a decent shot of surviving each match.
Monstrum 2 is currently in Early Access but is already quite enjoyable. There’s a little jank here and there, such as glitchy monster animations, but overall I’m having a blast playing it with others. Give it a try for yourself.
Monstrum 2 has some pretty good graphics so you’ll need a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. Therefore, you may just want to invest in a superior gaming rig:
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