Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine is an ambitious attempt at a real time, strategic heist game. Available on Steam for £10.99, not only is there a difficult single player campaign to get through, but there’s also the option of multi-player coop – a balancing act that many seasoned developers often struggle with – so is it overly ambitious?
Easy on the Eye, Easy on the Ear
Monaco is a stylish game. There’s no two ways about it. Despite it being, technically, a relatively simple top-down game, the use of modern lighting effects and vibrant colours set it apart from other retro-style games on the market. There’s an element of Prison Architect’s blueprint-like style; but where that’s gritty and dark, this is hectic and eye catching. Perhaps sometimes it’s a little too bright, and a little too distracting, especially when things start to go wrong!
Looks isn’t the only thing Monaco has going for it, either. The soundtrack is fantastic. It’s primarily piano music, done in a style that instantly transports you to those slick, retro heist movies. Not only is the music great, but it ties in with what’s happening in game fantastically well – it’s soft and quiet when you’re sneaking around, and it becomes loud and frantic when you’ve been spotted and events are getting out of control.
I can’t really come up with any major flaws in the game, but I can reveal a number of minor issues that caused the odd cry of frustration. There were a couple of times where my characters were shot through solid objects, certain weapons have really weird firing patterns and ranges, and interacting with the environment, especially ladders when you’re in a rush, can leave your character marching into the wall while he gets shot rather than doing the sensible thing and climbing to safety.
Release Date: 24/04/2013
Available on: Windows, PC Download
Play the Game
Your starting character, The Locksmith, has been jailed for theft. Also in jail are his talented crew. As three men and a woman, you must escape from the prison (Monaco) and get to a safe destination, in this case Beirut. Getting there isn’t a simple task, money, passports and clean-up operations need to be organised.
There are thirty-three levels to work through, each one gradually harder than the last. The aim of the game is to be sneaky and stealthy – but that doesn’t mean a bit of brute force can’t sometimes come in handy. Ammo is extremely limited, though, and so it should be considered a last resort!
There’s no defined method that the game expects you to use to complete a level. You can choose which of the characters you make use of and the route you take, there are many possibilities. This is a game that will please both the careful strategist and the adrenaline-junky smash and grab enthusiast.
There are a number of different obstacles to overcome. You’ll need to disable security cameras, various alarms, guard dogs and security guards. Monaco gives you a fair number of items and weapons to help you – from futuristic EMP grenades that knock out electrical equipment to the silently but deadly crossbow. There are even some old school techniques available, such as chloroforming unsuspecting guards.
Monaco: How to Fall Out with Friends
I mentioned briefly in the intro that there’s a multiplayer mode to Monaco. It is singularly one of the most fun and unquestionably frustrating experiences I’ve had in recent memory. If your friends are not smart, or unable to think quickly, you’re going to have a bad time. Coordinating a sneak through with four players is almost impossible. Coordinating a quick escape once you’ve been discovered actually is impossible.
The one saving grace for players who aren’t already well trained and experience criminals is that in multiplayer, other players can revive you (in single player this isn’t possible, once a character is dead they’re dead for the rest of the level) – so even if the situation does go belly up there’s still the outside chance of rescuing the situation.
The multiplayer mode of Monaco absolutely makes it, though. This is not one of those instances where developers are placing all the expectations of fun on the people you choose to play with, this is an already great game that somehow steps up to a whole new level when played with people who you’re used to shouting at over TeamSpeak.
I love Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine. It’s a brilliant game that offers a ton of replayability and unpredictable fun, especially when played with others. I absolutely would not recommend multiplayer with random people, though. I’d buy this any day of the week, it’s relentlessly brilliant. Buy the soundtrack too!
Play the Game
Monaco is developed by Pocket Watch Games.