Monstrum 2 is a first-person horror multiplayer game by Team Junkfish which released on Steam early access on January 29, 2021. Think Dead by Daylight, only this time there is a monster set loose in a research facility, hunting four human prisoners who are trying to get off the facility alive. Monstrum 2 is a sequel to the singleplayer survival original name Monstrum. Given this is a multiplayer only game, the risk is in requiring a constant flow of players and through my test sessions, I often didn’t had enough players to game with and we can’t yet queue up with friends, though that feature is coming soon.
Players will need to explore Sparrowlock, the Hong-Sha Miller research facility. This is a procedurally generated structure featuring rusting rooms and walkways, as you adapt to the different environmental and gameplay challenges generated with every match. It’s a really good premise, and the tutorials do good job of teaching you the roles of the prisoners and three monster types we can play in this early access version of the game. A match in Monstrum 2 can hold up to 5 players, with 1 playing as the monster, and up to 4 playing as prisoners. The game’s objectives scale with the number of players starting the match.
The ultimate goal for the prisoners is to escape, however it’s the order of mechanisms that make or break the team, whilst also trying to survive against a monster. Essentially prisoners need to find fuses and insert them into fuse boxes to open doors/gates. Some of the doors have a keypad and somewhere nearby will be a hastily scribbled keycode. Other metal gates may require the use of a welder to melt the chains or boltcutters to cut through. Using the welder and bolt cutters takes time and leaves you vulnerable to attack.
Once all the fuses are found and switches activated, the next task is to fire up the generators. These involve turning a crank handle to engage that numbered valve on the generator. There are five valves on the tutorial generator and it’s not a matter of turning them on in order. Again, there will be a number written on a wall somewhere around the generator room. Activate the generator and the final task is to prepare for the evacuation. This will either be via helicopter or submarine and you’ll need to free the launch mechanisms before you can jump in.
There are three types of monsters you can choose to play in Monstrum 2 – Brute, Bhagra and Malacosm. The brute is a big, tough brawler type that can charge and heavy smash the prisonsers and destructible objects. The Bhagra reminded me of the Xenomorphs in the Alien movies and can jump to and front ceiling vents. The Malacosm has mind control where it will look through the eyes of the nearest prisoner to try pinpoint its location to you. They also have a sentinel that can be deployed that has an arrow that points to the closest prisoner. The Malacosm can also teleport back to the sentinel too which can be quite a strategic advantage.
I tried playing on both Asian and American servers and it was a struggle to find other players in my peak playtime. I did manage a few games in the European servers, but this meant playing with 300ms ping. Each prisoner has two lives. If the monster kills you, you’ll respawn the first time and then become a spectator after the second death. Prisoners have no weapons, just items to help solve the puzzles and to distract and blind the monster. Things such as bright torches, glowsticks and fire extinguishers will obscure the monster’s vision almost completely for a few seconds, enough to attempt a quick getaway.
At the end of each round, both monster and prisoner players receive experience and monster coins that can be used to purchase character customisation items. Starting fresh, you can customise the look of the prisoners, but no monster customisations are unlocked initially. You earn currency quite slowly, so it’ll take a while to unlock your first customisations. We also didn’t have the ability to invite friends into the lobbies. I believe this is coming in a major content patch in March.
Overall, Monstrum 2 has potential to be a good multiplayer horror survival game. It will all depend on finding and holding a strong playerbase in each region. There are some interesting changes coming over the course of the game’s roadmap during early access so this will be a game to keep an eye on for fans of the survival horror genre.
This review utilised a key provided by PowerUp PR. Monstrum 2 is available now on Steam early access.
Written by: @ChrisJInglis