Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine - Review
Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine - Review
One of the greatest games of 2013. The gameplay packs replayability because of its multiple modes, various characters, and constantly updating online community. A masterful stealth title.
Posted: 03/25/15 | Category: Review | Developer: Pocketwatch Games | Publisher: Pocketwatch Games | Platform: Linux, Xbox 360, Windows, Mac

Genre: Top-Down, Single Player or Co-Op Heist game
Release date: April 14, 2013

Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine is a top-down, single player or co-op stealth game that is one of the best and most addictive games released in 2013. The game is all about looting the establishment in colorful style, and the easy-to-understand gameplay evolves over the course of the campaign as you and your friends learn how to dispatch guards, evade security lasers and make off with the goods. By the end of Monaco, you’ll be thinking like a master thief.

Monaco was the first game developed by Pocketwatch Games and was published by Majesco Entertainment. Despite this being their first title, designers Andy Schatz and Andy Nguyen set themselves apart with a stylized and thrilling adventure that brought extraordinary attention to Pocketwatch Games.

Story
 

The story in Monaco begins with a first-person narration by The Locksmith, one of the eight playable characters, who is confessing his crimes to an inspector. The four initial thieves escape prison and begin to build their team with many twists and turns along the way. The tale of greed continues as the group ultimately expands to eight and takes on the Royal Palace, the Art Gallery, and the Monte Carlo Casino. Between stealing passports, breaking new members out of jail and avoiding the authorities, the team's modus operandi truly embodies the idea - what’s yours is mine.

A second more difficult playthrough is also available, and the story twists presented here elevate Monaco from good to great.

The Characters
 

While the story is told by either the Locksmith or the Pickpocket, there are six additional characters to play. Each character has his or her own distinct personality and his or her own distinct play-style. By playing different characters, old levels become new again as tactics have to be retooled.

The arcade-style characters pack a surprising amount of personality into their small moving bits: the Cleaner pulls out a cigar, the Pickpocket carries a large loot bag and has a monkey (Hector) who hangs out around his feet, and the Lookout predictably looks back and forth with her hair dragging on her shoulders.

Some characters play out as more villainous while others become more heroic, but you come to realize that the perfect heist needs a little of both.

Gameplay
 

The goal for each level is straightforward - get the trophies from their secure locations and escape in the getaway vehicle. This is easier said than done as you're forced navigate multiple levels of guard-filled buildings filled with a variety of devious traps. An array of tools that characters can find are particularly useful in getting the job done. Wrenches can open anything instantly, shotguns can help dispatch guards and trauma kits can immediately revive any fallen teammate. Each tool gets one use for each ten pieces of loot picked up. 

If you choose to do a solo playthrough, you'll find that gameplay will mostly be comprised of stealth. When working alone, it’s simply just too difficult to take on a hoard of guards. The chances of taking one out is easily traded for the chances of slipping through the door he just opened, and when guards are alerted to your presence, you're more likely going to end hiding in a bush than going hog-wild.

But going hog-wild is exactly what happens in co-op. As soon as one character gets spotted, all sense of stealth is lost. Players run around firing guns and grabbing as much loot as they can. You might be a team in the end, but when the alarm goes off, it’s every thief for him/herself. Eventually team members will start diving into the bushes or hiding out in bathrooms. And then scheming begins again as you devise a plan to get every thief back in the game.

But the difficulty of the game can cut both ways. There’s nothing more satisfying than getting through a level without being seen. Yet in later levels, overpowered enemies will take down even the most careful thief. At this point the difficulty becomes more frustrating than rewarding.

Enhanced Mode, Zonaco, and Creative Mode
 

Enhanced Mode takes everything from the original but streamlines it. The developers found several sections that were unenjoyable in the original mode and slashed them out. This is Monaco in its most realized state.

Zonaco is the zombie version of Monaco. All of the antagonist NPCs have turned into zombies. They sprint fast and they bite harder. Also included are special zombies reminiscent of Left 4 Dead’s boomers. These baddies explode when you get too close, but can also work as convenient bombs for safes or walls.

Creative Mode allows the user to create their own levels. The level creator uses all the tools present throughout the original campaign and makes it easy to recreate famous locales or any new idea. Creative mode is supported online by a robust community of fellow creators. Though I was never able to master Creative Mode, I’ve certainly played my fair share of created levels online, and some of them far exceed the difficulty of the original campaign.

Retro 1920s Soundtrack
 

The soundtrack is composed by Austin Wintory, the composer for acclaimed games flOw and Journey. Instead of the pleasant background tunes of his other titles, Austin opts for a rough and wild adventure through music. The light music will turn frantic when a character is spotted, helping to drive the sense of chaos that ensues. And just wait until you hear the sultry lyrics to Can’t Resist, the song that plays in the final level.

Final Thoughts
 

Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine was one of the greatest games of 2013. The gameplay packs replayability because of its multiple modes, various characters, and constantly updating online community. The masterful use of unreliable narrators crafts a twisting tale that will have you hooked from beginning to end. If you’re looking to appreciate a masterful stealth title or experience the chaos of a co-op heist, then Monaco will not disappoint.

Grade: A-
 
Eight different characters make the game very replayable
Multiplayer chaos is extremely exciting
+ Eccentric visual style enhanced by the 1920s soundtrack
 
Overpowered late game enemies
 Logo
 
 
System Requirements
 
MINIMUM PC:
Microsoft® Windows® XP/Vista/7/8
Processor: 1.2 GHz processor 
Graphics: Graphics Card that supports Pixel Shader 2.0 and Vertex Shader 2.0 (Vertex Shader Support can be supported with sofware emulation)
DirectX: 9.0
Hard Drive: 500 MB HD space
 
MINIMUM Mac:
OS: OS X version Snow Leopard 10.6.3 or later
Processor: 2.0+ GHz
Graphics: OpenGL 2.1 and shader model 3 with 512 MB of Memory
Hard Drive: 500 MB available space
Additional: Not recommended for Intel integrated graphics, Mac Mini's, or early generation MacBooks
Online: Steamworks required for online play, LAN not supported on Mac
 
Specials from Digital Download
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JustAdventure
Bailey James
I've been looking for a new multiplayer game for me and my friends... this sounds like just the thing!
Posted Date : 03/28/2015
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