Stealing things is kinda cool, at least it’s cool to fantasize about. When you were a kid, those cookies were all yours, but you really wanted to be Danny Ocean (Sinatra or Clooney, either way) and be part of an elaborate heist with the most incredible setup, execution and getaway. Monaco lets you be the thief you’ve always dreamed you could be, but botching the attempt might be just as fun.
As each round of Monaco begins, you’ll pick out a role and hopefully you’ve got up to three other friends to attempt your heist with. Each level is littered with traps, guards, cameras, lasers and more to fend off players who are less than careful. Despite the game’s earnest attempts to tutorialize, many things fall through the cracks as you’re often finding yourself getting killed, along with the rest of the party, while you get over the game’s learning curve. How important are Hackers? Uh, hmm. The Cleaner can knock out characters if you’re in stealth mode, but where’s the Melee button? (There is none.) The game’s tight and detailed layouts can be downright confusing to start, causing you to trip over things or ignore threats entirely. Of course, some of the biggest fun might be watching you and your friends scramble in sheer panic after a job goes south, trying to find some way to skip out on the fuzz, and fail miserably.
Once you get over Monaco‘s shortcomings, you and an experienced team can sync together like clockwork. That Hacker can access computers and power outlets to subvert enemy sensors. That Cleaner can be the first man in, disabling guards surrounding a row of cash registers. The Pickpocket’s monkey can race across the dance floor stealing precious gold. Each role will wind up more or less useful than others. The Mole can plow through walls to access areas fast or get hidden in a jiffy, but locked in a level with impenetrable walls, you’re on your own.
As others have said, Monaco is part Pac-Man, part Thief, part Hitman and at times feels over-designed, but let your lust for the gold conquer you – or simply be down for the best party game to land on the PC in ages – and you’ll be cutting through the tightest defenses.
Also, be sure to check out the FleshEatingZipper’s Monaco crew impressions on the latest N5 Show!