Pocketwatch Games has answered our plea for something showing off the latest development of their 4 player co-op heist game. Andy Schatz (developer) and Andy Nguyen (producer) give us a commentated playthrough of one of the later levels from Monaco: What's Yours is Mine and tease us with a video that illustrates how amazing the game is looking.
One major difference I noticed was the character design. Schatz is demoing the Hacker (green), who is an original character that could hack security devices faster than anyone else. He is now able to send viruses through terminals and open doors and other secret areas. Wynn is playing as the Pick Pocket (yellow) who used to be "The Hobo". The character name changed but he is still a hobo, who has a pet monkey that can grab hard to reach treasure without being noticed. Although you may not be able to decipher the pixel art at first glance the characters have gone through many iterations and it is cool to see them in their final form.
Another change that the video demonstrates is the secondary equipment. Each character can select a secondary item in addition to their main ability, which can range from a trauma kit to a crossbow. These items will provide your character with various abilities like healing or being able to knock out guards and will keep things fresh with every play through, depending on what you select of course. The Pocketwatch boys also show that you can swap the secondary gear when you find something new in the mission, and sometimes when a heist goes belly up it is better to go out shotguns blazing. Keep in mind that it now costs ten loot every time you want to use your secondary item so be sure to save up and spend wisely.
The video shows some less noticeable differences that you would only be able to pick up on if you have been following the game as closely as we have here at Co-Optimus (can you tell that we're excited?). The field of view has changed, with the original idea having darkened areas of the map with a fog-of-war (see this video for reference). Now it is a little more difficult to see, as the whole map is black and you are only able to see what the character sees in real time. This makes for some interesting memorization and quick reactions to guards that you may not notice coming around the corner.
We have talked to Pocketwatch Games several times over the three years that Monaco has been in development, and I'll be the first to tell Andy Schatz to release the damn thing. The unique blend of Pac-Man and Hitman is something that I simply cannot wait for and after playing it at every PAX since it was announced, it is amazing to see the changes in the game and how far it has come along.
I love that the game has become so fluid, and unlike other stealth games - it is okay to mess up. There is always an exit strategy and amidst the chaos, you can see that there are deep levels of gameplay design at work in Monaco. Watch the video and see that even the devs can't do it perfectly every time.
For more information on Monaco, check out the game's website here.