Monaco Update Shortens Campaign, Remixes Mechanics

Monaco Update Shortens Campaign, Remixes Mechanics

Monaco Screenshot

Monaco's latest patch is trying something unusual - rather than only adding more content, the creators are cutting frustrating segments.

We're used to two kinds of game updates - the standard boring patches to fix bugs, and the exciting updates that bring new content to our games. However, Pocketwatch Games is trying something different - the latest update to co-op stealth-fest Monaco actually removes several parts of the campaign. Wait, wait, don't reach for the torches and pitchforks just yet. This is actually a good thing, as the developers hope that leveling out the difficulty curve will help more people stick with the game.

"The Architect's Patch" is essentially a Director's Cut version of Monaco, going back through the game's two parallel campaigns and refining them - even if that means "unflinchingly slashing" large segments of some levels. The folks at Pocketwatch realized that this was necessary when they saw that 90% of players who finish Monaco's first level don't make it to the end of the first campaign - and only about 2% make it to the end of the second.

"We want more people to finish the campaigns," explains Monaco designer Andy Schatz, "and we also personally kinda hate some of the levels. Certain areas feel redundant, certain levels feel tedious." Given that Monaco has dozens of hours of gameplay between Level One and its two fantastic twist endings, the developers aren't too bummed about cutting a few minutes of frustrating gameplay here and there. Every level has had some redesigns, and new gameplay elements (namely, key-doors and mobile NPCs with items to steal) have been incorporated into both campaigns. Traditionalists are still able to access the "classic" levels, but the designers think that these new versions will provide a better experience.

If you haven't paid a visit to Monaco, now seems to be the perfect time. The game is currently 80% off as part of Steam's winter sale, so there's no time to lose - get thieving!

Source: Pocketwatch Games

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I thin Monaco's main problem is people bought it for one reason.

To play with friends.

I understand that logic, I do it all the time. The greatest gaming experiences come from having a Payday or Left 4 Dead marathon with friends, from stomping each other in Civ and so on. But what this means is that people aren't really going to want to play on without their friends being there, whether it be local or online. One, so they don't get ahead of their friends and two because it's more fun with friends.

So people buy the game, playing through a bit of it with friends and then end up being unable to finish it with said friends. I don't know, this might help, but I still feel they did a really good job of a co-op game - the campaign wasn't the exciting part, it was playing it with friends.

You know what? This is actually a good thing. Thinking back to the hospital in particular, the second floor was basically a maze of tight corridors that one could sneak through with ease, yet it took forever to get all of the coins.

I think shorter levels would help multiplayer as well, that way finishing one level and saying "let's do the next one" doesn't mean a near half-hour investment.

Lil_Rimmy:
I thin Monaco's main problem is people bought it for one reason.

To play with friends.

I understand that logic, I do it all the time. The greatest gaming experiences come from having a Payday or Left 4 Dead marathon with friends, from stomping each other in Civ and so on. But what this means is that people aren't really going to want to play on without their friends being there, whether it be local or online. One, so they don't get ahead of their friends and two because it's more fun with friends.

So people buy the game, playing through a bit of it with friends and then end up being unable to finish it with said friends. I don't know, this might help, but I still feel they did a really good job of a co-op game - the campaign wasn't the exciting part, it was playing it with friends.

This. It feels great to be a part of the 2% who actually finished both campaigns, but I did it with the help of 3 great friends with a lot of free time, and not everybody has the free time for that.

Still, the remix sounds great, will try it out.

Huh. Well, if it means not having to slog through the Pickpocket's Story version of the Casino again...(STUPIDLY difficult; I actually had an easier time with Identity, the last level than that)

There was a point where the challenge stopped being fun and just became frustrating.
Even when I beat it, I didn't feel all that great because it seemed like that particular run just broke my way via luck.

Playing with friends was great fun, but I had to finish most of the campaigns on my own, which probably didn't help.
Still, great game, and not impossible to enjoy until you reach that brick wall of difficulty.

I love Monaco, so I can only appreciate any efforts to improve it. However, it's worth noting that quite a few people only really play the first few missions and don't really care about finishing it.

Also, the article doesn't say it, but the original levels are still there, in "Classic" mode on the main menu.

 

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