In our 2013 review of the original Monaco, we called the indie heist sim "one of the best co-op games of all time." Monaco had fantastic, open-ended levels that helped its improvisational stealth co-op gameplay really shine. Of course, I always used the Mole to smash walls in a straight line through those levels and troll my friends, but the rich improvisational gameplay was there.
Now, nine years later, Pocketwatch has announced Monaco 2 with a slick animated trailer and a three-minute dev log presented by Pocketwatch founder Andy Schatz. The log contains the real meat of the announcement, with demonstrations of prototype gameplay, concept art, and an explanation of the game's ambitions.
Right away I was struck by the verticality of the prototype levels, and Monaco 2's full use of its new 3D perspective is one of the first things Schatz talked about in the log. "If you've ever watched a heist movie, then you've probably seen someone tunneling up from underneath the bank vault or rappelling down from the ceiling," he explained, "and we really wanted to have that experience in the game."
The presentation also featured footage of a flying drone exploring one of the levels, potentially a class ability taking advantage of this new verticality. Schatz went on to mention that Pocketwatch will be using procedural generation to make Monaco 2's heists, something I'm personally a little wary of, but the studio will be expanding on this and other aspects of the game in future dev logs.
Schatz shared concept art of the intended final look, in contrast to the blocky prototypes on display here or the simplified pixel art of the first Monaco. The concept art included a mockup of the Gentleman, one of the first game's playable characters, but Schatz was quick to clarify that he was not yet a confirmed character for the final game.