Double Fine’s “Trenched”: Things I’d like to see in Trenched 2 (now Iron Brigade)

July 7, 2011 Off By Tommy Gun

I just finished Double Fine’s 3rd XBLA game, Trenched (update: now called Iron Brigade), and loved it. I got all the achievements, which means I got gold medals on every mission (“Volcano” was tough!), and I even leveled up every weapon just because I wanted to keep playing. I beat the game in about five hours, and spent another five on gold medals/leveling. I actually wish this had been a full retail game if it meant more missions and achievements. Still, there are a lot of things they could have done to extend the replay value of this game. Here’s what I’d like to see in an update/sequel:

Split-screen co-op
No brainer. I had lots of fun playing online, but very few people used headsets, and no one I played with really strategized at all. No split-screen means I’ll never be able to play this game with my girlfriend.
Mission Leaderboards
They only have a very general leaderboard. It would be great to see mission-specific scores (lowest time to beat a boss, gold medal with fewest emplacements, etc.), and the trenches each player used to do it.
Weapon-specific challenges for each mission
By the end of the game I was sticking with three machine guns and one artillery cannon, since that worked really well. The other weapons were fun, and I wish I had more of a reason to use them (other than leveling up). Each mission could have weapon-specific challenges like “Broadcasters and Shotguns only,” different for each mission. They could even tie it into the “spoils,” where you can only unlock a great shotgun if you beat a shotgun challenge.
Randomized Missions/Trenches
They could have a co-op option where it randomizes each player’s trench. This would mean the players would have to quickly change strategies and guard different areas depending on what weapons/emplacements they were given. Maybe only one player has Flak turrets, so that player would have to collect a lot of scrap and build those while the others defend, and so on.Alternatively, they could randomize the enemies that appear, but give you some tips at the beginning so you can customize your trench accordingly. Both of these things would mean you could keep playing this game forever, as it would always be different.

Horde-style mode
You know the drill, just keep throwing tougher enemies at us until the base dies, and tell us how long we lasted. Having this option on every map with leaderboards would give everyone a reason to keep playing, and use better strategies.
Separate medals for solo and co-op
I only played a few missions solo before trying co-op, and then went back and forth. If the medals were separate, I could go back and strive for gold medals on all missions solo, but I don’t remember which ones those were.
“Vote” on next co-op mission
Anyone can choose the mission, so you’ll often get into fights with other players and keep switching it back and forth. They should allow you to vote, and either the majority wins, or it’ll take turns.
A non-pointless store
I don’t think I bought a single weapon in the game, because all the good ones are given to you. Not only that, but the best weapons aren’t even available in the store, and the normal ones don’t unlock until you already have them! So what’s the point of the store? All of the weapons should be available in the store from the start, giving me a reason to save up my money for that wicked artillery cannon, “Mr. Pancakes.”
Ability to skip dialogue
The dialogue gets really annoying when you need to keep replaying a level if you’re trying for a gold medal. Let us skip it!

While I loved Costume Quest and Stacking, Trenched is their best game yet (not counting Psychonauts of course!), and is the most worthy of a full retail release. I’m looking forward to any DLC they release, and really hope for a sequel.

Update: “Trenched” (on facebook) commented on this post!:

Trenched: Great list! These are all awesome suggestions. Thanks for putting it together!