Monday Night Combat proves fun with friends

THE SUPPORT CHARACTER DROPS an air strike beacon on a RockIt turret while dodging its return fire in a one-man assault on the enemy Moneyball. Normally, this is a bad idea for the Support to do.

David’s Take

Monday Night Combat! It’s sort of like Monday Night Football, but instead of horrendous injuries that will haunt athletes for the rest of their lives, players mostly die from facing overwhelming numbers of deadly, deadly robots. It’s a vicious blood-sport take on a family favorite. As you can probably guess from my tone, I’m not a huge fan of this game.

It played all right; the controls were well developed and the classes were what I look for in a shooter/light tower defense game. Overall, the gameplay was okay. I have no real complaints, but there’s nothing to write home about. In many ways the game felt like a recodification of the features from many other better games, drawing enough from each to be unique without drawing enough to be genuinely good.

Playing the game, I enjoyed myself. This was only because I played with and against a group of my friends. Overall, I actually wouldn’t recommend this to you if you are purchasing it for yourself. But if you’re looking for a decent game to play with between 3–5 friends, then go right ahead.

The most enjoyment I got out of the game was trying to come up with a societal context for the actions of the players in the game and the game itself. What sort of culture could spawn this sort of dark television show, where men and women fight hordes of machines with their lives on the line for the sole purpose of getting money? It’s a dark question that is completely at odds with the tone of the game, and thus, entertaining.

James’ Take

Monday Night Combat is an over-the-top, awesome combat game that mixes elements from several other titles into its own unique brand of shooting and killing. MNC feels like an amalgam of the Ratchet and Clank series (especially Ratchet: Deadlocked), Team Fortress 2, and Unreal Tournament.

The game features two modes, in which you defend the Moneyball—literally a giant floating ball made of coins. In Blitz, you can play solo or in a team of up to four friends protecting the Moneyball from hordes of robotic attackers. In Crossfire, teams of up to six players each spawn robot minions and attempt to destroy each other’s Moneyballs. Crossfire is by far the more fun of the two, especially when played with a group of friends.

The classes in the game are very reminiscent of those in Team Fortress 2. My personal favorite is the Support. The Support can drop an air strike on people, drain health from enemies to restore his own, heal friends and friendly turrets, hack allied turrets to improve them and enemy turrets to steal them, and build a machine gun turret called a Firebase which heals nearby allies.

The game has been out since January, and a sequel, called Super Monday Night Combat, will be released soon. Frankly, I can’t wait, because it is tons of fun.

Kevin’s Take

The shooter market is currently dominated by big-name shooters like Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3. Many publishers are trying to recreate the success of these games by emulating their style and mechanics; many gamers feel that these games are growing stale due to a lack of innovation. Uber Entertainment’s Monday Night Combat provides a breath of fresh air by incorporating elements from Defense of the Ancients games and class-based shooters to an otherwise stagnant genre.

Unfortunately, this game, like many other video games before it, is a product of consolization; controls are optimized specifically for an Xbox 360 controller and are extremely awkward when translated to the keyboard and mouse. While Monday Night Combat has a persistent leveling and customization system through endorsements and sponsors, the system is limited at best, providing little incentive to continue playing due to the rather small number of unlockables available.

Currently, the game’s online community is microscopic at best. At any given time, only about 15 people are playing online. And coming into the game’s competitive online environment as a noob will severely dash your hopes of managing to get a single kill; despite the small community, the people who play the game are very good. We at The Poly recommend playing this game with friends on a local area network. Trolling your friends in the same room has never been this much fun.