Monday Night Combat

Monday Night Combat

What we liked:

+ Feels very polished
+ Just plain fun
+ Bullseye the mascot
+ Crossfire matches never feel the same

What we didn't like:

- Team play in Blitz mode required
- Some texture pop and slowdown
- A couple of the classes do not really stand out

DEVELOPER: Uber Entertainment   |   PUBLISHER: Microsoft Game Studios   |   RELEASE: 08/11/2010

The sport of the future is a blast.

Class based shooters are certainly on the rise these days and Uber Entertainment’s new game, Monday Night Combat, attempts to run headfirst into the genre while trying a fresh take on what makes these kind of games fun, and I believe that they definitely succeed. This gameshow from the future themed shooter is fun, addictive, and certainly deserves a place on your hard drive to play in the coming months.

It terms of gameplay, each class has its own three unique abilities and their own separate feel with the exception of a couple. There are six classes in all: Tank, Sniper, Support, Assault, Gunner and Assassin. There are two notables here, with the first being Support, who has the ability to create shields for allies as well as create turrets which can be placed in strategic location, and the second being Assassin, who can cloak and go behind enemy lines with devastating melee attacks.

The others are pretty standard to a class based shooter, with the Tank being a big brute who can mow down enemies, the Assault class being a well rounded character and the only real class that doesn’t stand out is the Gunner, who is a combination of the Assault and Tank. The Sniper, who can take out enemies from down range and set up traps also feels somewhat out of place in the solo mode, but works well in the adversarial mode. All of the classes do feel different and each have their job, strengths and weaknesses, but it is how you put them together in the two different game modes that determines what works and what doesn’t.

Monday Night Combat, as I just mentioned, only features two game modes. Now, I know some people will think that detracts from the overall package, but I really like it. The fact that the team made a focused game really shows that they wanted to put as much polish into these two modes as possible, and they certainly did their job. Each mode works perfectly and is very balanced, because each player has their own play style and will choose the character they want, and Uber Entertainment thought of that.

The first mode is called Blitz, and can be played solo or through co-op over Xbox Live or via Split Screen. In this mode, you are tasked with fighting waves of enemies while trying to protect your “Moneyball” or base. Each wave gets larger and larger, with you scrambling to put up turrets and defeat the enemies before they penetrate your defenses.

Now, this may seem now like more of a tower defense game. Well, it actually is. Each wave of enemies follow a set path and you can see from what direction they will be coming. As you take out enemies, you will be awarded money and able to purchase upgrades, and you must make the decision whether you want to make yourself stronger or purchase turrets. It is definitely beneficial for you to build and upgrade turrets along the pathways, because it is almost impossible if you don’t. This mode gets very challenging the more people you play with, as the enemies hordes increase in size with each new player added, and you really have to be playing as a team to survive, so friends are definitely a must to make this a worthwhile experience.

The second mode that the game features is called Crossfire. In this mode, you have the same rules to defend your “Moneyball” as you did in Blitz. However, you form a team to take on another opposing team in a battle to be the first one to destroy the others base. As you do this, you can rack up kills on your opponents as well as take out the bots that are constantly marching toward your base. This mode leads to some very frantic yet super fun firefights, and can definitely be an addicting mode in its own right.

This is the meat and potatoes of the game right here, as while the Blitz mode may get old after a few runs, this mode will produce different combinations every time, and you really do not know how a match is going to go. It makes each match a fresh experience, and provides this game with some very long legs. The only downside to the online I had was that I did run into some connections issues. I was able to stay in matches just fine, but after a match, once I was in the menus, I would lose connection. This is probably caused by the host leaving the match, but it really doesn’t take long to get back into a match.

Presentation wise, this game does try to mimic the awesome art style of Team Fortress, while still putting its own spin on things. The enemy bots and player models all look good, and differentiate themselves from one another quite well. The explosions and the gunplay look good also and holds up well, with only a few times I experienced some slowdown when things got really hectic. Also, the game is made off the Unreal Engine, so there is some texture pop in certain areas, but it doesn’t hinder the game. Overall, the production value is very high.

The biggest unique presentation factor here is the aforementioned gameshow theme, complete with over the top announcer and hilarious mascot. I have to say that Bullseye, the mascot, is one of funniest things I have seen in a game in a long time, and adds a lot of comedic value to a game that most people would find very serious. I also really enjoyed some of the funny fake advertisements that they have during “commercial breaks”. They really give the game its own sense of flair and style.

As a whole, I highly recommend this game. It is a fun shooter that will certainly get you through to the next big release, and hopefully find a good following to keep matches going for months to come. I know I will pop it in every once in a while, and hopefully you will find a group willing to give it a go, because it is a very well developed and polished game. It is just plain fun, and gives the class based shooter genre a breath of fresh air. Spend the twelve hundred points, you will not be disappointed.

Review copy provided by publisher.

Ken McKown
Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.

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