|System: X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Uber Entertainment||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Microsoft Game Studios||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 11, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-12||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Adam Brown
The variety of titles included in this years Summer of Arcade event has been nice to see. Weve already gotten an atmospheric 2D side-scroller, a revived and reworked arcade racer, and a multiplayer version of Castlevania. This week we have been given an interesting competitive third-person shooter in the form of Monday Night Combat (MNC). While it is possible to look at MNC and simply dismiss it as just another shooter on the Xbox 360, this would be a mistake.
Although nothing in MNC is truly unique, the elements that it borrows are implemented well and still make the experience feel distinctive once mixed together. There are many similarities to Team Fortress in MNC. For one, this game is a class-based shooter that rewards team diversity. Players are able to choose from any of the games six classes, ranging from the offensive-minded Gunner to the healing and fixing Support class.
Each class is distinctive, having their own particular strengths and weaknesses. For instance, a Gunner has the highest powered weapon with the largest clip but moves at a much slower rate than most other characters. On the other hand, Assassins are extremely fast and have the ability to become invisible for short periods of time but have a weak ranged weapon and cant take much punishment before going down. While it can be difficult to find an absolute favorite, since every class seems to have both a wanted and unwanted attribute, it is possible to enjoy playing the game as any one of them since they feel so well-balanced.
Of course, to be successful while playing in teams online, youll need to have a wide variety of classes present. If everyone on one team is playing as a Gunner, they may have the most firepower but will be susceptible to getting ambushed by Assassins, Assault, and Sniper characters on the opposing team. The gameplay in MNC is truly at its best when you have a skilled team that all chose different classes. There arent many things more satisfying than sneaking up behind an enemy engaged in combat with a friendly Gunner and executing him with a swift sword strike as an Assassin.
While the different character classes abilities and skills are an important part of the game, they arent the only focus. As a single-player game, MNC actually feels more like a juiced-up tower defense game than a shooter. Killing enemies or bots will net you cash that can be used to upgrade your skills or build turrets. Scattered throughout the games maps are nodes on which you are able to build turrets for defense. There are four varieties to choose from ranging from cheaper, weaker close combat turrets to the more expensive missile turrets. Placing the correct turrets in the appropriate spots can make a huge difference when trying to survive, as youll need to rely on their firepower in order to protect your Moneyball from the advancing waves of bots.
MNC is essentially a futuristic sport, having humans defending their Moneyball (a large glowing orb full of cash) from bots or, in multiplayer, other humans. In Blitz mode, up to four players can defend their Moneyball against increasingly more destructive waves of A.I. controlled bots. While the game does seem to adapt the difficulty to match the number of players involved in a match, the advantage of having multiple players using different classes far outweighs the increased number of enemies. This mode can be played on a variety of different difficulties; however, this simply means having to successfully protect your Moneyball from more or less waves of enemies.