Monday Night Combat
Posted 2 years ago By kingquagmire - David Collins
While the Tower Defense genre is by no means a stranger to the Xbox LIVE Arcade realm, I don’t think there is anything quite like Monday Night Combat. To call it a Tower Defense game would be oversimplifying things and also will do a complete disservice to the 3rd person shooter side of the game. Yes, you read that right. Monday Night Combat is one part Tower Defense and one part 3rd Person Arena Shooter thrown into a frappe machine and blended well with ice and a sprinkling of themes from such properties as The Running Man and Smash TV. How does it taste? Well, it’s smooth, clean, and refreshing. Beware of the flavor: it cloud the pallet over time.
Monday Night Combat follows the typical Tower Defense formula where waves of enemies follow preset paths as they rush the base. Only, in this case, since the game is set in a futuristic game show of sorts, the “base” is the Money Ball. It’s shielded, but the shields can be brought down, and then the Ball is vulnerable. Destroying it is game over. The first line of defense is the tower. Players have four at their disposal: Laser, Missile, Mortar, and Slow. The twist is that instead of the typical overhead or 3/4 isometric view, the player is actually on the battlefield as one of six different classes of fighters. This allows for a more direct means of defending the Money Ball and the towers as well.
The single player experience is more of a springboard than anything else. With no story to follow, it’s divided up into five parts with the major differences being the overall difficulty and the amount of waves to survive. After a couple hours of play, I had completed four of the five parts, as the 5th one had an infinite amount of waves. To be honest, by that point I had no desire to do it again. While it can also be played with up to three buddies, it still got old pretty quickly. It won’t bring endless hours of entertainment, but what it does do is provide the opportunity to test out the different classes and see which one suits you best.
This is where the game really starts to shine. Each class is very well balanced and makes the game tremendously more strategic. They are all pretty self explanatory: the Sniper can drop foes from a distance while the Assassin is quick, agile and deadly up close, yet they both have a mediocre amount of defense. The Assault class is sort of your Jack of all Trades, but master of none. The Tank is exactly that: a brute of a guy who moves slow, is well defended and packs a punch. The Support class runs around healing friendlies and can suck health out of foes in a pinch, though I wouldn’t recommend sticking around and doing it for long. The only odd class is the Gunner. He seems to be a mix of the Assault and Tank classes, but to be honest, he was the least enjoyable one for me to play.
Custom classes can be unlocked after attaining a certain amount of earnings - acquired by winning matches either in single or multiplayer - and this will allow even further tweaking of your favored class by allowing three perks to be added. These perks provides boosts such as health regen, faster reload, or a higher rate of fire, to name a few. Once you’ve decided which one works for you, it’s time to jump into the PvP multiplayer. Now, keep in mind that in addition to the primary, secondary, and melee attacks, each class also has 3 unique special attacks. A word of warning: the preset classes will not get you far. The game is truly designed for the custom classes, so be sure to unlock them as soon as you have earned enough dough.
The MP mode (dubbed “Crossfire”) pits two teams of six against each other, with the goal of destroying the opposing team’s Money Ball. Initially the Ball is shielded, so each team needs to escort their bots to bring the enemy’s the shield down. Once it’s down, though, it’s go time.The invading team is now free to rush in, and as a full blown blitz, they will attempt to destroy the Ball while the defenders are trying to fend off the attack long enough for the shield to regenerate. It creates an interesting shift in tactics that the organized teams out there will have a blast with.
Ultimately, Monday Night Combat is nifty twist on the Tower Defense genre. The single player game is almost DOA. That’s fine, as there is little doubt this game was made to be played in the multiplayer atmosphere. The visuals are very well done for a downloadable game with not a single jaggy or ripped texture to be found. Although, you may want to add your own soundtrack, because the sports-style commentating quickly becomes repetitive. The overall balance of the classes is top notch, and the map layouts are incredible. Furthermore, developer Uber Entertainment has a system in place that allows them to make tweaks on the fly - meaning you won’t have to exit out to receive a title update every time.
To be honest, my biggest problem with the game is it’s staying power. After a few hours in the multiplayer side, everything started to feel very redundant. The randomized selection of arenas, while well balanced, began to look the same after a few matches simply due the fact that there really isn’t many to play in. Couple that with the was, rinse, repeat gameplay and a strikingly lack of strategic teamplay (most matches I played saw the majority of the players choosing to be the Assassin) and you have a recipe for boredom. While there is quite a bit of short-term fun here, I can’t see it lasting with the less-dedicated players unless Uber takes advantage of their update system and provides a continuous flow of changes to keep things interesting.
+ Everything from the maps to the classes are well balanced
+ Visuals are very clean
- Single player is little more than a glorified training ground
- Commentator is annoying
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Release Date : 2010/08/11
System : Xbox 360
Publisher : Microsoft Game Studios
Developer : Uber Entertainment
Category : Shooter
ESRB : T
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