Reviews – Monday Night Combat Review

Platform: PC
Also available on: Xbox 360
Developer: Uber Entertainment
Release date: Jan 24, 2011

Monday Night Combat is a unique hybrid of different genres, and to pass it off as a Team Fortress 2 clone would be dismissing what this game really is. Monday Night Combat is a 3rd person shooter that combines elements from other games such as the class types of Team Fortress and tower defense elements of games like Defense of the Ancients.

The theme in this game is similar to Super Smash TV or the movie The Running Man, which is a future sports theme. While there isn’t a campaign mode with a story in this game, there is a lot of atmosphere to the game. Every player is a genetically enhanced clone who’s battling it to the death. Each character has their own vibrant personality that parodies some type of a stereotype, such as: the Sniper being a parody of MLG players, the Assault is a parody of jocks, the Gunner is a parody of surfer guys, etc. The Monday Night Combat announcer, Mickey Canter, also brings lots of character to the universe of this game and has a lot of goofy dialog. The graphics are very aesthetically pleasing, with its cartoonish look and great animations. Everything about the game’s looks, presentation, and even the music gives it a certain flair and flavor that’s not found in too many other games.

As previously stated, MNC is a mixture of different game genres and gameplay. The core of the game plays like a 3rd person shooter, but playing the game as if it’s a death-match shooter will usually lead to failure. There is a heavy emphasis on teamplay and real time strategy. In MNC’s main mode, which is Crossfire, the goal of the game isn’t to get the most kills, but to destroy the other teams’ moneyball. Players are to buy turrets within their base to protect their moneyball. Each team has two lanes of bots that are constantly spawning from each end and marching to the enemy side. The bots are the only thing that can take down the moneyball shields, so players have to escort them to the enemy base by destroying enemy turrets and enemy bots. Once the bots have taken down the shields, the moneyball becomes vulnerable for players to be able to attack it. Each class type has their own strengths and weakness, and a well balanced team that works together will have more success than a bunch of players only trying to gain the most frags. There is a steep learning curve to MNC, which I think makes the game especially unique and fun, but this steep learning curve also hurts the game as well.

The problem with MNC is that many players don’t understand how to effectively play the game. The lack of a proper tutorial could be to blame for this, since the existing tutorial only teaches the player what the controls are. There are some videos and articles found within the game, but these hidden behind a few menus and not many players are willing to read strategies. As a result, being in a dysfunctional team with incompetent players in MNC is not an uncommon thing. Even being on a team with the majority playing as the same class, such as 4 Support or 5 Assassins is not uncommon either. MNC is an ambitious game mean for a niche market, but it attracted too many of the wrong players and not enough players who this game was meant for. While incompetent teams is a problem on the PC version of MNC, good players is also a huge problem. It’s not uncommon to go into a server that’s being dominated by one single player that’s playing as a Sniper. With how the Sniper class in this game is set up and how intimately small the maps are, anyone with great aim can not only dominate in a match, but make the game extremely frustrating for other players, especially those who are playing as one of the heavy classes, with their slow speed and their heads looking like big targets. I have never seen any game in which a single sniper can dominate an entire team so easily. There really isn’t a point for the Sniper class either, since MNC is not a deathmatch game, it’s a team objective-based game. With players who don’t know how to play, and snipers who are extremely dominant, the community leaves a frustrating experience with this game. As of this writing, what’s left of the community for MNC is extremely small, and that’s a huge deal for a multiplayer-focused game.

MNC is a unique experience, and I had a lot of fun with it. Uber Entertainment has pushed out several updates within the few months that this game has been available, and they genuinely seem like people who care to hear what the fans have to say. Though, with the dying community, and the lack of maps available, lack of a proper tutorial, snipers being overpowered, it makes it very hard to recommend this game to new players. Uber Entertainment did an excellent job putting together this $15 shooter, but it doesn’t have the community to increase the lifespan of the game. If there is another Free-To-Play Weekend on Steam, definitely give this game a try, but unless the community somehow gets revived, I cannot recommend this game. Otherwise, it’s a quality game for a budget price.

4 out of 5 stars

-“The Don” Stafa