Reviews

Monday Night Combat – Review

Release Date: Out now!
Developer: Uber Entertainment
Publisher: Microsoft
Singleplayer: Blitz can be played by one person.
Splitscreen: yes, 2 player.
Multiplayer: 2-12
PEGI:
On paper Monday Night Combat faces a small problem, in sheer money for content terms it weighs in underweight with just 2 modes and few maps for the large sum of 1200MSP.
It’s not small monetary ask and with other Arcade shooters such as Blacklight offering more it comes purely down to gameplay to make its mark and capture the imagination of gamers. And Monday Night Combat succeeds at that.

Set in a gameshow where “Pro’s” fight it out this third person class based shooter attempts to make its mark with bright and cartoony style graphics that will be familiar to any Team Fortress 2 player.
For an Arcade game it’s sharp with cartoon models all looking well and animation in specific being extremely well done, the kill animations for the Assassin in particular are always fun to watch.
Though it must be mentioned that the crowds look as though they come from the days of the Atari, I mean c’mon, whats that?

But for all its graphical nicety it’s in the Arena that the game will win or lose and win it does.
6 classes make up the game, a co-operative mode named Blitz will pit you and up three others against waves of Bots as you defend the MoneyBall.
It’s classic Horde style stuff with the main complaint being the fact that the Blitz maps are small allowing for less maneuvering but it does make for some close action and teamwork is essential.
But it’s Crossfire where it all kicks off in this extremely fun game mode.
Six players versus six players sounds simple, but each team has a MoneyBall. The objective is simple, destroy the enemies ball whilst defending your own however each Ball is shielded. These Shields can only be brought down by escorting Bots that spawn at your base to the enemy Ball.
They always go down 2 paths and with only 6 players per team is a desperate battle of teamwork as you push enemy Bots from your base whilst trying to attack with your own.
Turrets can be built around your base for defense and upgraded with money that each players earns during the fight, this money can also be used to upgrade your character mid-fight though these do no carry through from fight to fight nor if you change class mid-game.
It’s becomes a balancing act, do your power up your own class or spend it on defense for your base? Or perhaps to spawn some of the special Player hunting Bots?
It’s a game mode that truly feels fun and very balanced, matches tend to be extremely even throughout leading to some fantastic battles as you push and defend.

The 6 classes’ available all feel very nice to play and have a wide choice of playstyles whether you favour the lumbering Gunner or the subtle Assassin you’ll find something to suit your style.
A few balancing issues do irritate such as the Assaults main weapon feeling a tad underpowered and other minor facts, though these will most likely be updated and corrected.
Customisation is possible once you acquire enough Money, but it’s very limited with the ability to simply add slightly different bonuses’ to your class.
You can also add Pro Tags to your character which essentially just show off some cool things you’ve done but other than that your lifetime earnings have nothing to be spent on, there are no different costumes or such for characters to spend your hard-earned cash on.

Combat is fast paced and frantic over the limited, but well designed game maps that make up your Arena’s. Each has hazards that can be activated as well along with Bullseye, the Monday Night Combat mascot who appears and when attacked drops money. It’s always fun seeing how many players will break and run for this mascot leading to either the entire team leaving a base undefended to both teams clashing at the mascot in a massive battle royale.

Sadly the small amount of maps, though well designed will quickly become over familiar and each look the same in terms of art-style and some even use almost the exact same layout with a few alterations.

It’s all backed up by great commentary done by a superb voice actor, it tends to repeat itself as you may expect but it’s hard to get bored of such lines as “you said it wouldn’t hurt but it does!” and more.
In fact the game as a whole contains a nice thread of humour throughout which suits the cartoon style graphics perfectly.
And to keep you in the right mood a nice Rock music track backs the game, once again like the commentary it’s not as varied as it could be but it’s still well done and gets you in the mood for some fun.

But minor  niggles aside the game has the simple glaring fault mentioned at the beginning of this review. For such a large sum though the gameplay may be fun, addictive and fresh it’s a  large asking price for so few maps and modes compared to others on the Arcade.
Many will find it hard to justify the asking price to which it can only be said, download the trial and try the game.

Ultimately Monday Night Combat is one of the best games to come to Arcade, it’s fun to play, addictive and feels fresh but the money asked is extreme for so few maps and only two game modes.
Other minor niggles irk but are far from game breaking, without a doubt DLC can be expected for this game as well as at the moment there is nothing to spend your hard earned cash on nor anything to unlock.

The Good:
+ It’s just fun to play!
+ A nice sense of humour
+ Crossfire is a great game mode!

The Bad:
– Big price tag for a lack of content
– Damn Assassins!
– Nothing to unlock

Scores:

Graphics: 8.5
Solid visuals and great animations prevail though the crowd look like something made of cardboard.

Sound: 8
A nice Rock background and good commentery.

Story: 2
You’re in a gameshow, there is no story past that.

Gameplay: 8.5
A few minor balancing issues don’t destroy what is an extremely fun game to play.

Lifespan: 8
It’s addictive without a doubt and keeps you coming back for more thanks to Crossfire being well made.

Overall: 8.5
It may be lacking in pure money to content value but whats there is focused and great fun to play and has a certain addictive quality that keeps you coming back for more and more.
Simply put it’s one of the best games to hit Arcade and proudly stands up beside games like Battlefield 1943 while offering something a little different.

 

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