“The hell with Monday Night Football – we want Monday Night Combat”
That’s likely what Uber Entertainment is hoping fans are shouting after they released their blood sport 3rd person shooter, but is it worth the homage? Let’s delve into it and find out.
The basic Blitz mode of MNC is similar to a tower defense game, and by now, who hasn’t played on of those? MNC sticks you down on the floor with the action, weapon in hand, to do your part.There are seven classes and while it can be fun to jump from one to another, like most class-based games it’s better to pick one and perfect it. My favorite is the middle-of-the-road Assault class. You can spend money you earn in-match to lay down or improve turrets or upgrade your character in one of four ways. With the assault class I like to have his charge ability maxed out as soon as possible.
You also gain sponsors as you go along, but they only matter insomuch as they benefit your custom class. Before anyone gets excited, you just pick a pre-existing class and change their sponsors. That’s it – that’s your custom class. No appearance changes, no weapon tweaks, nothing. Talk about a let-down.
The game does allow some character customization in the form of picking wardrobe accessories pre-match from developer-designed sets. Some tie into Team Fortress 2, which the game does look like. In fact, the game is seems like a Team Fortress 2 spin-off to me, which is by no means a bad thing.
Combat is pretty frenetic as each character has two guns and three abilities. When you’re playing with other people in Blitz mode or the online-only Crossfire more (which has almost Defense of the Ancients style, with two teams facing off, each side churning out bots to attack the other team’s money ball, the prize you’re protecting in both modes) the roles come together to produce something less concrete then Team Fortress 2, but still solid. Speaking of tapping into other IPs, a Penny Arcade reference shows up during each game’s ‘shoot the mascot for money’ round. You’re usually shooting Bullseye, the MNC mascot but occasionally Penny Arcade’s fruit fu… yeah, that thing shows up instead. They pretty much work the same, so it’s just and model and voice pack swap.
The game’s biggest shortcoming is on maps. I’ve reviewed two shooters recently that come up short on maps. What is it with developers not including much variety in their maps? It’s getting annoying to be honest.
To wrap this up, if you like tower defense games and shooters, or just want a good arcade-style, reality-be-damned action game to play with your friends, Monday Night Combat is a good buy. The action is over the top and the controls work well (they’ve been altered from the Xbox 360 version to better fit a PC), so this isn’t just some rushed console port. It may no supplant Monday Night Football, but it can still be a good time. Alphasim out.