CAUSE COMBAT IS ALWAYS MORE FUN ON A MONDAY NIGHT.
CAUSE COMBAT IS ALWAYS MORE FUN ON A MONDAY NIGHT.Monday Night Combat is an charming pick up and play team based third person shooter set in a futuristic game show environment, clearly inspired by the likes of Team Fortress 2 and Defence of the Ancients. This latest Xbox Live Arcade release is able to create a cocktail of both, resulting in a complex yet approachable shooter, one that contains a good amount of depth for those looking to personalize their characters abilities and skills. Even with some pretty awful technical problems along the way.
Consisting of two main game modes, Monday Night Combat is a multiplayer game at heart. Blitz is a fascinating take on tower defence and Horde mode, where up to a team of four players must protect their moneyball from waves of killer robots. Crossfire is the competitive multiplayer mode in which two teams of six players must attempt to destroy their opponents moneyball with the use of robots, turrets and player skills. Some good old fashion team work doesn't hurt either.
Speaking of skills, the player is able to upgrade his or her's abilities to improve their effectiveness in battle. This is where you'll see a clear Defence of the Ancients inspiration, as you spend cash earned in the ongoing match on upgrades depending on the class you've chosen. There are six classes to choose from, Assault, Tank, Support, Assassin, Gunner and finally Sniper. All six vary greatly in both use and ability, almost to the point that you'll find the one your most comfortable with and stick with it.
Turrets can be built to help defend your moneyball and base from the enemy, and your even able to spend some of that well earned credit on upgrading turrets up to three different levels. This creates an interesting dilemma, do you spend you cash on upgrading your players skill or do you spend it on base defences? Upgrading your class skills is useful for obvious reasons, and the amount each class varies in both ability and control is an highlight of the experience. I certainly felt most at home playing the Assault class, with it's powerful level three charge ability. The only issue with the six classes is that one or two are currently overpowered in Crossfire.
Monday Night Combat uses the much debated Unreal Engine, and sadly it's not without the now traditional graphical problems. Textures can take a while to load and the overall frame rate can border on the unplayable, but when the games running smoothly the interesting character designs and futuristic game show presentation is all rather charming. There's some nice audio touches to, such as the rumble of robot speech or the excitable commentator, even though he quickly begins to repeat himself.
So it's unfortunate that these problems overshadow such a fun game, one that can be as simple or as in depth as you want. If your able to look past such issues, you'll find a thoroughly charming experience, one worth your well earned Microsoft Points. That said, a good frame rate is so important to a game like Monday Night Combat and when the action gets choppy and you die at the result of poor performance, you find yourself hoping that a fix comes sooner rather then later.