"Bacon makes you better at everything"
Combat sports have existed for centuries, but never like in Monday Night Combat. Starting up the game, you find yourself greeted with an extremely polished and yet incredibly off the wall tutorial that involves a contestant in the extravagant game that is Monday Night Combat. This theme of incredibly campy sporting events is present throughout as an exaggeration of how sports exist in modern times.
The game makes a joke of nearly everything as the entire premise of the game is one in which contestants take part in combat in the vein of a sporting event. The commercialization of modern sports takes the forefront as sponsors and advertisements for fake companies and products are plastered everywhere.
Despite the obviously cheesy attempt at making fun of how sports are covered, Monday Night Combat proves to be an adequate third person shooter. With a class system in place that involves six different roles (Assault, Tank, Assassin, Gunner, Sniper and Support), the game features varied combat that is always hect ic and eventful. Mixed in with the shooter mechanics are RPG elements such as leveling and mob spawns which work to ensure that the game never slows down and that combat really is taking place everywhere. Tower defense also plays a role in the game as turrets can be built on various “nubs” to help defend against both other players and mobs. The combat system is surprisingly intricate as it involves more than just shooting with multiple types of melee attacks available to every class, as well as three skills that are unique to each. These skills range from enhanced melee attacks to defensive abilities such as setting traps and the usage of a jet pack. The skills are what really separate Monday Night Combat from similar class based third person shooters (cough... Team Fortress 2) as they add a surprising level of depth to the gameplay, which really helps mix things up and keep you interested.
As a multiplayer-only game, Monday Night Combat features a single competitive mode known as Crossfire which pits two teams against each other in an attempt to destroy the opposing team’s money ball. This is accomplished by defen ding computer controlled units that spawn regularly as they advance to the money ball to try and lower its shields which allows players to damage the ball itself. The four maps are all fairly different with varied visuals and layouts. Everything in the game revolves around money as objects such as jump pads and turrets, and even skill upgrades are purchased. This obsession with money is further represented by Monday Night Combat’s mascot: Bullseye who drops money and power-ups when damaged during his occasional forays into matches.
Along with Crossfire, Monday Night Combat features a cooperative game mode called Blitz which is best described as a cross between Horde mode (Gears of War 2) and a generic tower defense game. Four players are placed in a team, as waves of enemies attempt to destroy their money ball. Turret “nubs” are placed throughout the map and are integral in defending the money ball and this is what really makes Blitz unique and interesting.
Humor plays a huge part in the game which should be obvious by its title, as well as its campy theme. Everything in the game is made to be silly and humorous as a commentator spews nonsense like “bacon makes everything better”, and this carries over into pretty much every aspect of the game. Even custom class building i nvolves a part of this as they involve a single position and three endorsements which are per ks provided by various sponsors such as Itchy Finger (increased rate of fire) and Hipclip (larger clip).
Monday Night Combat does have its flaws which are mostly tech nical in nature. The game doesn’t have high resolutions graphics (at least not for 1920 x 1080) and the frame rate itself can be erratic and sometimes drops to levels which are borderline unplayable. Disappointingly, Blitz mode only has a single map which bodes poorly for re-playability despite the four different modes of Blitz that are available.
With a theme that is as exciting as it is exaggerated, Monday Night Combat really shines amid a field of mostly serious shooters and demonstrates that humor can even make shooting games more interesting. Despite some technical flaws, the gameplay itself is handled well and holds up against what it will inevitably be compared to: Team Fortress 2. With a sound base in gameplay, it takes it to the next level by maintaining a hilarious theme that is executed perfectly and really does enhance the game. As a third person shooter, M onday Night Combat is mediocre. However, as a complete experience, the game is uni que, refreshing and worth more than a few hours of your time.