First Shot: Monday Night Combat
If there’s one thing you can always depend on, it’s a downloadable release during Xbox Live’s annual Summer of Arcade. In a summer that already brought us the artful puzzle-platformer Limbo, the arcade boat racing sequel Hydro Thunder Hurricane, and the multiplayer 2D retro frenzy in Castlevania: Harmony of Despair, needless to say Monday Night Combat was another highly anticipated title for the XBLA library. I first remember spotting a booth from developer Uber Entertainment during PAX East and while I didn’t get a chance to play the game, the booth still managed to attract a massive crowd. The game had an overtly familiar tone, clearly taking a page from the cartoonish graphics and gameplay style from Team Fortress 2. I usually look down upon games that clearly crib an art style from a more successful franchise, so my expectations going into the game were pretty low.
So what were my initial impressions? Well Thursday night I told myself I would only play a few rounds to get a good feel for the game, though a “few” rounds turned into several hours and before I knew it, I knew I was going to be late for work the next day. To keep it brief, the game is basically a third-person shooter mixed with Team Fortress 2-style class building and Defense of the Ancients-style resources management. You can choose between six different classes and as you assemble more kills and accrue more money, you are able to update skills speciifc to your class. I spent most of my first night on Monday Night Combat playing as a Support, which is akin to a Medic class from TF2 yet with its own unique characteristics. While most of my time was spent running around building turrets and providing health support to my own team members, the Support class proved might strong on its own, coming equipped with a powerful shotgun and the ability to toss out “firebases” that acted as mobile mini-turrets. For a budgetary that looks and feels like a mod built for Team Fortress 2, Monday Night Combat has a surprising amount of depth and replayability.
Be sure to check back in to Crispy Gamer when we’ll have a more in-depth review of Monday Night Combat.