Monday Night Combat is a rarity that I solemn stumble across. As a title that barely caught my attention for its offline affairs, it sure made me take notice of its online portions. Normally, titles that offer little to no offline action, and rely on multiplayer to save their tails, don’t scream out for multiple playthroughs. So it’s safe to label Monday Night Combat as an oddity; a good one at that.
Strictly as a tower-defense title, Monday Night Combat is a rather intriguing spin on the genre in the form of a third-person shooter with several classes to choose from. Beyond that, the headquarters-like multiplayer battle mode titled Crossfire is where the heart of the beast lies – even with its exhausting time limit that normally drags out to overtime. Crossfire asks for players to enjoy a round of 6v6 combat as each team vies to assault the opposing team’s moneyball until its health bar is depleted or the time runs out. As a team-oriented mode, Crossfire is a tug-of-war battle of offensive vs. defense maneuvers as teams send robots to assault the enemy, build up a variety of turrets, activate the Annihilator power (reigning down fire in the vicinity), and much more.
While online rounds are compelling enough to keep you up all night and into the morning, the limited amount of maps and lack of host-migration are aggravating. The maps themselves aren’t anything out of the ordinary, so don’t expect to be served anything overwhelmingly satisfying for eye-candy. In addition, the character designs aren’t anything to write home about; generic and to the point. If you are surprised by a masked assassin or a tank that is a big ugly dude that looks like he walked off a construction site, then I suggest you take the much needed wake-up call as Monday Night Combat isn’t anywhere near original with its tailor-made designs that beg for Team Fortress 2 comparisons.
Let’s not forget that the announcer is as annoying as the douchebag in the back of the theater, blurting out one joke after another and interrupting the enjoyment of everyone with his atrocious attempts at humor. It was often better to play Monday Night Combat on mute so the action never deterred from its non-stop course through Crossfire battles.
Crossfire battles often become a battle of strategy due to the class-based system Monday Night Combat employs. MNC allows players to pick among: Assault, Tank, Assassin, Sniper, Gunner and Support. Each class has a small range of perks that need to be taken advantage of to push forward and overwhelm the opposition. Support players are able to hack enemy turrets and turn them in favor of their own team while Gunners can plant themselves and become human turrets. Assassins are able to cloak themselves and earn instant kills from behind (with the exception of Gunners) meanwhile the Assault class has access to jet packs. It also goes without saying that the teams must make a charge towards the enemy base or else the endless waiting game will eventually turn into overtime, which, as of right now, is the common result of 80 percent of the matches.
As enjoyable as Monday Night Combat was, if I was to remove the factor that I was often playing with friends and/or colleagues, I’m sure that enjoyment would’ve plummeted. The single-player is, as expected, a throwaway and easy for achievements. Without the announcer in my ear telling me how awful I was performing in comparison to the last match, Monday Night Combat would’ve turned into a rather lonely title. Multiplayer is the exciting heart and soul of Monday Night Combat, but make sure that you have some friends in tow.