Monday Night Combat Preview

By Adam Ma on August 2, 2010, 9:43PM EDT

To address the biggest concern anyone would have about this game, I'll come right out and say it.  This isn't a Team Fortress 2 clone. There's no way it could be, even though there are a lot of things that look the same. It has classes that have unique abilities, squad oriented fighting, and cartoonish graphics. It's understandable how most would look at the game at face value and misinterpret what's going on here. What's going to make Monday Night Combat so much fun - and so very unique - is how those similar aspects are put into play.

Starting off with the classes, Monday Night Combat offers a pretty decent variety geared for every type of gamer. Every class has their signature weapons, melee attacks, and moves. From the Assassins cloaking to the Snipers freeze trap, the game is made so that each class will be able to hold its own in some manner. More importantly, all classes are meant to work together in a way that's a little more fluid than most shooting games operate. This level of teamwork will help to define Monday Night Combat as its own franchise, but wouldn't accomplish much if not for the games overall design.

Over the top, third person, adrenaline-fuelled action. That's what Uber Entertainment is going for here, and they do it in a very unique fashion. Players going at each others throats (or against the computer) will find themselves trying to please the in-game crowd in a attempt to get sponsorship. Sponsors provide upgrades, cash, and fame which let the Monday Night Combat Pro kill, maim, and generally hurt things easier. The idea of scoring kills to please a crowd, rather than just earn points/cash, is pretty appealing. This is of course, assuming that Uber can pull it off right.

Level design is just as important as class design in the end, and it doesn't feel like Monday Night Combat will disappoint in this regard. Most levels are completely designed around the common modes that are featured in most FPS games. Players can expect a Capture The Flag game-type to have two very similarly designed bases, or a Domination game type to have a lot of depth to it. This however, is a game about endless streams of robots that must be routed by opposing human teams. The mechanics here are really different enough to suggest that the level design must also be very unique. Current video footage and screenshots show a pretty diverse (and energetic) level design, though how they function in reality still remains up in the air.

Naturally the game also features a massive amount of time-sinks, from unlockable icons to competitive leaderboards. More interesting would be the customizable classes, which are purchased over time. Players can take the sponsorship they've earned, assign them to particular levels of importance, and throw themselves into the fray. It's certainly a cool concept, one that really fits the game's corporate-fuelled-America theme.

So no, Monday Night Combat is not another Team Fortress clone. It does however, look just as fun in its own way. Even better is the titles exclusivity to consoles, meaning that players wont have to fumble around with controls that feel out of place (or rushed). Naturally it's the kind of game that will perform better with more friends, or just people who can work well on a team. The game comes out August 11, which is just around the corner, and no doubt it'll make a really positive mark on the multiplayer community.

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