I really felt like I wanted something new though, and considering I've been having to pull extra hours at the movie theater, I felt confident that I could afford a good budget title, so I headed off to the Steam Store to check out any deals they were having. This is where two titles caught my eye: Global Agenda and Monday Night Combat.
Now, there were two reasons I really even considered Global Agenda: first of all, it was on sale for $7.50 and there were no subscription fees, and secondly; at a glance it reminded me of PlanetSide.
|Man, I loved the 14 day free trial of this game, just not enough to pay $12.99/month for it|
Anyway, after viewing a few gameplay videos of GA I decided to go with MNC instead even though it was a little under $7.00 more. Now, I had been vaguely aware of MNC when it came out for XBox Live Arcade but I hadn't really paid much mind to it because it really just seemed like a blatant copy of TF2 that was dumbed down for console players. Because of this, I was pretty surprised when I found out they were releasing it for PC (and that it was going to be distributed by Steam, especially). Again, I just disregarded it as a bad console port and decided not to pre-order it.
Imagine my surprise when I go to PCGamer's website and find that they actually gave MNC their Editor's Choice Award! I was totally baffled, I thought for sure that MNC was just a lame rip off, but if PCG liked that, then I probably would too.
Review after the jump
Monday Night Combat
MNC is presented like any all-American sporting event: it has an annoying, washed-out announcer; a metric shit-ton of sponsors, flashy uniforms, and an obnoxious mascot named BullsEye.
|He may be annoying, but the devs had the good sense to make one of the objectives in each round to shoot him dead|
Even the MNC logo is reminiscent of the NFL, MLB, and NBA. The overall atmosphere of the game really contributes to the gameplay, which I'll talk about riiiiiiiight...now!
The Gameplay of MNC is fast and frantic, with many of the rounds I played today having complete turnarounds at the very last minute. When I first jumped in, I was immediately reminded of a more well-known tournament-shooter franchise: Unreal. MNC lives up to this comparison very well but still throws in a few twists, but I'll get into that later. Let's look at the game modes, shall we?
Currently, there are only two game modes: Crossfire and Blitz. Crossfire is the most popular so lets delve into that first. Crossfire is somewhat similar to UT's game mode: domination. Two teams of six players are tasked with defending their "MoneyBall" (UT equivalent: Power Core) and destroying the opposing team's one as well.
|The orange orb is the MoneyBall|
Oh, did I also mention that PA's Fruit Fucker makes an appearance in the game? No?
Well, he does
Now, unlike UT's Domination, you are not capturing control points to destroy the MoneyBalls shield, rather, you are escorting robots across the playing field so they can jump onto it and start humping it just like King Kong did to the empire state building.
Now, for the most part, you're going to feel like you're committing robot genocide as you try to keep these ball-humpers from violating your sweet, sweet money. However, you still have to go toe-to-toe with other players if you want to score the big bucks and ultimately make the winning much easier.
Now, let's get ready to commit a Robocaust with MNC's only other game-mode: Blitz. Relatively speaking, Blitz is far less popular than Crossfire and most of the servers you're going to find are private. This is all for good reason as Blitz is a far more co-operative game mode and is in no way competitive, unlike Crossfire. Blitz is very similar to L4D's survival mode, though instead of seeing how long you last, you try to see if you can protect your MoneyBall from the orb-molesting masses for 20 rounds. Now, this isn't very difficult, especially if you're playing with friends, but its still a fun experience that can give you something to talk about with your gamer friends later. My only real beef with it is that there's no option for raising the level of difficulty.
MNC has six distinct that all compliment each other well and I would argue that you would need at least four of them being on your team to really be able to win (I'll get into the other two in a bit). The classes are:
The Gunner is outfitted with a minigun and a mortar cannon. If you choose to mainly play this class (like I did) you're going to want to take on a mostly defensive role against the legions of robots, though it is advisable to rush the enemies base when their MoneyBall's shields are down, since you have a pretty high damage output. You're biggest concerns are going to be the Sniper and Assassin classes, mostly due to your slow movement speed.
|Unlike the TF2's maniacal Soviet, MNC's Gunner is portrayed as a laid back Hawaiian|
As the Assault class you're given an Assault rifle with a wider spread than your mother, and a grenade launcher. The best tactic for this class is to hit hard and fast and occupy the opposing team while your robots move in for the kill. You're mostly going to want to deal with other players if you play this class, don't focus that much of your attention on the robots. Hopefully if you've got a decent Gunner, you won't have to worry about them.
|From his general attitude, you almost feel like he might be compensating for something...|
Basically a combination of TF2's Medic and Engineer. You're main concern playing this class is keeping the turrets in your base functioning, and making sure you're team-mates are healed and ready to take a beating. You might also want to set up your portable turret near the enemy's robot spawn to help thin the numbers.
|Finally, the videogames industry goes back to its roots: stereotypical Italians|
A grizzly bear that was given a railgun and a death laser befitting a James Bond villian, that is the best description I can come up with for the Tank. Though I think the devs originally designed him to fill a defensive role, you're mostly going to see him on the frontlines. He's capable of high-damage output and input but his main weakness is the same as the Gunner's: slow movement that make him easy targets for the Assassin and Sniper.
|I could really identify with this character if it weren't for the fact that he uses a giant egg as armor|
A modern day Ninja with a sword and an arm mounted shuriken-launcher. In short: every weeaboo's wet-dream. As an assassin you will spend most of the game stealthily picking off the enemy team one-by-one like the motherfucking Predator. She can turn completely invisible (though you can see shimmers of her if she gets too close to you) and if she can get behind you to perform an execution move, it's all over.
|Seriously, she even has the tri-laser just like the goddamn Predator|
Shrill, egotistical, and really fucking annoying: the Sniepr is a caricature of the XBox Live community. If you choose this class, expect to spend most of your time in your base picking off enemies from across the map like a pussy. You can also set ice-traps which freeze opponents in place, making your already risk-free job even easier.
|A far cry from TF2's well-mannered Aussie|
Now, like I said earlier, I really feel that only four of these classes are really necessary to have in order to win: everyone but the Sniper and Assassin. These are the only classes that could be considered unbalanced. The Sniper has the ability to freeze you in place and easily proceed to spray your gray-matter all over the arena and the Assassin is able to become completely invisible and anally rape you so fast that you barely realize what happened to you before you respawn. For the most part, I really don't feel like these classes are necessary in the game, considering the small size of the MNC's maps (especially the Sniper). Also, if you choose either one of these two classes for Blitz, you might as well sign your teams' death certificates beforehand.
MNC is an extremely fun and well-balanced game that is worth far more than its price of $14.99 (Not that I'm encouraging them to jack up their price, I just feel they could have asked for at least $30.00 and it would've seemed reasonable). If you've got the money, I highly encourage any and all to go buy it.