XBLA Review: Monday Night Combat

Tower Defence + Team Fortress style = Win?

Monday Night Combat is a mixture of the standard Tower Defence gameplay of protecting an object from waves of enemies, but mixes in a class system and the art style that Team Fortress 2 has. The result is surprisingly positive, especially when you play with friends to keep the forces at bay.

There are variants of the traditional formula and even a competitive mode of 6 vs. 6. You earn cash for each kill and can use the money to build and upgrade turrets or even upgrade your abilities. Each class has their own special abilities and weapons as you would expect, more important is that they are well balanced and there’s a class that everyone will like.

The art style is borrowed from TF2, but the game is set in an arena and you are accompanied by cheesy commentary that fits very well. You also respawn if you die protecting the money ball and as you would expect, the enemies get tougher in each wave. The downside to building and upgrading is that even in solo play, it doesn’t pause the game…so you’ll be vulnerable to everything as you do this, plus even award some lucky player an achievement for killing you while you are upgrading. Weapons pack a punch against your foes, human or robot. There’s also grapple moves and a Juice meter that when full makes you uber-powerful against your rivals.

One thing that may be off-putting is the price tag of 1200 Microsoft Points. Especially considering that the only real modes are Crossfire and variants of Exhibition Mode (one even has unlimited waves) but you might feel short-changed. But since all Summer of Arcade games seem to have this price, it’s no big surprise…I was just expecting more in terms of variety.

I like the look of Monday Night Combat, it feels cheesy and ridiculous but in a good way. For an arcade game, the visuals are fairly strong and the framerate is solid.

The Verdict

Monday Night Combat is an evolution of the Tower Defence genre and is great fun to boot. Crossplay is addictive and the variants of the Exhibition Mode will keep you busy for a while, but it’s perhaps too highly priced.