What We Already Know:
It’s rare to find a team-based FPS with real innovation. Team Fortress 2, sure. Counter-Strike? Yeah, 10 years ago. Monday Night Combat hopes to fill that void with a novel mix of class-based tactics and teamplay. There’s no solo game to speak of, as Monday Night Combat is going “all in” on the teamplay front.
What We're Seeing Now:
Monday Night Combat is kind of like TF2 if TF2 took place in a sports arena. Each team has a fortified “moneyball” to defend, as well as an army of robots that follow set paths to assault the enemy’s moneyball (only bots can break its shielding). You, as one of six human players per team, have to run around the field defending your bots and moneyball while preventing the enemy from wrecking your own teammates/hardware. Victory is achieved once a moneyball goes down.
The character classes have similarities to TF2’s but stand on their own. The Tank is kind of like an Engie meets a Heavy, with huge health and the ability to become a stationary turret. The Support class is a Medic with turret-hacking capabilities. Assassin is like a Spy with serious melee chops, the mortar-flinging Gunner is what Heavy wishes he could be, and the Sniper... Okay, he mainly snipes. But he can set traps too. Last but most-picked, Assault is your balanced combat class, not unlike TF2’s Soldier.
You’ll earn experience as you play in a match, which you can instantly spend to upgrade your class’s three active skills, its single passive skill, or to build turrets at pre-determined bits of the arena. I like how you can fortify your field at the expense of personal upgrades. You can also have one of 30 sponsorship deals, each of which offers a different in-game perk. (Sponsorships are the only upgrades that carry over between matches.)
Monday Night Combat is fast, colorful, original, and has serious teamplay chops. I like it a lot, and hope it has some staying power on Xbox Live.