Just thought I’d offer my initial thoughts on Monday Night Combat for anyone that might be on the fence about dropping 15 bones or clams or whatever you call them.

First things, first. Monday Night Combat is a tower defense game, and UberEnt makes no bones about it. Your primary objective, at least in Crossfire (the only mode worth playing), is to attack the other persons “Money Ball” (or tower) while defending yours. What makes this a lot more fun than a standard tower defense game, is that it’s also a deathmatch-style, third-person, class-based shooter. The classes all seem fun to play, and while the Assassin currently seems a bit overpowered, UberEnt apparently has a system in place that will allow them to tweak balance settings without having to patch the game, so this can all be done on the fly.

I told myself I would only sit down for about an hour and play last night, and four hours later, was wondering where the time had gone. It definitely seems like the type of game that would benefit from two things:
1) Playing with people you know
2) Being in communication with those people

Unfortunately, I was playing with strangers and didn’t feel like talking to 12 year olds who dropped “jew” and the n-bomb like they’re common vernacular, so I avoided xbl chat like the plague. Being able to have a set strategy would definitely give a team an advantage.

I lied. I did get a chance to play the “Horde Mode” of the game. It’s fun, but not as fun as Crossfire.

Some things I didn’t like about the game?
1) 24 hours had gone by from the day it was released and when I started. Getting into my first match, I was paired up with 9 guys that were level 20+. I was 0. The match-making system doesn’t seem to be too good right now, but the good news is that this is the type of game that doesn’t punish you TOO much for lack of play. I was able to hold my own for most of the games, even coming in second place once or twice.

2) I realize this is an XBLA game, but the graphics on a 1080P TV were a little subpar. If that’s not something you’re really concerned with, then don’t worry about it.

What I liked about it?
1) There’s a very nice “Pick up and play” style of game play. There’s a brief tutorial that drops knowledge about the mechanics that are distinct, and then you’re right in the action

2) The announcer never gets annoying, and seems to add to the flavor of the game. It’s explained early on that you’re just a clone, there to entertain the people. He never makes you feel like an actual player, and you get the impression that you’re just a clone.

3) As I said before, I never once felt out-classed and out-matched, even after my initial thoughts of “Shit…I’m a 0 in a group of 20’s. I’m going to get smoked.”

I also have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at how much this game made me enjoy tower defense. I was never a big fan of “Plants vs. Zombies” or any other tower defense game, but I really don’t mind it.

In the end, this game will only be as good as you want it to be, but I would definitely say it’s deserving of the accolades that it’s currently receiving. It’s a great $15 game, and even if I only play it for a month, I feel like I’ll be getting my money’s worth.

Looking forward to playing with everyone!