I adored my time with Super Monday Night Combat back at PAX East this April. Yet I was never able to sit down seriously with the title during it’s beta or after it’s release. That was until this past Monday. I finally got to play some Super Monday Night Combat. On A Monday. It was super.
Perhaps the best thing going for the game is the fact that it doesn’t take itself seriously at all. Coming from playing an extensive amount of both Heroes of Newerth and Dota 2, it’s definitely a nice change of pace to not worry about all of the racial slurs you’ll be called. Instead, you’ll trade in the in-game bickering for some fast-paced-yet-tactical gameplay. Super Monday Night Combat is a five-on-five team-based shooter that’s pretty similar to any MOBA out there on the market: you’ll push lanes, attack enemy heroes and creeps (they’re called bots here), and attempt to take out both enemy turrets. The goal of each game is to destroy the enemy’s moneyball, which is nestled safely in their base.
Any MOBA veteran can immediately pick up the similarities SMNC has with the rest of the genre, but it’s the manner of gameplay that helps make it stand out. Instead of the traditional strategic manner of gameplay, Ubernet has developed a MOBA shooter, but don’t expect to be pulling off headshots left and right.Yet it’s the lack of a serious attitude portrayed by the game that helps not only keep tension out of matches, but also eases new players into the game without the brick wall of a learning curve we expect from MOBAs. Between the cartoony visuals, announcers that constantly commentate with the most random and off-kilter back and forths, and plenty of explosions and action, Super Monday Night Combat is the MOBA you wanna play when you need a break from the genre.
In a world where every game seems to be made for the ever growing “e-Sports culture,” it’s refreshing to see a developer not force that route from their game. Sure, there may be plenty of tactics, strategy, and action involved with each match, but seriously, can we expect to see bar gatherings for a game that features Leonardo da Vinci shooting robots as he maneuvers on a ball? Yeah, I don’t think so either.
It’s this crazy, yet not quite casual, attitude that draws you in. Before you know, you’ll look up and those two matches you planned to play turned out to be ten, not that you’ll be caring anyway. There’s also the addition that despite being a free-to-play game, complete with microtransactions, none of your purchases go towards powering your character. Sure, you can expect people who’ve played longer to have better stat sheets, as they’ll be picking up more endorsements to buff their stats, but you can’t pick up the game’s über weapons or über armor; all changes are merely cosmetic. As for the heroes themselves, the pool of available characters is small enough that people who stick with the free to play rotation won’t feel at a disadvantage. It’s completely disheartening for the amount of credits needed to unlock characters to be astronomically high, not to mention the asking price in terms of dollars is also a bit unreasonable, but hey, they gotta make a profit somehow, right?
Ultimately, though, this doesn’t really matter. The bottom line of Super Monday Night Combat is this: It’s super fun, super addicting, and super comical.
It’s also nice to not hear every curse word known to man in a game for once, but that’s besides the point.