Monday Night Combat was a very good game. It had some pretty glaring flaws, but it was conceptually solid and happened to be a lot of fun to play. A year on, and Uber Entertainment is back with Super Monday Night Combat, a PC-bound sequel to aims to fix all the complaints from last time while providing yet more chaotic PvP action.
Oh, and it's also gone free-to-play ... but in a potentially good way!
Super Monday Night Combat rocks a brand new engine, with larger environments, more detailed characters, and noticeably prettier graphics overall. More varied and broader maps have been thrown in as a direct response to those who didn't like the limited, unvaried selection in the original game, alongside a promised bevy of fresh game modes.
With Super Monday Combat, the developers say they're furiously testing the game to make sure that every fault found in the original title is fixed. Gone are the cheap instant kills that plagued the last game, for instance. Uber knew that these unstoppable melee executions were too frequent and broke the game, so they're out. Also, turrets can only be destroyed by CPU-controlled bots and are automatically placed on the map, so there are no more issues with enemy players nuking a team's hard-built turrets after rushing to one side of the map.
There are currently three new characters coming to the game, which have been spawned from existing classes. The Veteran is a new spin on the Tank class, able to deal and soak up lots of damage. However, while the Tank throws grenades and features mid-range firepower, the Veteran's strength comes in close-up grapple moves. The Gunslinger is a Sniper variant with a wild west theme, able to use a long-range rifle and fancy pistols. Finally, we have Combat Girl, a new Support class who can summon robotic kittens and spawn turrets.
Players will get the full SMNC experience for free. However, Uber will be selling extra costumes (characters get customizable skins now) and characters, with planned updates once per week. Uber says that it is not interested in traditional freemium models that only offer a taste of the experience and save all the cool stuff for paying customers. Players will lose nothing for playing free, and Uber simply hopes that fans will love the game enough to pay for some cool new characters and items. It's a noble goal, and a more exciting deviation of the current free-to-play model.
In addition, Uber plans to offer free characters on a temporary basis, so players can get a feel for new classes before buying them. If they feel they love a character enough, it will be available for purchase after the trial period's up. However, there are more than enough characters in the free package.
Sadly, there was nothing playable at PAX, but the hands-off footage I saw looked really cool. It was Monday Night Combat, but bigger, more chaotic, and sillier than before. The new free-to-play model is certainly intriguing and something that Uber can hopefully pull off. It does, however, mean this is a PC exclusive for now, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
A beta is coming soon and the full game is due in the Winter of this year. As of right now, I'd say this is a very promising enterprise, and definitely a PC game to watch.