The uber folks at Uber Entertainment, invited us to participate in the Super MNC beta. This free-to-play promises to introduce some new game mechanics to the team-based-shoot’em up and it’s slated to launch this Spring.
MNC is an acronym for Monday Night Combat, which is the predecessor to Super MNC. Monday Night Combat featured a futuristic cartoonish world, rich with color and brutality all in the form of a professional sports league, hence the nod in the title to “Monday Night Football.” Screaming fans, quippy announcers, and arena-like levels are the backdrop to each melee.
This time around they are injecting “DOTA” like features into the games, which they unabashedly proclaim inspiration from in the “how to play” section of the game. It’s refreshing to see a developer give credit where credit is due, and there is no doubt that the emerging DOTA’like genre is beloved by many, with new fans added everyday.
In (non super) MNC you were on either the Icemen (blue) or Hot Shots (red) team battling to the death. Wacky game changers abounded, with jumping platforms and buy-able turrets and upgrades. There was a variety of minions in the form of diminutive slims, the towering Jackbot XL and various others. These bots, and opposing players were between you and the objective: the enemy’s money-ball. Your goal: to destroy it, and become showered in shiny gold coins. In the eternal words of Lil’ Wayne “I make it rain! I make it rain.”
All these features are back, sans build-able turrets; now when they die, they die for good. Thus a focused defense and offense are far more important than rushing into battle haphazardly. Also, death comes with some pretty steep penalties, and give advantages to your opponents—the worst of which is one less person to work down “lanes.”
New characters have been introduced. Some are funny, some strange, and all of them are uniquely MNC in style. A few examples include: ’50s style-Rocketeer inspired Captain Spark. Roller Derby missle-slinging-Princess MegaBeth. Or my personal favorite, the refined and civilized Gorrilla, Cheston.
A leveling system with upgrades for skills now exists to give you customization, permitting each class to branch out and operate in a different manner. One could put all points in defense and protect turrets, or focus on certain stun skills for mob control. Two people can pick the same character, but play in different ways focusing on one skill or another.
Money collected throughout a battle gives you an edge; you can buy yourself quicker healing and damage boosters, or spend it on special robots to make a lane more powerful. Players can even set off a booby trap or buy access to a trampoline-like jump node to gain a height advantage.
After a match is ended, you will earn in-game currency to spend on new appearance-changing gear, taunts, and things of that nature. I didn’t see any items at the time of our play-through that would give any player a clear advantage over another. It’s important in free-to-play that balance is maintained, while the company can still earn money to provide updates. It seems like the folks at Uber Entertainment understand that.
We will be watching closely for the official launch of Super MNC. Then maybe you’ll just be lucky enough to frag us while we gun down Bulls-Eye for cash and prizes.