It’s Super Monday Night Combat! Now, if you just said that, there would be a 6/7 chance you would be wrong. But in the game, it’s always Monday!
What is the game about? I will try to explain the best I can and hope I don’t muck it up. Once gain, there will be a lot of accompanying screenshots. SMNC is a free to play MOBA game out on Steam. Find it here.
The basics of the game is that it is like a MOBA or Massive Online Battle Arena. Two teams of 5 battle it out to destroy the other teams stuff. The difference is this game is entirely a third person shooter. You need to aim everything. Only a few attacks auto track and even then it’s avoidable.
So if you think a shooter style MOBA would interest you, read on. Or just read on anyway.
Yeah, it’s that kind of game. This guy is the mascot of the game, Bullseye and he appears at the end of every match.
Now I didn’t just jump in to the game. I actually watched a video of it first and had a decent idea of what to do. If you don’t, this game will be confusing for a while.
First off, there are two modes of the game. I will only be talking about one since I have not played the other. The main rules are all the same. The other mode just turns this into much more of a shooter where shots deal much more damage.
Like most MOBAs, there are two teams and a constantly streaming line of small guys. In this game, the players are called pros and the small guys are called bots so I will use those terms in this.
Each pro has 3 skills and they’d be a lot like other MOBA skills except you need to aim and they are physics enabled. For example, one champ, Megabeth (not pictured), has a Bouncing Disk skill that will bounce around in an enclosed space to deal damage. Megabeth also has a rocket launcher as a primary attack and you can rocket jump if you want to.
Just a note that your own aoe will hurt you. Which was especially annoying on Karl (pictured below) as he has an AOE stun that I hit myself with so many times.
As you can see, Karl is not gentlemen enough not to taunt you after kicking your ass.
The game itself does most things really well. The shooting is nice, the reactions are great and the announcers are fantastic. Yes, announcers. Leave them on, they’re a big part of the game. They don’t repeat all that often at all and have lots of fun anecdotes to tell. They help curb a lot of rage some might feel if they would just stop caring and listen to how one of the announcers likes to wear lady hats.
Now this is one of the maps. (I think there are at least 3)
You can see the standard stuff like turrets and the big floating ball. That is the thing you need to destroy to win, the Money Ball.
The lines on the ground tell you what path the bots will take. You can see the blue path from the Blue team that leads to the Red team’s Money Ball. Under the Hotshots sign, you see a garage of sorts where the Red team’s bots spawn and travel.
Now one thing they do not do well is that for a new player, it is incredibly tough to figure out where to go and what’s going on where. Information is very hard to get as the mouse is always used to aim. The overhead map function is largely bad since it takes a while to find anything in the middle of a match. They don’t have pings or anything of the sort and things are usually too hectic to stop and type that much. Or the communication thing might just be because I’ve been in randoms. The maps also have a vertical component making knowing where to go even harder. At leas the little light trail will always keep you on the bot path.
Just follow the lights to victory!
Which brings me to my next game play thing and this is a tip I learned from the video. Kill bots. Bots are more important than players. Bots take down turret shields so you can damage them, bots bring down the Money Ball so you can damage them. Without bots, you will not be able to do squat. Also, destroying bots does not automatically give you money. You must run over them to pick them up. (Or your teammates but not enemies). Also, picking up money gives some EXP as well.
Now here is a screenshot with some numbers on it. In here, I will attempt to explain the various parts of the hud.
1) This is your team and their health.
2) That picture is actually the health of your Money Ball. It gets smaller as your Money Ball is damage. And the total cash is there too.
3) That is the lane status such as how far bots has pushed up each lane. The little squares on the bottom of the bars represent how many turrets are still there.
4) This is your skill area. Your ammo counter. Your money area. And what Endorsements are active. More on Endorsements later. Also, pretend I did not forget to include that giant purple bar at the bottom and just count it as part of 4. That is your juice bar. Once full, you can activate it for MASSIVE DAMAGE!
As you can see, there are no slots for items. So what do you buy in this game? Well, there are temporary buff vending machines around for things such as move quicker, regen health faster and even buying juice. Another important thing to spend money on is to spawn more bots. More bots, more bots.
The third and probably most important is the Annihilator (not pictures because I am a dumbass). Every 5 minutes, at the center of the map, the Annihilator becomes active. Both teams need to fight it out and be the first one to activate it for the cost of $1000. Why? Activating it deals damage to all enemy pros and more importantly, destroys all enemy bots! Yowza. The announcers will help you know when the Annihilator is up.
Here is a screenshot of another character showing off 2 skills.
This is a healer/support character, Combat Girl. The blue beam is her standard weapon that heals allies. All weapons also have a secondary function. For this one, it’s to drain enemies.
Here, you can see a Kitty Turret on the floor next to her. Yay. Go get ‘em Kitty Turret. All those numbers popping out of it is my second skill, a temporary turret buff that also works on regular turrets found on the map. Combat Girl’s third skill is a charged up laser blast (which I suck at aiming).
Here is Combat Girl laying down the hurt on the Money Ball
There are a few more stuff in the game that I have not explained Bullseye, Chicky Cantor, grapples or ejectors. I hate ejectors, been killed by them so many times.
Starting with ejectors, you can pay to activate them and they will shunt every enemy (or anyone? Can’t tell) off the ejector and possibly off the map. Yes, you can fall and ring out in this game.
An ejector. And a gorilla in a suit. Of Course.
Now grapples, every character has a grapple on their secondary weapons alt fire and some characters have grapple as their skills. (Once again not pictured since I am a dumbass). What is a grapple? It’s a throw where you lockdown an opponent in an animation that finishes with a possible throw or just put down to the ground depending on character. It also does good damage.
Both characters are still vulnerable to damage while grappling so your allies can shoot an enemy you have locked down. Larger bots may also be grappled. Grappling can also throw people out of bounds for an instant kill. It’s a fun and possibly frustrating feature of this game that I haven’t seen before. More fun though,even if you’re being chain grappled.
For a break, here is a random scenic shot.
Now Bullseye, that dancing dude up at the first picture, also spawns randomly on the map. Hitting him will cause him to drop stuff like: Bacon! Churros! Juice! What do they do? I don’t know… buffs of some kind… maybe…
Chicky Cantor is a giant chicken.
Ride that chicken Cheston!
He is a pretty tough guy to defeat so get some teammates. Defeating him buffs you (or everyone? Need to check) with a buff that does… something. I dunno, I never go after Chicky, still too much of a noob.
And a finish with a scenic shot.
Now then, I’ve talked a lot about the game but I have not talked any about the way stuff is unlocked. Since this post has gone on really long already, I’ll do that in the next post. Find it here.
Overall, as far as the gameplay is concerned, I like the game. It does everything well minus the coordination thing and is fun to play.
And I’ll leave you with random youtube video of… I don’t even know what.