Monday Night Combat is Not the Team Fortress 2 Clone You Think it is

By Brad Simons on July 30th, 2010 (25 comments)

Remember that shitty GTA clone, Yakuza? Just like in GTA, Yakuza had the player driving from mission to mission, running over pedestrians, and wasting wave after wave of dudes with rocket launchers. At least that's what was believed by people who think that a game that slightly resembles another, must play like another.  And there are a lot of those people.  So when it debuted in the era of GTA and shitty GTA clones, Yakuza sold like a shitty GTA clone -- despite it being a remarkably fresh and unique Japanese RPG.

Don't make the same stupid mistake with Monday Night Combat. Team Fortress 2 is a shooter. This game is not -- at least not in any traditional (or boring) sense of the word. This might sound confusing if you've just casually watched a trailer or two, but I'm being serious. They might share a similar art style, but Monday Night Combat has more in common with last year's League of Legends than it does Team Fortress 2. That's because Monday Night Combat is actually a very interesting twist on the DotA genre.

Take a DotA game, change the camera angle of your hero unit to over-the-shoulder, add in a heavy dose of the Smash TV setting and vibe, and you will be much closer to understanding what this game actually is. That is, of course, assuming you know what a DotA is.

DotA (or Defense of the Ancients) is the name of a Warcraft 3 mod released back in 2003. The game was essentially popularized a new and unique genre of game that is still very small. So small that the genre is commonly referred to as the name of its most popular game (similar to Metroidvanias). So when I call Monday Night Combat a DotA, realize that it is because it is a game in the same genre.

DotAs are team based multiplayer real-time strategy games. But instead of controlling a team of units, each player only has control of one hero unit. The teams live and die by the survival of the bases located on opposite ends of the map. The goal is to take down the opposing team's base (or "Money Ball" in the case of Monday Night Combat), while trying to prevent the destruction of their own.  Each base spawns AI units that follow one of multiple paths (or lanes) towards the opponent's base. As a hero unit, the player utilizes skills and abilities to both aid his own team of AI bots and friendly heroes, as well as kill opposing AI bots and enemy hero units in order to gain experience and level up.

Leveling up is another big part of the DotA genre. No matter which character you choose, you always start a match at the base level. The experience you gain (by killing and destroying shit) contributes to your experience pool that can be spent on leveling up the unique arsenal of skills for each playable hero.  All of these elements are present in Monday Night Combat.

Now watch the trailer and tell me it's making a little more sense.

While Monday Night Combat is definitely not your average team based shooter, it does have some things in common with Team Fortress 2. Because the art style of the characters is similar, the game not only looks great; but it also serves the same functional purpose that it did in Team Fortress 2. Hero units will be instantly recognizable from all the way across the map. Support units also have a similar (and awesome) heal and hurt beam that the Medic has in TF2.

Where Brutal Legend failed, Monday Night Combat could succeed. While RTS games may never really work on consoles, DotAs seem like a great place to start. (OMG, Brutal Legend would have been PERFECT as a DotA! *frown*) Something new and refreshing for both shooter and strategy fans alike, this unique hybrid could be the sleeper hit of the Summer. Look for it later this month as part of The Summer of Arcade on Xbox Live.

Tags: monday night combat

Comment!
  • Trypticon 4 years, 2 months ago

    Sorta makes me want to get a new 360. This game looks very cool. Is there any singleplayer? Or is it all multiplayer?

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  • Ratfoot 4 years, 2 months ago

    Looks like a cool combo of a Class based third person shooter and DotA, unfortunately the characters seem a bit... uninspired. TF2 did a great job of making the various classes very distinct and honestly funny to hear even after the 100th time you've heard them say something. If the trailer is any indication the heroes could get very annoying after a short time.

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  • Windalfr 4 years, 2 months ago

    I don't own my own 360 yet, but I am buying this for a friend and play it at her place. I really hope this game delivers with both great gameplay and characters.

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  • Stabby McKill 4 years, 2 months ago

    Not to be a bitch, but DoTA Is actually an AoS Clone. AoS Stands for 'Aeon of Strife' and was originally a map for Starcraft. It never reached the same level of popularity, but it is the progenitor for the entire 'genre'. Now, hopefully this game really is more like Aeon of Strife and not like DoTA. The reason being? Balance. From the looks of it, player skill is going to make a bigger impact on gameplay than abilities do - the massive flaw with a lot of the AoS clones. So, I can safetly say I'm looking forward to it. Finally another casual game I can sink my teeth in to.

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    • Stabby McKill 4 years, 2 months ago

      Blast the inability to edit posts. The masive flaw with a lot of AoS clones are that abilities are usually over-powered.

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  • apsas 4 years, 2 months ago

    Not to be a bitch, but DoTa is actually the evolution of AoS. HoN is a DoTa clone. And saying DoTa is unbalenced is just stupid. I guess that's why it's a competitive game nowadays. It sounds like you tried it a couple of times and got your ass kicked and think it's cause the people you played against just had better heroes? There is loads of skill and teamwork required in DoTa.

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    • Stabby McKill 4 years, 2 months ago

      Wow, calm down. DoTA is not an 'evolution', it is an AoS clone and nothing more. It is not the first of its kind, or the best, it is simply the most popular. Popularity is not a sign of quality either, look at Twilight. Secondly, it is unbalanced. Certain heroes are capable of killing any other hero without even giving them a chance to run, while other heroes are so excessively over-powered against the 'creeps' (What brad called bots) that they can annilihate an entire wave with a single spell. I'm going to have to wait and see as to whether this game avoids that problem. So far it looks like it has.

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  • Darknezz 4 years, 2 months ago

    That actually sounds really effing cool. Too bad I don't own an Xbox, or I'd probably get as addicted to this as I have with League of Legends.

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  • SiShenDao 4 years, 2 months ago

    I was never really into Team Fortress 2, but this game sounds interesting and I'd definitely... "...Arcade on Xbox Live." ...fuggle I don't want to waste money on buying a gold subscription just to play a single game online... I did this with left 4 dead 2 and that ended up being 2 weeks while wasting another 2 and a half months. Hopefully if it gets popular enough it will be ported to PSN like other games.

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  • Tim 4 years, 2 months ago

    I will check it out.. looks pretty kewl. Also, the thumbnail for this article looks a lot like Nick !

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  • inthenameofharmon 4 years, 2 months ago

    Though this talk of Dota is all new to me, I really can't help but see just way too many similarities in this game to Team Fortress 2. I'm really trying not to, but it just really seems like a clone no matter how much I think about your argument Brad. I feel really bad about it but I just can't see around the seemingly cloned characters and weapons. I'm sorry I failed everyone :[[[

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    • Brad Simons 4 years, 2 months ago

      Why not look up more info on what a DotA is dummy.

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  • ArcHeRHooD 4 years, 2 months ago

    Wow, this does look pretty cool. MAN! Decisions, Decisions, Decisions, oh what game should I get now? I've already decided on Halo Reach for September but, now I may have to debate on which games I should get with Halo Reach now...

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  • Zladko 4 years, 2 months ago

    I'm digging the soundtrack.

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  • Carlos 4 years, 2 months ago

    It doesn't matter if this game is terrific. If it doesn't become popular and people don't play it online it will be sadface.

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  • Dimensaur 4 years, 2 months ago

    How many people are going to spam the Ninja in this game? I'm willing to bet a large percentage of the people who play will.

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    • Jeroz 4 years, 2 months ago

      self-centered noobs will always go for the carry.......which is a sad thing

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  • Skrams 4 years, 2 months ago

    Finally talk about it not being a TF2 clone. Really interested in the game so far. Although I hope it isn't too chaotic and easy to kill other heroes. Maybe it will have a low respawn time but not sure about that yet. P.S. Inthenameofharmon Don't be a stupidface, an artstyle, and somewhat similar weapons from a line of weapons that are common besides your medic healy gun doesnt make it a clone.

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  • LicensetoLol 4 years, 2 months ago

    This game is a must for me it looks so awesome

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  • Yodaral 4 years, 2 months ago

    Looks like an incredible game with a healthy dose of replayability. I've always been a huge fan of team, objective, and class based multiplayer games. I can't stand "kill the enemy" game modes, it feels so... 1990's. Having that extra layer of complexity, even if it's simply "destroy the enemy base" brings so much to the table for me. Class based combat has been a favorite attribute of mine since Battlefield 1942. It eliminates the cheesy concept of camping weapon spawn locations while adding a sense of necessity. Your team *needs* one or two of this or that class in order to have a chance. It might be a class you love, or you might hate it, but by playing a class nobody else is you can bring so much utility to your team. It also allows one to drag themselves out of the rut of playing the same style over and over. Alas, if it is only coming to Xbox Live I'll have to pass. I'm dropping my gold membership this year after having it for years and never really ever playing anything on it. If it comes to PC I'll snatch it up for sure. Unless of course, if it comes with a Games for Windows tag.

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  • Wochie 4 years, 2 months ago

    Yeah, it's a TF2 clone, and not only that, it's gonna suck. Frankly.

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  • Stinson 3 years, 11 months ago

    Is Monday Night Combat the first game to merge the DotA genre and shooters?

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  • Wrelsien 3 years, 7 months ago

    I've seen a couple of trailers, but my concern is that the map(s) gets old... they all look the same atleast. I would hope that the developers would be smart enough to make interesting changes to the layout atleast. and yes, I know the game is already out now, its actually on sale on Steam...

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  • Ozzy 2 years, 10 months ago

    I'm shocked no-one has yet pointed out to you that Yakuza was/is NOTHING like you described. It doesn't have driving, you don't run over pedestrians, you do pretty much nothing that's in GTA. You walk around, have set-piece fights and RPG-typical random encounters, and some mini-games. What game are you banging on about? The only notable similarity it has ever had with GTA at all is that both games are set in an explorable fictional city based on a real life city.

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  • Ozzy 2 years, 10 months ago

    My bad. Evidently I had no desire to read the rest of what you wrote after that mind-boggling opening. So actually: your bad. >_>

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