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Here's just a little bit more of Super Monday Night Combat, the recently announced, free-to-play sort-of-sequel to Uber Entertainment's Xbox 360 and PC game that (this time) draws a lot more influence from DotA-style gameplay.
There's more actual gameplay in this clip than Super Monday Night Combat's debut teaser. There's also some concept artwork strewn throughout and more facetime with SMNC's new characters, Combatgirl, Gunsinger and the Veteran. Maybe you'll come to understand a bit better how the new, PC-only Super Monday Night Combat aims to model itself after a Warcraft III mod and the MOBAs that it inspired.
For more, read Kotaku's preview of Super Monday Night Combat.
EDIT: Now with trailer!
Monday Night Combat is getting a sequel and it’s going to be super. How do I know? Because that’s its name. Super Monday Night Combat>. Uber Entertainment are looking to go up against League of Legends and DOTA 2, emphasising the game’s roots. Most pleasing of all, it will be free to play. That means, for now, it’ll only be on PC because Sony and Microsoft simply won’t allow such generosity on their stationboxes. The release date is as vague as “the next few months” but some details are already available. Overall, Uber are looking to slow the game down, giving players more time to think and plot strategies. All sounds good and as soon as we know more, you’ll know more. Click for trailer and pics of the three new characters.
As people play it in the beta, they'll notice some tweaks to the MNC format that the Uber guys say make the game play differently. As mentioned, the lethality of attacks has been diminished. All characters will have slow-down abilities that can decelerate the enemy advance while giving a time to converge for a group assault. Turrets that players build in the arena will now start with level-three shields, helping them last longer. And the grand prize that each competing team has their eyes on—the Moneyball—will be more valuable than ever because dropping its shields will be the action that spawns the mighty Jackbots into the Moneyball-attacker's parade of bots. In the previous game, those Jackbots simply showed up every five minutes. The new approach, Comes said, "helps push the end game. It helps amp up the action."
There will be new bots in the bot lanes of Super MNC, including a mighty Fujibot who leads the lane, shielding the weaker ones behind him (he is described as "a giant metal meat shield"). There is also a Shady bot who is small, like the Slim, but takes more hits before being destroyed. (Get it?)
Comes believes that all of these changes which toughen the lane of bots and keep the players on the battlefield longer, encourage more strategic play. "There are more tactics," he said, "less pray-and-spray."
The game won't have much of a single-player component. There won't be any in the beta when it starts, though the team is working on tutorials and training modes. There also won't be a Mac version, though Berry said that it is "on the radar." As for consoles, neither the Xbox 360 nor the PlayStation 3 support free-to-play games (yet). When asked of console plans, Berry demurred, saying, "None that we can discuss."
Super MNC is designed to rope in more fans than the first game did. It'll be free, so how could it not? And hopefully MNC fans will convert to the new game. "We will incentivize them to come over," Berry said. "You'll get exclusive content that nobody else can get."
Super Monday Night Combat encapsulates current PC gaming quite well. Shooters are always the rage, but right now, so too are DotA games and free-to-play. (Proof: the PC thought-leader Valve Software is doing these things, in their own ways, too.) This combo of PC gaming ideas and trends is the right one one, Uber says. Just don't call their manifestation of it Monday Night Combat 2. "It's different enough from the first game," Ekanayake said, trying to explain. "Super made it better."
We should probably sort out some RPS games of MNC, right? Right.
Well, I blew it. Monday Night Combat and Uber Entertainment dropped a story with perfect Easter ties in everyone's lap on Friday, and I missed the point. Chickey Cantor, the crazy clucker you can rodeo-ride for big buxx in the game's new title update, is not in fact named for Monday Night Combat P.A. Mickey Cantor. He's named for a chicken named for Monday Night Combat P.A. Mickey Cantor.
Chickey's a real chicken, the one pictured above, and he lives on a farm in New Hampshire. Back in the winter, Griffin Thomas, a high school senior who lives on the farm with Chickey, lamented the fact that two friends of his had been in a car accident and, while unharmed, all their cash would be going to repairs, not a purchase of Monday Night Combat as the group had planned.
Griffin wondered to his mom, Wendy (who blogs about her farm here) whether publisher Uber Entertainment could be convinced to give a couple codes for free to his hard luck pals. Mom thought that was a kind enough request, but, with Uber being a business, asked Griffin to think why they'd be inclined to give out the codes (other than just good P.R.) Eventually he hatched the idea of naming a chick after MNC's announcer, and offering Uber some free publicity on the farm blog.
That's some barter, but Uber was happy to take the trade. The Thomases and their favorite developers then met at PAX East in Boston, exchanging gifts there. And then things progressed to naming the giant chicken in this update after the Thomases' yardbird.
In new audio for the Monday Night Combat update, Mickey refers to a chicken farm in New Hampshire, and Chickey Cantor's creator is "Griffin Robotics," an homage to their new friend.
So, this weekend we've learned that not all developers are heartless technocrats who just want to separate you from your money. Some are touched by the opportunity to participate in important life moments like proposing marriage. Others have a soft spot for organic free-range poultry. While I hope studios aren't bombarded by well-meaning copycat requests in the coming weeks, Uber and Gearbox have shown that simple gestures like these reap enormous goodwill from their communities.