A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Monday Night Combat is a third-person shooter set inside a futuristic game show in which contestants fight to the death. It’s pure fantasy, but the lethal combat is presented as a sensationalized sport. The Players use guns, swords, and other weapons to defeat a mixture of human and robotic foes, though there is no blood or gore. Note that this game supports open voice communication during online play, a feature Common Sense Media does not recommend for pre-teens.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
The penultimate entry in Microsoft’s 2010 Summer of Arcade series of downloadable games, MONDAY NIGHT COMBAT is a mixture of over-produced sports television, third-person shooting, and, of all things, tower defense strategy. The object of the game is simple: Don’t let opposing bots destroy your Moneyball. If you’re playing in Blitz mode, that means installing, maintaining, and upgrading turrets that will protect your zone. If you’re playing as part of a group online in Crossfire mode, you’ll need to divide your time between defending your base and leading bots into enemy territory.
Is it any good?
It’s a bizarre blend, but Monday Night Combat is undeniably fun. The turret defense strategy is filled with subtleties and takes time to master, and the class-based combat, which forces players to learn new abilities for each soldier (like the assassin’s cloaking power or the sniper’s trap-laying skill), is solid. With just a couple of different game modes you may think the action would become tedious, but arenas are loaded with unique features that players can spend money to activate, such as jump pads, making the tactics required between matches sufficiently different.
But it’s not perfect. If you play alone, it can be difficult to balance time fighting and managing turrets. Plus, a couple of the character classes are a bit wonky (the massive tank, who hobbles around in a giant shell of armor and can take loads of punishment, doesn’t seem to hit as hard as he should given his name and the enormous weapon he carries). But it’s fun. And completely different. Definitely worth a try for fans of action or strategy looking for a fresh twist on their favorite game types.
Online interaction: This game supports online competitive and cooperative play with open voice chat. This leaves the door open for players to share personal information and younger gamers to be exposed to inappropriate language from other players.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about combat as sport. This game takes the concept to its extreme, but what about modern sport? Is there a difference between a physical game like football and one such as boxing or mixed martial arts, in which the indisputable goal is to hurt people?
Families can also discuss the differences between fantasy and realistic combat. Is the former safer for younger players than the latter? Why?
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