This article was written as a contribution for “The First Ever SMPS.Net Games of the Year 2011 Thing” which you should really go and check out for a broad range of well-written lists covering many games, old and new. This article has had a typo corrected, screenshot captions added, and uses some different screenshots than it originally included, as well as a link to new a video of me playing Dark Souls.
A Possible Glimpse of Things to Come
Deus Ex: Human Revolution has great references sprinkled everywhere, rewarding exploration.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution doesn’t quite live up to the original game, but it was a respectable, thoughtful effort. While boss fights fell flat, the hacking, sneaking, and upgrading of abilities made for an enjoyable experience that could be a glimpse of bright, promising future for the franchise and gamers alike.
A non-tea-bag taunt in Monday Night Combat.
To say that Monday Night Combat is an intelligent game is an understatement as it mixed personality and gameplay to create a fun, balanced, and unique competitive multi-player game. Using sound to balance an invisibility cloak, or rewarding players for doing a scripted, non-offensive taunt to earn some money instead of tea-bagging are ideas that will hopefully permeate game design in the coming years.
But I don’t! I’ve been playing too much Monday Night Combat lately. Oh my god, it’s such a great game, and with each patch it’s only been getting better.
My wonderful girlfriend got me a Kindle for Valentine’s Day so I’ve been reading the hell out of it; currently re-reading George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones, which is even better the second time through. The e-book version is also much easier on the wrists!
I did recently purchase Hard Corps: Uprising to many peoples’ surprise I guess. I may write more about that, if I don’t get too wrapped up in Beyond Good & Evil HD next week!
Monday Night Combat (MNC), by Uber Entertainment, is the smartest competitive multiplayer game to come out in recent years, and I love it. In a nutshell, it’s a class-based, third-person shooter combined with elements of tower defense, with the ultimate goal being to destroy the other team’s moneyball, which can only be made vulnerable initially by AI bots. Leveling up increases skill potency and passive class stats like health, and is managed with currency earned by destroying AI bots, taking out other players, or picking it up as drops. Heck, even doing fully animated and non-offensive taunts instead of the time-old and immature tradition of teabagging your foes pays off. Each class has a purpose and utility, and each skill has valid uses and situations in the game that they were designed for. If you don’t want to invest in your skills for the match, you can bolster base defenses by purchasing and upgrading turrets, buy a wave of class-specific bots to assault the opposing base, or spend your money activating environmental hazards to harm enemy players or destroy bots on the map. There is always something productive to do other than out-twitching or out-headshotting the folks on the other team.
In any other game, the team that had all positive kill/death ratios would have won. Instead, we lost.
One team can be dominating in terms of kills, but they’re oftentimes doing so at the cost of maintaining map control and escorting their own bots to the enemy base and opening it up to be attacked; it’s not uncommon for a team doing this to ultimately lose despite employing a strategy that would bring them victory in almost any other competitive game. An assassin can be obsessed with chasing backstabs, and they might be really good at it (which is unlikely), but they’d be much more effective sneaking around and creating openings for their team to exploit, or wiping all the enemy bots off the map with the environmental Annihilator attack. Conversely, a support player can deploy their turret near the Annihilator to keep enemies away, while periodically dropping air strike attacks on the activation switch to deny it to the other team until a teammate with the spare cash can activate it. Continue reading →