Super Monday Night Combat and Crimecraft: GangWars

Discussion in 'Gaming and Software' started by BrunoNoMedals, Apr 27, 2012.

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  1. BrunoNoMedals

    BrunoNoMedals LE Reviewer

    Two Free2Play games on Steam that I recently downloaded and thought I'd share with the group, because I feel both are well worth a look. Both games are third-person multiplayer shooters, and both seem to have a fairly robust policy of F2P of payment not substituting skill. That aside they're completely different.

    SMNC is a bit like TF2 in terms of its comic graphical style and exaggerated violence. By all accounts it's been released early as a beta because it was supposed to be released as a sequel to an existing Steam game (Monday Night Combat - evidently it isn't as super) but some license keys were accidentally released by game staff and people got into it before they were ready. As a result it's buggy, as you'd expect from a beta, and at times it can get quite irritating. From what I've seen when it works, though, it should be worth perservering with.


    There are around a dozen classes to play in the game, with the expected variety of skills. Weirdly, though, you can only ever access around half of them at any one time. Every couple of weeks the game updates and changes the game mode and available classes to pick from, so variety is essentially enforced. You can unlock classes, along with other skills, weapons and cosmetic items, with both real cash, and the in-game cash earned by killing opponents and the usual other means. Anything you can buy that impacts gameplay can be bought with in-game money, of which you'll earn plenty just by playing.

    The game mode I've seen so far, Crossfire, is 5v5 and based on the new "Action RTS" genre of base-defence against waves of bots. Both teams have bots progressing towards their opponent's base down pre-defined paths, and your job is to help them get there. Only your bots can perform the final killing blow on your enemy's base, so you need to keep the enemy players and bots at bay while destroying their fixed defences and pushing your own bots forward. It's an interesting take on a new genre, which you may have seen in games like Defence of the Ancients or Dungeon Defenders.

    CrimeCraft is more of a twitchy 3PS, but with RPG-like elements thrown in. It focuses around PvP combat, with a dozen or so game modes to choose from - free for all, team deathmatch, and a large variety to team objective modes. However there are also quests to complete, involving both PvE and PvP combat.

    The RPG element, as you'd expect, involves a lot of levelling up, some crafting, and the purchase and management of skills. However it's kept quite simple so as not to detract from the shooty side. The technical simplicity of the game also keeps things quite stress-free. With the advent of IWNet and its many "matchmaker" derivatives, finding an online game for most new shooters is a ******* mare. With CC, however, I can click on "play game" and I'm in and shooting, in most cases, within 15 seconds - that's finding opponents, connecting, loading the map and starting me off. It never fails to amaze me. The only real exception from this is when you're looking for very specific game criteria - may one particular map playing a specific game mode - as if no-one else is playing that combination you'll struggle to get a game. This can be annoying if one of your quests relies on you doing that specific combination!

    I like CC because, despite its simplicity, it comes across as very effective. I can solo to my heart's content, and not have to worry about teamwork if I don't want, but equally there is a lot of scope for cooperation. Six days a week, 4v4 tournaments are played with ranking systems and even leagues - all controlled within the game. Because of the different game modes and the way they balance they work very nicely for organised squads - unlike many shooters where teamplay barely seems to factor.

    I'd heartily recommend giving both of them a try and, if you haven't already, get me added on Steam. All details, as ever, in the ARRSE Gaming group!