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Monday Night Combat Merges Shooting, Sports

You might not have heard of Monday Night Combat, but somebody at Microsoft is a fan of Uber Entertainment's upcoming game. It's been selected to be one of this year's Summer of Arcade releases, the annual promotion Microsoft puts together to hype some of its downloadable releases. So what is Monday Night Combat? Well, that's a little tricky to explain. It's kind of like a tower-defense game with third-person shooter gameplay, and Smash TV sensibilities. Oddly enough, it's a combination that seems to be working well.

In the game's blitz mode, players have to guard the moneyball from marauding robots. Those enemies are courteous enough to broadcast their intentions through a series of marked lanes. In each round, the robots line up and walk down that path toward the moneyball. If they get to it, you lose. It's money, after all. Players can shoot the robots themselves with six customizable character classes, including assault, tank, support, assassin, gunner, and sniper. Each class has his own strengths. Assault characters can deploy sticky bombs and also fly for short periods of time.

As players earn money by destroying robots, they can deploy turrets. If you've played a tower-defense game, you'll be right at home. Freeze turrets slow enemies down, giving you more time to blast them apart. Rocket turrets pack a powerful punch, and laser turrets are quick. As with the player skills, turrets can be upgraded into more powerful versions.

The crossfire mode matches up to 12 players in teams of six against one another. Players can deploy their own bots toward their opponents' moneyball as well as special assassin bots that target the players themselves. It looks like an addictive and frantic mode that's reliant on actual teamwork.

We didn't know what Uber meant when they told us their game was a team-sports shooter, but after checking it out it makes sense. You'll be able to make that determination yourself this July, when it's released.

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