lit monaco vs the masterplan
This week on LIT, we fight between Monaco and The Masterplan! Monaco is a single player and multiplayer game developed by Pocketwatch Games and published by Majesco in April 2013. The Masterplan is a single player team based game developed and published by Shark Punch in September 2014. These two heist games bring it big time, so let’s see who comes out on top!
BECCA: Monaco is a top-down view, stealth and action game. It’s great fun with friends since you need a whole team of people to pull off your heists. It has single player available, but I found playing with friends was much more fun. Your choices are the Cleaner, the Mole, the Pickpocket, the Lookout, the Locksmith, the Gentleman, the Redhead, and the Hacker. Each character has specific roles. For example, the Locksmith can open physical locks but not computers, and the Cleaner can incapacitate enemies from behind or from the side without being seen. You need to choose your characters carefully. The Locksmith and the Pickpocket have story based heists, which focus on those characters. Every aspect of this story is entertaining!
WILL: Who does not like breaking out of prison and planning getting revenge on Nixon by planning heists and robbing minimarts? The Masterplan has a pretty simple story; you play an average joe who was down on his luck and a life of crime was his last resort. After your brother breaks you out of jail, you return to your hideout to build a crack team of master burglars. There is not much to the story beyond that, but it is enough to create a fantastic world to play in.
WINNER: Monaco takes the story here. With specific stories for the Locksmith and the Pickpocket and the wide variety of character selections, Monaco goes very in depth in the story category.
BECCA: The colors in Monaco are vivid and are what really drew me in. The graphics are incredibly appropriate for the style of game it is. With each character having their own color, it’s easy to pin down where everyone is. The way the game works in the heists is really interesting. You can only see a small amount around your character making the Lookout very useful. The Lookout can see a bit more, so you get some more visibility. Any areas outside of your character’s field of vision is grayed out, and you can only see symbols of where things are for a moment which means guards and the like are hidden. It’s those subtle mechanics that really make Monaco’s graphics stellar.
WILL: The art in The Masterplan is reminiscent of a graphic novel. It helps create a very nice 1970’s retro feel. It is by no means a super high definition game, but it is beautiful in its own right. I was really impressed with the overall aesthetic and feel of the graphics in this game.
WINNER: It’s a tie! The graphics in both games do their respective games justice. They fit their themes nicely, creating a great atmosphere.
BECCA: Monaco’s soundtrack is very heist-y, which is very fitting. It’s almost exclusively piano music, which is really pleasant. Nothing is too overwhelming, yet it’s not too subtle. The music creates a very sneaky atmosphere and made me feel like I was really in the middle of a heist. I shrunk down in my chair in order to sneak more quietly, and each piano track was very fitting to each heist.
WILL: Soundtracks are so important in creating an immersive world for a video game. They stir emotions and help set the pace for levels. The Masterplan did not shy away from the challenge of creating an amazing soundtrack. The songs are simple and subtle but they provide a rich environmental value to the game world. They have that funky retro espionage feel that any lover of old school crime and spy movies will instantly find themselves wanting to sneak along to.
WINNER: The Masterplan wins out in soundtrack! The groovy beats made us dance as we played and really stand out as one of the best parts of The Masterplan!
BECCA: Monaco’s mechanics are relatively simple. Most everything is click and hold to interact. Whether you’re hiding in a bush, unlocking something as the Pickpocket, or knocking someone out as the Cleaner, each action has a timer. Depending on what you’re doing, it could take longer or shorter. There are a few mechanics that are a bit more complicate, such as holding down CTRL and A to see your health, but nothing too crazy. The game runs smoothly, and it’s very user friendly.
WILL: The Masterplan has some high points and some major low points in this category. The top down view and the ability to zip around your target area with the arrow keys is very nice. The developers added in a slow motion feature that could just save your heist from certain failure, and these aspects are all great. However, I have two major issues with the game. The first, is just a minor frustration with default key mapping. The game has most actions set as a right click on the mouse which feels very unnatural and, in high stress moments, I found my brain would default to a left click. The second, is a much bigger issue because the game has a huge instability issue. It would crash every 20-30 minutes of play. I am sure this is something that will be worked out in later versions of the game but, for now, is a major black mark on an otherwise wonderful game.
WINNER: Monaco wins out on mechanics! The Masterplan’s frustrating instability issue makes it difficult to play for now, and Monaco’s variety helps boost itself ahead!
BECCA: Monaco has an amazing replayability aspect. With so many characters and great multiplayer functionality, each playthrough is different. You could be the Locksmith one game, the Cleaner the next, and the Gentleman the next! Each character having unique roles creates almost a new game every time you go back again.
WILL: This is a game you sit down to play and look at the clock to find an hour or so has passed completely unnoticed. There are several moments where you have to get a tool and replay a mission to find something you missed before. This is really the only thing I found that would lend any sort of replayability to The Masterplan. Once you have figured out how to complete the heists, they don’t change.
WINNER: Monaco’s huge character selection puts it ahead in the replayability category!
After everything, the game that ran the successful heist is”¦.
Though the graphics and soundtrack of The Masterplan are stellar, Monaco’s story and replayability send it soaring over the top. The Masterplan’s crashing issue makes for some frustrating gameplay, but despite that issue, it’s still a great game. Both games are very entertaining, and you should give them a shot! We’ll see you next week!