If you were watching awesome TV in the early 2000’s you should remember a show called Battlebots. If you are unfamiliar with it, sacrifice your work productivity and YouTube that Sh*t. In a quick and very uninteresting way to describe Battlebots, it’s people would build little RC cars with crazy weapons on them and then battle them to the death. Well, the SYFY channel has ran with the idea and really tried to make it awesome.
SYFY’s Robot Combat League takes robot enthusiasts and athletes, mixes them up into teams, and gives them the controls to a humanoid battle robot. The 12 robots are each controlled by 2 people teams, one person controlling the legs, and one controlling the arms. The two robots meet in a ring for three rounds of pulverization. If one robot goes down before the end of the round, the team has 20 minutes to fix it and get back in the match. The team with the best score at the end of the match, or is the last robot standing wins. Oh, and if just having the chance to fight giant robots wasn’t enough of an incentive, the team that wins the tournament gets $100,000.
The show isn’t just about the matches. There are little challenges here and there that give the winner of the challenge a “power up” or advantage on their next match. The challenge on the first episode was who could hit a target on an opposing robot the fastest, not very exciting, but hey, it’s the first episode.
The fights themselves are pretty cool to watch, they’re giant fighting robots. The robots walk around the ring while frantically swinging at each other hoping to hit something worthwhile. Important components are occasionally hit and hydraulic fluid sprays out over the ring like robot blood. That’s the exciting part, not that…seeing blood spraying is exciting…moving on. Unfortunately the show saw it necessary to add huge explosions of sparks when a robot gets hit harder than average, and sometimes when a robot doesn’t get hit at all, that’s always amusing. It seems a little stupid, but meh, that’s Hollywood.
What geek hasn’t thought about battling giant robots? It seems like an awesome concept, and SYFY did they best they could. Short of outfitting the robots with giant saws, wielding battle-axes, and shooting rockets at each other, I just don’t think there is enough entertainment value for Robot Combat League to be a really successful show. The fights seem to be very repetitive, involve very little skill, and are just punches thrown at random. Overall, it’s an alright show, nothing that I would personally make a habit of watching. The only way I’ve been able to watch multiple episodes is to have it on in the background while I conduct other household activities, and to check on the show when there’s a loud noise. It’s just not gripping enough to watch the whole thing from start to finish, but interesting enough to watch brief highlights.
G.I.A. Rating: 5/10
For more information or to watch clips of Robot Combat League visit www.syfy.com/robotcombatleague