LawBreakers is a first person shooter, arena class-based game developed by Bosskey, Cliff Bleszinski’s darling nascent studio. The man who abandoned the Gears of War IP because he deemed it no longer fun created a game both looks like everything you’ve played before and nothing you’ve played before at the same time.
Back in the days of Quake where Cliff sharpened his teeth, FPS games were all the rage. Though the FPS genre is a congested and saturated one today, Bosskey took a different approach to their game design. Sharing DNA with old-school arena-based shooters while still presenting enough of a variety in game mechanics, physics and teamwork, LawBreakers is, in a way, the ultimate evolution of competitive shooters.
At its core, two factions are battling against each other, Law and Breakers, but once the matches begin, it’s your team against theirs in a fight for the highest goal achievements and that sweet K\D.
If you think that this game is riding on the coattails of games the likes of Overwatch, you could not be more wrong. LawBreakers is a unique experience that attempts to mine for the best elements from similar games and packaging them in a novel bundle. Cliff would like new-school players to know that team-based shooters were not invented by Overwatch, but the question is do they care?
For starters, unlike in Overwatch, choosing a class won’t tie you down to its role. For example, medics in Lawbreakers don’t need a direct engagement with injured teammates or and need to be standing behind the lines to help heal your tanks. They are equipped with a grenade launcher and healing drones that you send out to your allies. Think a more tanky Zenyatta, or if you’ve played Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Wilhelm. Again, LawBreakers is not reinventing the genre, just attempting to improve upon it.
The diversity in character mechanics gives LawBreakers the versatility that similar games in the genre lack. Additionally, if you are a joypad gamer, you may struggle on PC as there is no aim assist. This game is clearly being targeted to the PvP hardcore but only time will tell if such a gamble at such a time is a stroke of genius or one of deluded nostalgia.
There are eight maps designed to integrate with and compliment the characters’ skills and movement styles, with the key factor in each being the low gravity areas. These areas further underscore the requirement to not only master movement but the back-fire ability as well. Firing from the back will boost your movement in the low gravity areas leading you to potentially marvelous kills.
The five game modes are a bit off the shelf here with Uplink and Overcharge being almost similar, both of which requiring you to capture the satellite or battery a la capture the flag. Blitzball was my favorite and has you capture a ball and drop it into the enemy zone before its shock clock activates killing you in the process. Turf War and Occupy are also similar, but where the latter has one area that once occupied alternates locations, the former has your team occupy three fixed assigned turfs.
LawBreakers is available on PlayStation 4 and PC. You may buy the game here