LawBreakers Hands-On Impressions: Lawts Of Fun
Breaking the Law just got really fun.
For a game that’s only been in development for under two years, LawBreakers is already proving what a strong development team Boss Key Productions have at hand. Led by CEO, Cliff Bleszinski — former developer behind the mega Xbox franchise Gears of War — Bleszinski is putting his team’s massive creative powers to work in making what feels like a solid hit. Boss Key Productions consists of many talented individuals from many million-seller games such as: Call of Duty, the original Fallout, Team Fortress, and more.
LawBreakers is an online first-person arena experience. The crux of LawBreakers is using gravity to your advantage. Gravity is the law behind everything in the game. And it’s the key to giving your team the advantage and winning round after round. Each map within LawBreakers is built with a zero-G anomaly at the center of the map. Maps in LawBreaks will always be symmetrical.
"Interestingly enough, Boss Key Productions decidedly went with a Titanfall style storytelling approach."
The playable cast behind LawBreakers consist of killers and anti-heroes. All these characters come with abilities that can add to the gravity crux. Some can drop through zero-G pockets; change into a different type of fighting arena; some can drop dense gravity spheres on the ground that can pull down projectiles and slow down players; and there are many other ways that gravity can and will be used and abused to win the match. No matter if you play on the Laws’ side or the Breakers’ side you’ll always have access to the same classes and roles. The only difference between the teams are the cosmetics of characters. This helps keep teams fair and let’s players choose who they want without fear of thinking the other team has a more powerful character.
Interestingly enough, Boss Key Productions decidedly went with a Titanfall style storytelling approach. LawBreakers doesn’t have a single player component at all, but like Titanfall, it tells a story while in battle running around the maps focusing solely on killing the other team. So if you’re anything like me you’ll have no idea what the story is about even after a few months of play. However, you will learn that LawBreakers does take place in the future, 2098 to be precise, but in a totally technologically advanced world that was never post apocalyptic like many games out today. But society has just recently recovered from a cataclysmic event, and they are using gravity to progress their society.
Now, how gravity works, it tends to get players stuck inside its sphere while playing around its strength. This can slow you down and help with aiming, or get you killed, or vice versa with your opponent. As it sounds, this loose-gravity ball won’t just pull you down like a black hole, but in fact will let you go in any direction, 360 degrees, even high, high up.
"It felt fantastic. Each sneak attack was a single hit kill, face to face sword to the gut was a couple slashes."
Being within the gravity and actually using its force to control your movements felt extremely pleasant. There were times when I didn’t enjoy just slowly moving along getting shot by others and being almost helpless. But I did have a grapple that allowed me to target my enemies, pull me towards them and kill them with a single blow with my melee sword. I chose the melee character at first because to get the feel of the motions of the character, see how the strikes and blows affected my opponents. It felt fantastic. Each sneak attack was a single hit kill, face to face sword to the gut was a couple slashes. Secondly, I chose the rifleman who’s aim and precision were impeccable. The reloading of the gun, along with the accuracy were well balanced as was the handling of the weapon and character.
I had the chance to experience Turf War and until E3 it had not been seen by the public. Turf War is pretty much like Domination where the players stand in a circle for a certain amount of time and claim the zone for your team. There are three different points within Turf War: A, B, C. As soon as the location is claimed, it locks and the team scores a point for that location, or the enemy scores a point if they lock it down. Each time all three are locked down the game goes into an intermission where it then starts over until one team reaches the point score of 13 to win. But there’s a catch. After all three points are locked down by any team in any order you’ll be sent to that intermission round I spoke of. Within intermission you kill as many of the other team as you can. These kills lead to bonus points in the next round that accumulate when you begin to lock down the next three locations.
"LawBreakers feels like a great start for Boss Key Productions."
The map we played on was equally proportioned with gravity anomaly in the middle like all maps. The colors were always bright and lavishing. Plants were emerald green as they fluctuated around, broken and crumbling cement flew off and around the gravity’s pull. You might really get the sense that the developers definitely had a lot of freedom to explore options on how to create these bright settings by putting this game in the future in a well plotted out environment and world.
LawBreakers feels like a great start for Boss Key Productions. But with high demand for single player components in games these days, will it succeed? It’s hard to tell, but one thing is for sure, I had a blast playing it.