Breaking the law!
From the likes of Cliff Bleszinski and Boss Key Productions comes Lawbreakers, the first person shooter, that will defy the laws of space and gravity. You’ll need to learn quickly and keep your head on a swivel because the action comes from all directions during gameplay. One minute you could be in a safe space and the next, have someone stabbing you in the back/shooting you in the face. You never know when you could be knocking on heaven’s door!
I was able to play Lawbreakers at the Electronics and Entertainment Expo this year and was impressed with what I saw from the first person shooter. As I mentioned earlier, you’ll have to have your head on a swivel as well as deal with the gravity issues. You’ll have to deal everyone trying to attack/kill you as well as dealing with the different gravity for different battle maps. Each location will have different locales and areas to traverse so you’ll have to be on guard!
There are several maps you’ll have the option to play on and like I just mentioned, each one has different locales and gravity. The Promenade and Red Falls were two of my favorite maps because they were easy to traverse around. The mode plays a factor in this as well because if you’re playing Blitzball, you need to know where your goal is. If you get lost easily on the map you happen to be playing on, you’re gonna have a bad time! There are icons on the screen that should prevent you from getting lost but there are other things going on so you might not be able to look at the little icon on screen all the time to see if you’re heading the right direction.
The gameplay modes that Lawbreakers has to offer are fun, chaotic, as well as well as simplistic. They’re similar but the main themes for the modes are different so let’s get right into it. Blitzball has the two teams playing a “capture the flag like game with the EUROball, trying to get the ball that spawns in the middle of the map for their goal. You’ll need to be on guard for enemy fire because the other team wants that ball for their goal! Teams play to eight goals.
The E3 demo was Blitzball and this game is a lot of fun. Make sure you know where your goal is because if you don’t and you get the ball, the other team can smell the blood in the water. In the first game I played with other people, I didn’t know the layout of the map too well and didn’t know where to bring the EUROball and the other team could tell I had no idea where to go. After a few playthroughs, you learn the layout of the maps and you know where everything is as well as where it needs to go!
Other gameplay modes are Turf War, where you and your team are trying to secure areas on the map. Score 16 points first to win! Overcharge has the teams fighting over a battery present on the map. You need to bring that battery to your base to charge it to 100% three times and the first team to do that wins! Uplink has the teams fighting to download data to the enemy team base via uplink; three downloads wins the game! Occupy plays similar to Turf War except that there is only one zone on the map that moves around and the teams play to 200 Pts. to win. Also the rotating zone goes away after 45 seconds so you can’t keep it the whole match!
There are two teams during gameplay modes in Lawbreakers, the Law team and the Breakers team comprised of 9 different types of players. You can choose from Vanguard, Enforcer, Titan, Assassin, Gunslinger, Juggernaut, Battle Medic, Wrath, and Harrier. Each team has their own version of the listed player and you’ll be able to customize the players with different weapons and stickers for their weapons and skins.
You’ll be able to do this from the main menu by way of the custom section. You can unlock more customizations for your fighters by in-game currency that you’ll get in the game as well as leveling up in the game by performing certain tasks like getting your first kill in a multiplayer match or your first head shot. These achievements can get you more items inside Stash Drop boxes. Stash Drops can hold four items and can be pretty much anything so when you get one, you’ll want to open it up right away!
At times, it was tough to tell where everything was coming from during gameplay. There were times where I was getting attacked from behind when I had no idea anything was going on and then when I realized, it was too late and I was dead. It was also tough at times to tell what team was which and that could be because the teams have too similar-looking characters or color-schemes that aren’t defined enough. The two colors for the teams should be able to be seen as different but it still was tough at times at least during Blitzball.
I’m going to blow minds here but some characters during gameplay are better than others. It just depends on what style of play you like to play when you’re actually playing. I played with the Harrier character for most of my matches because the character is quick, has a semi strong weapon, and when needed, has a super-strong laser attack that I used a few times to save my ass. That’s the fun of the customization features that allow the fighters that might not be great at the start to become something because of you!
Like most online games, you wait for a lobby to pick you up and match you with people who want to play the game. Lawbreakers allows you to either jump into a random match-lobby or set the lobby with whatever rules you want, again similar to most online games. While waiting, people can see your profile as well as what level you’re on and I know that isn’t new either but I’m not a fan of that.
This way, the people know who the new players are and who the potential easy targets are. That might not be the case with all low level players but it puts the lower level players at a disadvantage early on. Once you level up a little bit, you’ll be able to change your profile image but until then, the veterans know that you’re a new/early player.
Controls for Lawbreakers easy to pick up but will take some time to master. Zero gravity jumping took a little getting used to since you think you’re going to jump and float back down but that isn’t always the case. You also have “special attacks” that need to be replenished and if you use them early, you could get in real trouble. When I first heard that the shoulder buttons were going to the controls for shooting, I thought this would never work but I was pleasantly surprised with how crisp and smooth it feels!
To recap, Lawbreakers is a first person shooter from the likes of likes of Cliff Bleszinski and Boss Key Productions made with the Unreal engine. It is “Crazy, Fast Paced Shooting at its finest!” Why does that sound so familiar to me?
I’m giving Lawbreakers for the PlayStation 4 a 9/10.