Have you ever spun around so quickly you hurt your neck? Playing Lawbreakers is like doing that 100 times a match! This game is fast and by fast, I mean you’ll give yourself whiplash playing this game! Get your seatbelts ready, it’s going to be a speedy, bumpy ride! You’d better make sure your accuracy skills are on point before diving into this shooter. Lawbreakers was brought to you by the beautiful people over at Boss Key Productions and is the first game they’ve ever made as a developer.
Lawbreakers is a 5v5 arena shooter that follows very closely to the games DOOM and Quake Champions. It’s a fast-paced FPS game that takes traditional game modes you’re probably used to seeing from playing games like Call of Duty, but turns them on their head and gives them a more competitive edge. The game released with a total of 5 game modes: Turf Wars, Blitzball, Occupy, Overcharge and Uplink, with more coming in the future. Blitzball, is very much like Call of Duty’s ‘Uplink’ game mode. The “EURO Ball” appears in the middle of the map and both teams race to get to it first in order to take it to a specific area on their enemy’s side to gain a point. Here is where things get twisted; you can’t just run in the area where the ball is held and pick it up, you have to stand in a designated radius around it to drop the shield that surrounds it before it can be picked up. Once you do that, you have 30 seconds to get the ball from the center of the map to your enemy’s side before the ball resets to its original position, shield and all, killing you in the process.
Another example of a game mode they changed up is Turf Wars. Now, you’re probably familiar with Domination from Call of Duty, where you gain points based on how long you hold the three points on the map. Same concept in Lawbreakers, except once you’ve gained control of each respective area, it gets locked down and you gain a point. Once all three points get locked down, there’s a cooldown period and after that, all three points on the map become neutral again and the process repeats. First team that reaches 16 points wins the match.
While either kicking ass, or getting your ass kicked, at the time of writing this article you get to choose between 18 characters from 9 different roles (two characters per role). Each role is specifically different from the rest of them. Below is a list of the roles and a basic description of them:
- Vanguard – Vanguard has 325 health and can fly around the map fairly quickly using her turret right arm to mow down enemies in your path.
- Enforcer – Essentially your standard soldier, equipped with the Aerator, which is an assault rifle and has Bloodhound missiles to fire when things get tough.
- Titan – Big brutes that are equipped with a Hammerhead rocket launcher that causes massive damage and will pound the ground if you get too close.
- Assassin –Quick and nimble, which only adds to their level of danger even after you take into account the two Arc Blades they are equipped with. If that doesn’t scare you, there’s also the shotgun, for when knives just don’t do the trick.
- Harrier – A high-flying, laser-shooting powerhouse! Facing the Shoc-Croc laser gun, you’re bound to be a pile of ash soon! And don’t bother chasing them, they’ll just fly backwards, spewing the same lasers from their feet.
- Juggernaut – Another spongy line of defense. Great for protecting the battery while charging, these brick walls are equipped with a nasty shotgun, with a nice little dagger that sticks out in case you get too close.
- Gunslinger – Gunslingers come armed with two pistols: Alpha, which fires a burst of long-range pistol rounds, and Omega, which is a six-shooter revolver that also shoots long-range pistol rounds but can also be charged to deal more damage.
- Wraith – Wraith is a very fast, very dangerous class that can slide and hop, dancing all round you, all the while spraying his automated pistol before dealing the final blow with his Stinger Blade.
- Battle Medic – The one you look for when your health bar glows red. She’s equipped with two floating drones that she can assign to you for a short while, which not only heals you to full health, but also gives you a boost surplus to your max health, all while using her Lobber grenade launcher to finish taking out the enemy that caused you harm.
(SIDE NOTE: They have said that they plan on increasing the roster throughout the lifetime of the game. At the time of this article being typed, I have heard of at least two more roles in the works, adding about another four more characters to the already 18 that existed at launch.)
The maps that they released with the game are all fantastically designed. They allow for fluid movement and provide great spaces for the crazy, insane combat that this game accommodates. The one thing about this game that definitely sets it apart from the rest of any first-person shooter game that is out there is that at the center of every map, there is an area of Zero-G. This little detail you might not think anything of, but be warned, it adds a whole new layer to this game. While on most other parts of the map, you only have to worry about a few directions around you. However, if you find yourself in the Zero-G areas, the enemy could literally be anywhere around you and the new controls of how to move your character add a whole new level of difficulty you need to master. You can get hit from all angles, and can only move in the direction you’re looking (if you’re looking down, trying to move forward will move you closer to the ground, while trying to move backward will move you towards the sky etc.). While they only have eight maps at launch, they have noted that they will also add more maps as time goes on, probably the same time they add more characters and roles.
This game is absolutely incredible to play and it has this addicting feature I can’t seem to figure out, but it makes it very hard to put the controller down. Between the epic music, involving more aggressive guitar and electronic effects, that get you pumped up for each match and the extremely satisfying sound effects when you stab someone and kill them, you can’t help but keep coming back for more. Every time you die, you’ll want to get back out there and avenge your death by making them pay for it in the most embarrassing way possible. One of the best things that really drew me to wanting this game was the price tag of $30 for the base edition and $40 for the “Deadzo” deluxe edition. Not to mention, all DLC, which would include maps, modes and roles, is all FREE! The only thing you pay for with real world money are the stash boxes, which house all the cosmetic items such as weapon and character skins, boot marks, and stickers. There is the possibility of getting in-game currency, which you can use to buy the specific items you want, instead of waiting for them to randomly drop.
VERDICT: Overall, this game is absolutely wonderful to play! I can’t remember a time I’ve been more pumped about a first-person shooter and wanting to spend as much time as I can playing, endeavouring to master all the classes. This is a definite buy for anyone that is a fan of FPS games and while there is a learning curve to the game, it won’t take long for you to pick it up and start shredding people. Bosskey did an awesome job with this game and I hope that it gets the attention it deserves.
This review is based on the PS4 version of the game.