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LawBreakers Review (PS4)

An arena shooter in the same vein as Quake and Overwatch, but with its own gameplay and mechanics, Lawbreakers seeks to throw some punches at the competition. Low gravity portions of the map mean verticality like few have done before it means you'll find a great amount of competition in the community as it looks forward to growth and excitement.

Lawbreakers Review

Introduction

LawBreakers, developed by Boss Key Productions and Published by Nexon, is a first-person, online multiplayer, arena shooter that mirrors many gameplay features of Quake, Unreal Tournament, and Overwatch. It's by no means a clone of them, but rather just in the same vein, while bringing its own twist to the table. In the middle of the map is a zero gravity area where players will go from ground combat to floating warfare, and vice versa when leaving. Players can expect to go 5v5 in a handful of game modes, on several maps, as they compete to be crowned champion. Do you have what it takes to compete in these games?

You can buy the game on PS4 or Steam for $39.99.

Gameplay

Still fresh off the boat, the game feels bi-polar in the sense that it's confident in things like zero-gravity mechanics, hard hitting attacks, and high paced gameplay, but then utterly confused in what it wants to do for game modes. It's still trying to find itself and that's something that will come with time and community feedback. But let me fill you in more about what exactly LawBreakers is. As mentioned before it's a 5v5 online multiplayer arena shooter, but the diversity of load outs doesn't come with primary weapon choice but instead with the players.

There's two types: the Law and the Breakers (clever right?). There's different roles, or classes, of characters; you may want to be a wraith player who can slide around shooting his automatic pistol and stabbing with his knife, a battle medic equipped with a hover pack and grenade launcher (not to mention team healing abilities), a vanguard with a big gatling gun and jet flight capabilities, or maybe even a gunslinger who can teleport around and deliver pinpoint accurate blows to the enemy. Regardless of which side you're on, the Law or the Breakers, you'll have access to essentially the same characters even though they differ slightly in appearance and bio.

Breakers Characters
What the game suffers from is a lack of connection to the characters as nothing about them truly stands out other than their abilities. Overwatch succeeded in selling you with videos telling small stories and personalities, and Rainbow Six Siege made each character unique enough that the community made personas for them (Shoutout IQ's thickness and Jäger's toxicity). Maybe if the development team could make a short movie, 10-15 minutes, that had bad ass action and some backstory about why both teams enter the arena, then everything would absolutely blow up for the game. Something that would show off some personalities and give reason to play. It would be amazing to say the least. 

Game modes are objective based, but stuff like grab the battery and charge your side. If the other team steals the battery you need to steal it back, blah blah blah. It's not horrible but it's just not great. Every match I was in felt like people rather run around and kill eachother rather than play objective, myself included. Whichever team had that one guy who goes 0-20 but gets all the objective points was usually the "winning" team in the end. It's best when both teams have that player who goes 0-20 so those two can blinding head butt each other over the battery while everyone else has fun. Ok maybe I'm just being mean, but I guess I just wish there was a team death match.

Low Gravity Combat

Sound and Graphics

In regards to the presentation of everything, I was pleasantly surprised. It's a middle class title that dips it's toe in the AAA vibes and avoids technical flaws that I see plague so many titles these days, regardless of price point. Even though the characters don't offer much to feel connected to personally, they look great. Everyone has this sci-fi, almost Mad Max in space, feel to them and it works with the outlaw vs cop setting. The arenas are a bit plain but in a true arena way. It feels like a colosseum where there should be massive crowds gathered around to watch. This is why I think a short movie could be executed so well, because there could be some badass scenes about both teams preparing to go into the game with some locker room hype. The Breakers fighting for some kind of freedom and are relying on a history of crime for experience, while the Law has uniformity and experience in the arena itself. Ok I won't keep talking about a short movie that doesn't exist, but I just feel it's what's missing.

Law vs Breakers in Intense Combat Action

Conclusion

LawBreakers is not the best in the genre, but it is a good quality game that I believe will continue to grow with time. I'm not "fan-boying" it when I say this, as I think that the community will grow as the game improves. I've read other places that some say the player base is already small, but I haven't had any trouble joining matches yet and I don't foresee the developers giving up on this project. It didn't have a blowup release like Blizzard could influence for Overwatch, or a game like Quake could do by name brand, but if you look at games like Rainbow Six Siege, you can see similarities in how gameplay improvements equals a bigger community over time. If you're not sold on it yet, that's of course ok, but do yourself a favour and check back every now and then to see the updates and improvements that happen, as I'm sure they'll be plentiful and impressive. Just don't wait too long to get in on the action.

ProsCons
 + AAA level quality and polish – Needs rework of game modes
 + Extremely competitive – Needs something to build personal connection to  characters
 + Nice variety of characters and abilities
 + Free future content
8
Great

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