I went into this game thinking that it’s another Overwatch clone. But when I got into it, Lawbreakers is anything but a clone. It’s a game that can stand on its own. A game that defies gravity. A game that provides a lot of fun and carnage. A game worth looking into.
Platform Reviewed: PS4
Platforms Available: PS4, Windows PC
Developer: Boss Key Productions
Release Date: August 8, 2017
This review is based on a review copy provided by Boss Key.
As soon as you launch the game it takes you to the home screen where you can do certain things like playing the game, changing the settings or opening lootboxes. You can also change the server you are playing on in the settings page. I played the game on the US East and West server even though my ping would be very high. The SEA server at the moment is a barren wasteland because it seems I couldn’t find a quick match. Though at 5mbps, I didn’t really have too much of a problem playing the game.
You are directly thrusted into the game with no tutorial whatsoever. The game doesn’t hold your hand in the combat as well.There are no tutorial hints or anything of that sort to help you and guide you on how to play the game. This is probably because Nexon wants the gamers to jump right into the game and discover everything themselves. But it could turn away newcomers to the genre, especially if they really don’t know anything about how the control works in the game. Unlike most people, I like to tinker with the game a lot. I like discovering things on my own and figuring them out. It’s like a puzzle that needs solving and it really puts your imagination to the test. Can I push this button here? Can I use this button to jump? It gives you that sense of independence and it rewards you for being able to unravel its many mysteries.
There are two ways that you can play the game. You either enter into a quick match where the system randomly generates the game mode for you. Or you can set up a custom match and have other players join you.
There are five game modes that goes into rotation. The Uplink, Blitzball, Turf War, Occupy and Overcharged. The Uplink and Overcharged have similar gameplay except that in Overcharged you are stealing a battery and you have to charge it at your base. Your goal is to get to 100% and you need to defend it for another 20 seconds so your team can gain a point. Should the enemy team steal the battery, the charge will remain the same and you can continue charging from where you left off once you get it back. In Uplink, the moment the enemy team steals the “data” you lose all your progress and will have to start from the very beginning of the uplink, thus the name uplink since it involves uploading “data” to a server.
Blitzball is a fun game of tag. You have to capture a ball that spawns in the middle of the map and then take the said ball to the opponent’s goal to score. If you’re the one carrying the ball and you get killed by the enemy, the ball drops and the enemy can steal it. There is a shot clock timer though that limits the time on which you can score a goal. Should the timer ends, the ball respawns back in the center of the map.
Turf War is probably the only thing that’s familiar to most gamers. It is your typical capture the point where you have three points in the map that you can lock in for your team to score. The opposing team can try to steal the point as well by ensuring that you don’t completely lock the area. I think this is the game mode I like the most as I’m more focused on objectives than fighting against the enemies. This is also what I like about the game. It is very easy to get into and it offers a variety of gameplay for you enjoy. It really doesn’t matter whether you just want to kill the enemies or you just want to ensure the objectives are met. The game gives you the freedom to do so. All in all, even when I was losing the game, I still felt like I was having fun. It’s a very fast paced and competitive game but at the same time, you can enjoy the game in any way that you want to.
The last game mode is Occupy. In this game mode, you and the opposing team fight over a single area on the map to gain points. The longer you stay on the area, the higher the points you get. It’s like King of the Hill but more fun because the contested point changes location. There are usually three locations where the “Occupy” area shows up and people usually anticipate where it shows up. But due to its randomness it is better to just wait until it actually appears on the map.
At the end of each match, the victory screen lets you know who is the MVP and it usually comes from the winning team. It also gives you a rundown of your score during the match and if you level up, you get a free lootbox. The lootbox gives you four items that could include a skin for your character, a skin for your weapons, a sticker for your weapons, a design for your kick or an avatar for your profile. This is all random though so you either get normal items or legendary ones which is probably 1% of the time.
There are 9 roles to play on each side. These are the Assassin, Battle Medic, Enforcer, Gunslinger, Harrier, Juggernaut, Titan, Vanguard and Wraith. Each of these roles have their own unique weapons and abilities. Each role has a primary weapon and a secondary weapon that you can swap with a button. Although some of the characters don’t have a secondary weapon. Just like Overwatch, you don’t have to worry about ammo as the game gives you unlimited ammo but you can only fire your weapon in a limited amount. And for the other roles, they have a melee weapon instead. For example, a Titan can only fire 6 grenades from the grenade launcher in one go. After all the ammo is spent, your character will automatically reload it but you can opt to manually reload it as well. Each of the roles also have three abilities with one of them being an ultimate ability.
The Titan is probably one of the easiest to handle and would appeal to newcomers as well. Their primary weapon packs a punch and can kill multiple enemies at once as long as they are within the area of the grenade. I had so much fun playing this character as it really provides a lot of devastating blows. He may be a bit slow though but overall he is still fun to play.
One thing that disappointed me about the game though is that you are only allowed to play the character of the side you are playing for. The sides being the Laws and the Breakers (this is probably why the game is called Lawbreakers too). I wish the game would allow me to play a character from the opposing team but for now you are only restricted to your side of the team.
In terms of replayability, this game is fun as long as you are playing. But after awhile it can get a little repetitive and for people with a short attention span it could get a little boring. The hype could only take you as far as how many friends you are playing it with, or how many people there are playing. I’m not sure if it can outlive Overwatch because Overwatch has been in the scene for awhile but maybe if they introduce ranked or tournaments for the game then it could probably last for awhile.
Overall, Lawbreakers is a fun game to play. It’s a game where you can unwind and relax despite the chaos and frenzy that happens in game. It’s a game where you can feel like a pro or develop your skills as a pro. It’s a game that is inviting to any type of players, may you be someone new or someone who’s a veteran in shooters. It’s an entertaining game while it lasts but for how long, it is still up to its playerbase.