LawBreakers is a character-based FPS where two teams compete over objective-based gameplay on maps set in a not-too-distant future. Choose a character with unique abilities and work as a team to frag and secure victory.
Type: Character Shooter
Release Date: August 8, 2017
Pros: +Large variety of characters and weapons. +Sleek graphics and game engine. +Discord integration.
Cons: -Steep learning curve. -Class balance issues. -Small playerbase.
LawBreakers is a sci-fi FPS in which two teams compete over objective-based gameplay. Join either the Law or the Breakers, and pick a class designated by a character with unique abilities and weapons. Each one fits into a role, such as heavy-hitters and sneaky assassins. Fight in 5v5 matches over objectives, such as securing designated points around the map or capturing and charging a battery, à la capture the flag. Zip around the map using jetpacks, grappling hooks, and more to quickly pounce on enemies. Built on Unreal Engine 4, the game spots crisp graphics that shine through a variety of weapon effects. Earn experience and level up, showing off your skill, and unlock stash boxes containing cosmetic goodies to customize your favorite characters.
LawBreakers Key Features
- Character-Class Roster - choose characters with designated classes that wield unique weapons and abilities.
- Loot Boxes - collect an assortment of weapon skins, character skins, and avatars to customize your character and profile.
- Multiple Game Modes - compete in multiple game modes, such as Overcharge and Turf war.
- Fast Movement - use grappling hooks, jetpacks, and speed boosts to quickly navigate the map and gain the upper hand.
- Discord Integration - automatically hop into Discord and join with your teammates to work together and win.
LawBreakers Featured Video
By, Baruch Spinoza
The following is a Closed Beta impression and will be updated when the game fully releases.
Lawbreakers is an energetic first person shooter that stays true to its genre’s roots, offering fast-paced combat with plenty of pizzazz, cheesy one-liners, and satisfying weapon effects. The line “frag like it’s 1999” is fitting, even while Lawbreakers twists gameplay to make itself stand apart from the crowd. It’s a fun FPS, without any of the MOBA gimmicks too many of its contemporaries have incorporated: tried and true fun. But, as always, after we’ve logged off there’s a question that has to be answered. Is Lawbreakers entertaining enough for Ice-T to keep fighting “in our damn streets?”
A Hero Shooter
This is a character-based shooter, where each lawmen or criminal has a set of abilities and weapons that define their playstyle. Two teams: Law and Breakers, each with their own characters but with corresponding classes. Each has their own Gunslinger, Titan, Battle Medic, etc. and there are seven classes in all. Playing through them I found no two that overlapped. They each have a distinct approach to combat that’s as fun as it is original. It’s worth cycling through them to find the one that fits, or switch mid-game to counter an opposing team’s comp.
While not readily apparent, team composition does matter. You want heavy hitters and sneaky assassins, not just a team of one or the other. Because this is an objective-based game. It took me a bit to realize that a team’s juxtaposition is a huge aid or detriment to their victory or loss. Perhaps some type of tooltip at a Character Select screen would remind players to choose wisely, that Lawbreakers is about the objective, not racking up frags.
To look at them as static models, the characters have a dystopian appearance, as if they stepped out of a police-state cyberpunk world: a place run amok with tech. Going by the name, it’s fitting. There’s a binding aesthetic between them. Most of the characters are wearing a similar, conservatively colored, armor-plated jersey. Besides a few wow features—like Cronos’ tentacle waving helmet or Toska-9’s jet engine shoulder—the character's bleed into one another. Though each has great-looking exaggerated weaponry displaying a Gears of War influence.
Unreal Engine 4 Shows Off
Maps feel small, even though they’re the right size to foster constant combat: you’re never more than one hallway away from a firefight. Their constrained, almost oppressive feeling is due to clustered objects, from many-monitored computer terminals to plants and booths. “It’s a good thing.” The clutter gives Lawbreaker’s maps a lived-in quality, as if the previous week there were people bustling about their corridors.
Every map has areas where gravity is inverted. At first it’s off-putting because you don’t realize you’ve stepped into a physics-defying sphere—I thought I activated some unknown ability. Once apparent, they become a hub where new players get destroyed and experienced veterans bounce around with slick finesse. There’s clearly a skill curve where gravity ceases. Floating through the air and aiming rockets is much more a skillshot than when you’re on your feet.
As of now, an orange glow is tapestried across doors indicating you’re about to enter the area, while a translucent bubble shows you its boundaries. It ought to be a little clearer. Then again, thanks to the map size, after a few matches you know exactly where they are.
Traveling around the game’s maps feels great, most of the time. Every character has a Shift ability that can either make them fly, dodge, sprint, etc. Some characters excel at quickly closing gaps to wreak havoc with melee weapons, while others use rocket propulsion—or something similar—to either escape danger or jump atop another player before they realize what sent them to the Kill Screen. Some characters move too slow for my taste, likely because I couldn’t shake the feeling I was playing an old school arena deathmatch. But for the most part the tight map design lends itself to all speeds, so that no hero is left behind.
There are two game modes: Overcharge Mode and Turf War. Both titles are new names for familiar gameplay, and it’s impossible not to recognize them as Capture the Flag and Secure the Objective respectively.
In Overcharge a battery spawns somewhere on the map and both teams smash each other into juicy bits to secure it, take it back to their base, and fill their charge meter. Fill the meter to 100% and your team scores a point. Overcharge matches are a best two-out-of-three. Meanwhile, in Turf War there three objective points to capture—A, B, and C—and teams duke it out trying to capture them. Two points are situated near both team’s bases, while the third is square in the middle of the map to galvanize team fights.
The game modes are well and fine, but they never sit in the foreground of gameplay. Rather, objectives are secondary concerns while you’re busy slinging around the map and earning as many frags as you can while keeping an eye over your shoulder to avoid being earred by an Assassin. Game modes carry no impact. They don’t capture your attention. Because, Lawbreakers feels like a classy Team Deathmatch, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Blowing each other up feels great.
Here’s a familiar feature: loot crates, or as Lawbreakers likes to call them, Stash Boxes. With each level you earn a new loot crate which contains four inconsequential items: weapon skins, character skins, avatar emblems. It’s a generous system and one I fully support. Upon full release I’m sure Lawbreakers will monetize their crates in the same other games such as Overwatch have done. And I see nothing wrong with it. I hope to see the team develop more cosmetics as they move forward, as you can easily envision some ridiculous and entertaining themes for the characters.
What I Expected
I kept wanting to play Lawbreakers like it was a free-for-all deathmatch, only to be reminded by a British announcer that I have an objective. All the hallmarks of a fragfest are scattered on the map: health stations, power-ups, zany and flashy moves. My ring-finger held tab more often than not, to watch my place on the leaderboard. I had to be the best. I just want a mode where I can prove that, rather than a reliance on objective-focused teamwork. Maybe I’m just imposing nostalgia on a modern game.
Final Verdict - Good
Lawbreakers is a great first-person-shooter, an almost return to the basic tenets of what made the genre popular to begin with: a breakneck fragfest. The game modes do detract from the core experience, and serve as a secondary objective that fosters firefights rather than capturing attention. Rotating through the characters kept gameplay refreshing and showed off an individuality through abilities rather than design. Ultimately, I ended my playthrough saying “Lawbreakers is fun.”
LawBreakers System Requirements
Operating System: Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-bit versions only)
CPU: Intel Core 2 Extreme CPU QX6850/AMD A8-3870k (Quad Core CPU’s)
Video Card: Nvidia GTX 660, AMD Radeon 7870
RAM: 6 GB
Hard Disk Space: 30 GB
Operating System: Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-bit versions only)
CPU: Intel Core i7 -4790
Video Card: Nvidia GTX 970, AMD Radeon R9 290
RAM: 16 GB
Hard Disk Space: 30 GB
LawBreakers Music & Soundtrack
LawBreakers Additional Information
Developer: Boss Key Productions
Game Engine: Unreal Engine 4
Lead Designer: Cliff Bleszinki
Reveal Date: August 28, 2015
Alpha: June 18 - June 19, 2016
Closed Beta 1: March 16 - March 19, 2017
Release Date: TBA
Development History / Background:
LawBreakers is the first title developed by Cliff Bleszinski's new studio Boss Key Productions. Bleszinski is best known for his work as design director at Epic Games, particularly for the Unreal and Gears of War franchises. LawBreakers was first teased at back in 2014 under the code name Project BlueStreak, and is being published by Korean studio Nexon as part of their effort to expand their presence in North America. LawBreakers joins an expanding list of team based shooters inspired by Team Fortress 2 including OverWatch and Paladins. The game was originally expected to be free to play, but Boss Key Productions later revealed they were opting for a buy to play model. Alpha sign-ups began on April 21, 2016. The first alpha test was held on Jun 18, 2016 and concluded on June 19, 2016. Closed Beta testing began on March 16, 2017, and ran for one weekend, until March 19, 2017. Lawbreakers does not have an announced release date.