E3 Hands-On with ‘LawBreakers’: Tons of Style, Little Substance
LawBreakers is the next big sci-fi release from Unreal and Gears of War developer Cliff Bleszinski, but does it live up to the hype?
Cliff Bleszinski (formerly known as CliffyB) is best known for his work on the Unreal and Gears of War franchises, both of which went on to spawn multiple sequels and are considered classics among both fans and critics. Bleszinski’s latest project, released under his own company Boss Key Productions, is a sci-fi shooter with an anti-gravity twist that I got to get time hands-on with at E3.
LawBreakers lets players choose one of nine different classes spread across 18 characters to fight to the death in a team arena-style shooter. The classes feature many character types that players of team shooters will be familiar with; there are heavy shooters that utilize rocket launchers and grenades to decimate large groups of opponents, while also characters that rely on blades and speed boosts to slice their way through the competition at close range.
LawBreakers focuses heavily on the futuristic elements of the game, both in promotional material and gameplay itself. Anti-gravity is a huge feature that is utilized throughout the game, with players moving between regular gravity and anti-gravity zones constantly, forcing them to adapt their playstyle and utilize movement abilities in order to keep up with the fast-paced nature of the game.
While the anti-gravity elements provide a slightly new playstyle, overall LawBreakers suffers from a lack of originality. To the experienced FPS fan, LawBreakers comes across as an attempt to innovate in ways that aren’t as new and groundbreaking as LawBreakers presents them as being. Many of the mechanics we see in LawBreakers such as anti-gravity are similar to the movement systems of shooters like Call of Duty: Black Ops III and the Titanfall franchise, while special character abilities are quite similar to the abilities in other hero shooters like Overwatch.
While the game introduces some interesting design elements and in many cases attempts to rely on their futuristic style, the visuals can often be quite lackluster. Textures in many areas look bland and recycled, while many character designs are hit and miss. The LawBreakers team does seem to have chosen to appeal to the eSports market with much of their branding however which may be the games best chance at success.
Overall my time with LawBreakers left me with the impression of a fun shooter to kill some time with but unlikely to win any awards for groundbreaking innovation. Hopefully, the full release of LawBreakers will reveal a bit more depth by its August 8 release date.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan_ or email him at email@example.com