E3 2016 – Hands on: LawBreakers

In the already overcrowded world of online arena shooters like Overwatch and “that-one-no-one-remembers-since-Overwatch-came-out” (Battleborne), former Epic #1 Cliff Bleszinski and his new studio Boss Key Productions decided to join the fray with their version: LawBreakers.

PC only LawBreakers is taking aim at a more “specific” market not only through its limitation of platform availability but in gameplay and the mature graphic nature associated with it.

LawBreakers_GDC_BlindFire

As you’d expect with an arena shooter there are different character classes available, loosely following the regular tank, scout, etc models we’ve all seen since Team Fortress 2. Of course LawBreakers has its own names for them (Titan, Assassin) and introduces some of its own focusing on the verticality of the game like the Vanguard. Each class of course includes its own set of skills and weapons.

LawBreakers_GDC_OverchargeMode

The main difference beyond amazing graphics and the general gore that will likely earn the title an M rating in the land down under is that of gravity, or rather the lack of it. At the centre of each map is a “core” where gravity doesn’t exist. Also equipped as special weapons/skills on cool-downs for certain classes is the ability to knock or elevate opponents with a gravity lifting impact.

The combination of PC controls, the lack of gravity and the speed at which it runs means gameplay is fast and furious and whilst there’s no sign of Vin Diesel I wouldn’t be surprised if he popped up down the track. The character and environment modelling look gorgeous and you can really see how Boss Key have taken the no holds bar approach to making this look and run incredibly well on a well spec’d PC.

LawBreakers_PAXEast_ZeroGBattle

A new Domination-like mode called “Turf War” was unveiled at E3. Taking the normal three-point domination approach Turf War adds a twist. Players capture a point and are awarded a point for holding it. Once all are captured they reset after a small period of time where none can be captured. During this reset time you’re free to roam and setup your next capture or defence of one. It’s hard to explain, when they went through it in my briefing I just nodded and smiled like an idiot so I’m sure I’ve done a terrible job too. After a couple of rounds it starts making sense and you realise just how exciting the change makes things.

The game is currently in Alpha and lucky few have access to it at the moment. Expect a lot more information including characters, maps and gameplay modes to come out as they ramp up aiming towards a Steam Early Access release around August this year.

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