Lawbreakers has been on the radar for a while. A game that has been picked up by Nexon and being made here in North America is a switch to the route of publishing from Eastern companies. However, it is great to see Nexon fully investing in North American games, even publishing them both here and across the pond. Lawbreaker’s is Boss Key Productions arena shooter which moves at an extremely fast pace and breaks the laws of physics... and it's a whole lot of fun.
Besides Cliff Bleszinski, some of our old MMO friends are also working on Lawbreakers so we wanted to give the game a solid look. From the beginning, out of all of the crop of arena shooters Lawbreakers' backstory and lore paint a really fun future. Factions have aligned for a while after an apocalyptic event. Humanity united, until large gangs started popping up due to the rise of superhuman powers from a disaster on Earth's moon. The gangs became so powerful they started to rival the Law and huge battles began sprouting everywhere.
You log in and play as part of the Law or the Breakers teams. We picked Breakers, because well, the characters looked awesome. I chose Cronos because he just looked so badass. His helmet had wires everywhere and you could describe him as a gravity manipulating version of Bane. Cronos also comes with a rocket launcher which gives you four shots before reload. While others may have more ammo, you do much more destruction as this character, plus the splash damage is necessary for someone with bad aim (like me). I liked his leap ability which worked great in close combat, he also has grenades which can really generate more wide damage. The other thing about Cronos is his toughness. He can take a lot of damage so getting in close is key.
The game began on a high tech sci-fi map which had all the tricks and options of any arena shooter. There were spots for sniping, hiding, and plenty of ramps to cross and fall from. Cronos went in after the Law to bring the pain. At first the character moved slowly, but I guess we all would carrying around a rocket launcher. Once in position though I could do some great damage. I was also able to catch characters unaware and drop in close. It was fun playing a little bit of stealth for such a huge character.
As I played through the game I did okay. I am not the best shooter player in the world so Cronos was a good option as a casual player. My targeting was bigger, I soaked up a lot of damage, and my prompts when I got to close range were easy to use. The only issue I had was getting taken down by some of the Law characters who used a much more standard FPS model in their design. It did not bother me too much as I chalked it up more to my inexperience than anything else.
The game moves very fast, almost faster than other shooters we have played. Its pace is an advantage though as our team did well taking down foes. It is hard to get the full scope of the game from a quick demo at PAX, but against other arena shooters this one stands up well. We won the match and unfortunately had to move on, I would have liked more time with the other Breaker characters on the list.
Lawbreakers wins with its compelling story and great background. The characters are a lot of fun to choose from and picking sides of good or bad guys always makes for some great options. This is definitely a game to watch as the quick pace keeps you moving very fast during a match. We will bring you more on Lawbreakers as it gets into Beta.