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Enjoyable, But It Needs a Healthy Player Base to be Great

David Holmes Posted:
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Lawbreakers is a recently released FPS (First Person Shooter) developed by Boss Key Productions and published by Nexon for PC and PS4. The concept behind the game is to have a fast, active FPS with fluid movement and a battlefield that is all about movement and keeping your head on a swivel. Let's take a look at it's different parts that add up to make Lawbreakers what it is.

The Tutorial

How do you learn to play Lawbreakers? Watching in game videos. While there is a sandbox map that you can practice things in, in the end all you have are videos of the various game modes, maps and roles. A mock up match against AI may have been an easier way to go for players new to the game or FPS in general to learn. While I understand Lawbreakers is a game about having skill, sometimes you have to start at the bottom to learn what you're doing.

The Game Modes

Currently Lawbreakers has five game modes.

  • Occupy is all about getting to a specific zone in the map, capturing it and holding it while it lasts for 45 seconds. The zone rotates to different areas of the map throughout the match, first team to 200 wins.
  • Uplink is all about grabbing the uplink, getting it to your base and defending it while it downloads its data. First team to 3 uplinks wins.
  • Blitzball has you getting the ball and carrying it into your enemies' zone to score, first team to 8 wins. Mind you if you're still holding the ball when the shot clock expires, you die. Oh, and the ball talks, a lot.
  • Turf War has your team working to capture 3 different zones in a round with the team scoring 16 first winning.
  • Overcharge is about grabbing the battery and charging it up to score at your base. Mind you, you have to defend it for 20 seconds when it's at 100% to score. First team to 3 wins.

All of these game modes can be fairly entertaining. Truth be told I found Blitzball to be the most fun Overcharge could be the more frustrating at times. But all of these various modes take advantage of Lawbreakers unique gameplay mechanics and its fast pace.

The Roles

Lawbreakers currently has nine roles with a different cosmetic version for the two warring sides. The characters range the gamut from the Gunslinger who dual wields pistols, one a burst first gun, the other a charged single shot blast to the Assassin whose main weapon are daggers. The various characters in Lawbreakers cater to certain play types, but all felt fairly balanced and well done.

The Maps

Currently Lawbreakers has eight different maps. Some are specific to certain match types, all adding to the feel of the world Lawbreakers exists in. With gravity balls being in some areas allowing for all kinds of fast paced flying action as you zoom by your opponent to get that kill on his friend. The variety of each map is well down and I hope for more down the road.

The sum of its parts?

So, what does that all add up to? If you read my beta preview of Lawbreakers, you may think you already know my thoughts. But you'd be wrong. I realize now, after having dug deeper into Lawbreakers to a game like Overwatch was a mistake. Granted most of us will always compare something new to something old or currently in fashion, but Lawbreakers is a different beast compared to most team based FPS. Lawbreakers is all about moving from point A to B all while keeping your eyes open for opponents to gun down. Said opponents can be everywhere, hence why there is a blind fire behind you button. A neat and sometimes very useful trick in Lawbreakers. While it is fun, fast paced and a beautiful game with solid controls; the biggest thing Lawbreakers suffers from is the skill differential between higher level players and those just starting. Which unfortunately is seen all too often during matchmaking because of a low player population.

Lawbreakers is a solid game. But its current low player population is hurting the game. Jumping into a game and getting matched against higher skilled opponents that kill you within seconds of you getting to an objective can be frustrating and make you rethink playing the game. Yes, it is a game about skill. But if you throw new players into the fray without giving them proper time to learn or even get skilled, the fun factor drops and you lose potential players.

It should also be mention that there is an in-game cash shop that sales loot boxes which are purely cosmetic. You get one free every level. But the cosmetic shop seems like it would've been better if Lawbreakers was a free to play game.

Overall Lawbreakers is fun and I've enjoyed my time playing it. But it remains to be seen if it can garner and maintain a healthy player base. A thing that is needed for the longevity of Lawbreakers since it's a multiplayer game only. I'd recommend buying Lawbreakers if you like fast FPS games, but understand the current issue with a low player population.

  • Fast FPS action
  • Good starting variety of game modes/maps
  • Good variety of roles with various weapons/skills
  • Visually good looking game with solid controls
  • Fast deaths are frustrating
  • Low player population
  • RNG loot box shop for a pay-to-play game
  • Tutorials via video only


David Holmes