AAA Ideas on an Indie Budget
With the rapidly growing popularity and appeal of e-sports in recent years, game developers are taking notice and are venturing into this new franchising potential. The latest foray into the first-person shooter market is LawBreakers, developed by Boss Key Productions and published by Nexon for Windows and PlayStation 4. LawBreakers is a first-person shooter, with an emphasis on small team combat, which involves teams of five players facing off against each other in multiple maps and game modes. This gameplay can best be described as a blend of Overwatch meeting the Call of Duty franchise, where the player chooses between nine different classes to compete against an opposing team. What makes LawBreakers unique is that each character has a movement based ability that allows them to traverse the map and space at a rapid pace. This mechanic of movement abilities is an essential part to the gameplay as players will need to traverse the maps at a rapid pace.
Practice sandbox & tutorial videos
Multiple server matchmaking based on location
30 Dollar price tag
Small list of classes to learn
Objective based game modes
Has cosmetic microtransactions
One of the biggest benefits of LawBreakers is that it provides a decent tutorial system for new players. This involves the player being placed in a sandbox to practice movement and skills, as well as providing videos which showcase each individual class, game mode, and each map. The addition of choosing which server you want to connect from in game is easy to use. For example, the game initially connected me to an east coast server but changing to the appropriate west coast server was very easy to accomplish. LawBreakers has a very low buy in point of 30 dollars. This can be compared to other similar style games which have double the price point. There are nine classes to choose from and they all aim to accomplish different roles while remaining viable in every game mode. When playing a match each team is separated into a “Law” team, and a “Breakers” team and each uses different characters for each role. Each game mode is an objective based mode such as Domination or Capture the Flag. You can customize your character by leveling up or purchasing loot boxes which include customizations such as skins, armor, shaders, etc.
Tutorial does not cover some essential aspects of the game
No dedicated servers for specific game modes
The 30 Dollar price tag is evident as the game seems incomplete
The classes are not overly unique, most play and look the same
Not a large diversity in game modes
Though the tutorial does take some of the guess work out of playing your first match, it is a very basic tutorial and misses some of the key aspects of gameplay. When playing your first game you may not be able to identify objective starting positions, alternate routes for the map, or how to navigate quickly. While there are location based servers, there is no dedicated servers for a specific game mode. There is a quickplay and competitive option but both just throw you into matchmaking with random modes, on random maps. This can be somewhat confusing and aggravating as you may not know which game mode you are thrown into as there is not a dedicated playlist for game modes either. This leads to many people leaving games early due to them not wanting to play a game mode which they dislike. As this game is only half the price of a regular new game, it is clearly evident that this game is incomplete. Though having nine classes feels like a lot, games tend to get more repetitive than other similar games due to the fact other games have more characters to choose from. What does not benefit LawBreakers either is the fact that the roles play in the exact same manner and look like mirror copies of the opposing character with minor visual changes. Each character and class feels the same as well and it could be very easy to confuse teammates and enemies especially in the middle of fast-paced action. Additionally, there is not much diversity in the game modes as there are three modes which are different takes on capture the flag where each involve getting an objective from the middle of the map, taking it to your side of the map, and defending it. The addition of unneeded microtransactions is evident that this game needs a lot more funding than their budget allowed. The crates not only seem useless, but some of the “high end” designs are bland and do not make one want to purchase additional crates.
LawBreakers aims to be a fun mix of a class based shooter while still trying to capture a spot in the competitive gaming scene. Its blend of fast paced action and team based objectives is a welcome addition to the growing list of shooters of today, but it is hurt by multiple factors. The biggest factor which anyone will notice is the lack of content. Even the simple addition of a dedicated game mode playlist would go a long way, as well as introducing more unique game modes. While LawBreakers is a fun game to play it gets more repetitive than other similar games on the market today. Though this did look promising in the early announcements, it ultimately aimed too high for being a first game for the studio. Even the truly dedicated fanbase is dwindling as the player base has dropped substantially when compared to its first release.