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LawBreakers Review (PS4) — Break the Laws of Physics

 
 
Overview
 

Published by: Nexon
 
Developed by: Boss Key Productions
 
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows PlayStation 4
 
Genre(s): First-person shooter
 
Mode(s): Multiplayer
 
Game Type: ,
 
FG RATING
79%
79/ 100


User Rating
14 total ratings

 

Raves


Diverse character classes. Fast-paced. Solid execution of vertical combat.

Rants


Steep learning curve. Unlockable loot lacking. Lackluster game modes.


0
Posted September 4, 2017 by

 

LawBreakers Review (PS4)

LawBreakers is the video game debut of Boss Key Productions, a studio founded by Cliff Bleszinski and Arjan Brussee – known for their work on Gears of War and Killzone, respectively. Borne out of such talents is a fast-paced multiplayer online shooter designed to break the limits of vertical gunplay but struggles to step out the shadow of an overly saturated genre.

GIF11

STORY

As a purely online multiplayer shooter, there isn’t really much of a story in LawBreakers. We know that there are two factions, the Law, and the Breakers(heh), which is pretty much a cops and robbers type of deal. But as to why they are pit against each other in an arena to kill or do objectives, we’ll never know. All 18 playable characters are unique and well-diversified, but their backgrounds and relationships with one another are anyone’s guess. The story isn’t really the game’s main focus so it isn’t that big a deal but fleshing-out their rosters’ backgrounds and the game’s lore would’ve done wonders for it in a marketing stand point. People like getting invested in the characters they choose to play. Case in point Overwatch.

LawBreakers Review (PS4). Bucky

Who the hell is Bucky?!

GAMEPLAY

Speaking of which, allow me to address the elephant in the room. The most common first impression is that LawBreakers is pretty much Overwatch which is almost entirely inaccurate. Yes, the customization screen, the loot system and some of the main menu interfaces resemble that of Blizzard’s hero shooter, even almost to a tee, but that’s where the similarity ends. From a gameplay standpoint, it more closely resembles Quake and the Unreal Tournament series (the latter being a game the studio co-founder Cliff Bleszinski actually worked on).

GIF2

On paper, LawBreakers is multiplayer online first person shooter. On practice, it is a fast-paced, team-based shooter but with a strong emphasis on individual skill. Though I consider myself a solid average when it comes to shooters, I was absolutely destroyed during my first couple matches. There’s a steep learning curve to playing LawBreakers, meaning you’ll probably die a truckload of times before you get the hang of it. Thankfully, death doesn’t slow down the pace. Respawn times are relatively short, and the maps are pretty compact as well. It won’t take long after respawning till you see another soul out to get yours. The game features zero-gravity gunplay, meaning enemies can come at you from literally any angle. It was disorienting at first and figuring out how to navigate through zero G can be tough considering nearly every character has their own unique move sets.

LawBreakers Review (PS4). Diva

Oh look, she’s got a Diva skin! Oh, wait.

Both factions have 9 playable characters, each with their own class. Though all 18 characters are aesthetically unique, characters of the same class from both factions play exactly the same. The Law faction’s Titan, for instance, is Bomchelle, a burly woman clad in demolitions armor, while the Breakers Titan looks like he could be the fabled 10th member of Slipknot. Despite their contrasting appearance, both Titans sport the same weapon type and abilities.

LawBreakers Review (PS4). Winners

There are 5 game modes to choose from, but deathmatch isn’t one of them. For a game that emphasized on individual skill, I can’t figure out for the life of me why they decided to forgo the kill-focused game modes. Nevertheless, the 5 game modes are perfect for taking advantage of the game’s highly mobile nature. Unfortunately, these game modes tend to get old early, making me yearn for a deathmatch mode even more.

VISUALS & PERFORMANCE

The impressive detailing of LawBreakers‘ character models was immediately apparent thanks to the flashy menu screen. Running on Unreal Engine 4, the characters are almost life-like in appearance similar to the level of detail Epic GamesParagon achieved, yet another product of the UE4. The gun details are even more impressive, especially in POV, so much so that there’s even a dedicated button for inspecting your character’s weapon. You can even trick it using various weapon skins and unlockable decals. Though LawBreakers‘ graphical fidelity is superb, it suffers from bland desaturated-looking visual overalls, a common issue with realistic/futuristic themed shooters.

LawBreakers Review (PS4). Raiden

As for any competitive multiplayer game, performance is always a primary concern. Thankfully, LawBreakers runs at a smooth and relatively high frame rate and gives players a variety of tools to customize their experience aside from the usual sensitivity sliders. Perhaps more convenient is the ability to switch server regions. This was a godsend because SEA servers are literally empty. Literally. You can not, and will not find a match in SEA servers, at least not during the time of this writing. I had to switch to the next best thing which is US-WEST but at a less than desirable average latency of 230ms but still totally playable.

LawBreakers Review (PS4). Roster

The issue with latency, however, is the effect it has on the framerate. Whenever the game needs to catch up on data traffic, the game skips frames. If you have a reliable internet connection, this won’t be a problem, but anyone with even less than 90% network reliability might have to deal with some migraine inducing frame-skips at least 10% of the time. The game also generally lacks a bit more polish overall, something that they can definitely improve over time. That is if the game manages to survive long enough.

LawBreakers Review (PS4). Verdict

VERDICT

LawBreakers is an excellent shooter, one that I want to fiercely recommend. The game offers some interesting gameplay concepts served in a high-energy frantic gunplay. The assorted set of playable classes allows for near-endless tactical combinations, the markings of a truly competitive multiplayer shooter. Though LawBreakers‘ graphical quality is top-notch, the game fails to capitalize on its diverse set of ‘heroes’ that has become practically necessary to compete in a fiercely-cornered market. LawBreakers does need a fair bit of fine-tuning, but it’s only real flaw is not getting enough players, something that can only be remedied by word of mouth. So if you’re a highly competitive gamer or even just a fan of outside-thinking shooters, I must implore you to give this game a shot.

LawBreakers is available on PlayStation 4 via the PlayStation Store and PC via Steam for $39.99.

[This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher.]


Dian Raval

 
Dian is a writer for Flipgeeks who, in his spare time, stares at a wall in his basement. If you'd like to discuss music, video games, or the infinite wisdom of concrete, follow him on twitter @iburnandfume or subscribe to his YouTube channel @iburnandfume. He's pretty much iburnandfume in everything. Apparently he... burns and fumes.


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