Cliff Bleszinksi + Overwatch?- Lawbreakers Beta Impressions

I’ve been keeping one eye on this one for quite some time. Games like Overwatch, Team Fortress 2, etc. never really piqued my interest, however, since I read the open beta for Lawbreakers was available this weekend, I decided to give it a shot. Starting 7 am PT/10 am ET July 28 until July 31, the final open beta kicks off. Here are my impressions on Cliff Bleszinski’s new title.

(P.s. Don’t shoot me for comparing this game to Overwatch.)

What You Need to Know

Lawbreakers is Cliffy B’s breakthrough into the arena style multiplayer shooter for the PC and PS4. In it, two teams of five play as either the “Law” or the “Breakers” ‘in order to complete objectives in four different game modes. There are a total of nine “roles” available, ranging from the fast Assassin to the balanced Wraith class (you can read more about each class here). Each role has two different characters for whichever side you play as, “Law” or “Breaker”.

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All the classes and the characters in them.

What really separates Lawbreakers from it’s comparison Overwatch is the mobility. The game’s story is that the world experienced a “global seismic event” known as “The Shattering”; The Shattering altered the world’s landscape and gravity forever. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Gameplay

Let’s talk gameplay. Well this is similar to Overwatch; you get two abilities and an ultimate ability. Most characters come equipped with a primary and a secondary weapon. You know, basic arena style shooter guidelines.

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The HUD from the view of the Wraith Class.

One of the highlights of this game is the movement system. Due to The Shattering, gravity has been altered forever. This effects gameplay because in certain parts of the map, players will enter a zero gravity area. Characters come equipped with movement abilities that help navigate through these areas such as jetpacks (although they need fuel), dashes, or other items such as the Assassin’s whip that attaches and pulls her forward (think Catwoman). Unique to this game, and I think a lot of games, is the ability to shoot behind you. This helps propel you forward, and if somebody is snooping around behind you, well they might die.

There are four modes available in the beta and they are;

Uplink: Capture a neutral uplink, bring it back to your base, and initiate a download. First team to score 3 downloads wins.

Blitzball: Take the ball and score it in the enemies’ goal. The first to 8 wins, in overtime, the first team to score wins. There is a shot clock that prevents teams from holding it. When the shot clock reaches zero, the player holding the ball explodes.

Turf War: Domination with a twist. Capture 3 neutral zone points to lock them in. Once one team captures and locks them in, a short intermission takes place to start a new round. The first to 16 wins.

Overcharge: Similar to Uplink, except you fight for a battery. Charge the battery in your base to 100%, then defend it for an extra 20 seconds in order to score a point. First to 3 wins.

Upon completing matches you level up to unlock Stash Drops, which feature emblems and other customizable items for your characters. The Profile section contains all of your progression, stats, and achievements.

Impressions

In my first match, I loaded up Blitzball, and my team got blitzed to an 0-8 shutout. I ended up with 12 kills and 10 deaths, but I couldn’t even tell you how I got to that point. It’s that hectic.

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Typical futuristic stand-offs.

I see this title as a combination of Titanfall and Overwatch. The movement is akin to Titanfall in that it’s very fast paced; people are flying around, bodies are hitting the floor. Once you figure out how to control the movement system, you’ll be across the map in seconds, and you’ll flank enemies like a pro. It’s akin to Overwatch in all the other aspects, except this game comes off less cartoony compared to Overwatch (not that it’s a bad thing).

What kept me from playing Overwatch for days on end is the lack of a progression system. In Overwatch, you have every Hero available from the start. That makes me feel like I’m not earning anything as I level up, compared to games like Battlefield or Call of Duty that have a deep-ish progression system. I can’t earn guns or points to unlock perks or equipment so it makes me feel empty. Lawbreakers also has a similar lack of a progression system so I doubt I’d play it for a long time, especially with the bevy of titles coming out starting next month.

Nonetheless, I’ve enjoyed my time with the beta. The Zero G addition is cool and creates an interesting new wrinkle in the gameplay. The characters are cool, and even though I only use the Enforcer and the Titan, they all bring something different to the table. I think this game is probably a lot more fun with a group of friends, but this is just my humble opinion.

LawBreakers_GDC_BlindFire
Imagine getting killed by someone blind firing.

Lawbreakers is set for a $30 price point when it releases on August 8th, with any other DLC coming free. I think the pricing is the main reason I’ll pick it up because even if I don’t play it for a long time, $30 for this title is a steal. At this point there is no idea on whether the Stash Drops will turn into micro transactions, but fingers crossed they won’t.

Let me know what you think of Lawbreakers!

 


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