LawBreakers Review-in-Progress: A Great Shooter That Few People Are Playing

The first game to release by Cliff Bleszinski’s new studio Boss Key Productions has finally arrived. LawBreakers is here to introduce a new angle on FPS that’s character-focused and highly competitive.

After playing LawBreakers at E3 2017 and during the beta, I’ve spent a few hours on the live servers. Below are my thoughts as I head toward an official review later this week.

Rock-solid presentation. LawBreakers is one very attractive game. I’d go as far as to say that technically it’s more impressive than any other shooter this year, and certainly a cut above Overwatch. Even with its beautiful graphics, it runs well. This is an optimized game with great code, which has been a nice change of pace from my past week playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

Desperately in need of a proper tutorial. This is a high skill-cap game, there’s no doubt about it. New players usually feel overwhelmed, particularly due to the fast pacing of the game and high mobility of characters. It’s kind of like being thrown right into the middle of a superhero battle without any context. The current tutorial system simply opens YouTube videos for you to watch. It works, but feels cheap.

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Smooth gameplay. Running and gunning in LawBreakers is an outstanding experience. There’s a lot of work that goes into performing well, but when you succeed it’s exhilarating.

Population problems. There’s no way to say this kindly: LawBreakers is not selling well. On Steam, it’s ranked third behind Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and a six month old PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. On launch night it only saw 3,000 concurrent players, and is currently nowhere to be seen on the top 100 list. The biggest problem with this is, unless it can turn the tides quickly, this will get worse fast. Players tend not to stick around in small gaming communities, as there are so many other options that their friends are likely playing.

Full of exciting abilities. If there’s one thing Boss Key Productions got right with character design, it’s all the flashy abilities that they’re equipped with. You see lasers tear across the map, and explosions shatter glass all around you. It’s quite a sight.

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A fair asking price. Without a single-player campaign and a small number of game modes, $29.99 is a good asking price for this shooter. It’s actually surprising that it isn’t selling better at this point since most competing titles debut at $59.99.

A new angle on game modes. This game has found a way to take traditional FPS game modes and deliver them in a way that doesn’t feel derivative. For example, Turf War is essentially a capture mode, but points are immediately awarded upon capture rather than your team being given these values over time. This promotes mobility and progression.

Look out for our full review later this week.