Developer Boss Key Productions Publisher Nexon Format PC, PS4 Release August 8
Flow is everything in a great competitive FPS – at least, it is for Lawbreakers director and industry veteran Cliff Bleszinski. “The kind of shooters that I like to make these days, getting away from Gears [ Of War], have that sense of flow,” he tells us. “For me, it’s what verbs I have – how quickly I can jump off the walls, dodge, grapple, jump-jet, stab, slide.” In fairness to Bleszinski and his new studio, the verb-vomit is an accurate representation of their debut game. With the laws of gravity scrambled after the destruction of the moon, Lawbreakers’ arenas are a mix of tight corridors and open, low-grav areas in which airborne opponents soar past each other while frantically trying to rack up kills. It’s running at 60fps on PS4 (“Fuck 30,” Bleszinski explains), so twitch-firing our machine pistol at heads is barely a conscious decision. Our hero Wraith can triple-jump, meaning we’re nigh-on impossible to catch. When threats appear, we can combo a slide-kick and an explosive stab to deal devastating burst damage. The Rift-like BlitzBall mode is far too chaotic for teamwork to matter, and it’s not likely that the game’s metal-clad heroes will inspire Overwatch levels of fervour. Lawbreakers feels truly exhilarating, though, and there’s no doubt that the potential for high-level play is enormous – especially on PC. Flow perhaps isn’t everything in a shooter, then, but with a game this meticulously fluid, FPS obsessives could well be swept away.