Daniel Wilks fought the law and the law won 10-6
Set in a post-apocalyptic American landscape where the laws of gravity are more like suggestions, Lawbreakers is an intense first-person shooter that empowers you to play with one of the fundamental forces of the universe. Players take on the role of the law enforcers or law breakers in team-based encounters where each side is pitted against the other. Unlike other team-based games, though, the game emphasises individual player achievements over those of the group.
Gameplay is clearly inspired by arena shooters of the 90s. The Titan class, for instance, calls back to the Juggernaut character of Unreal Tournament, with immensely high HP and a rocket launcher to boot. Matches are as intense as classic arena shooters, too, with many encounters resolving bloodily in cramped, funnellike corridors.
Multiplayer modes subvert and twist familiar gametypes with the gravity mechanic. Overcharge, for example, is a take on capture the flag, with players taking the battery pack from the centre of the map to their home base and protecting it till the device has fully charged. These matches can be a tense power struggle, as the battery jumps between the two team’s possessions at an alarmingly fast rate. The mode is unfortunately only available in the Alpha build of the game, however, with a Turf War mode in the works. Respawn times are impressively quick, though, so you’re never left waiting to return to the heat of battle.
Equipment is also tied to rolespecific heroes. In battle, you’re equipped with a primary and secondary weapon, as well as a grenade, movement ability, and ultimate. Each ability is visually impressive and used for different strategies, but they all have fairly long cooldowns so you need to time them perfectly. The Vanguard’s powerful movement ability can knock enemies back, allowing you to spray rounds of your Gatling gun at stunned crowds. The ability can also be used to propel you in the air, giving you a height advantage to reign fire to your enemies from above with ease. The Enforcer is a more traditional assault based class, equipped with an assault rifle and pistol. He can throw an ability-cancelling grenade, and dock a lock-on missile launcher on his shoulder as an ultimate ability.
Map design defies gravity, too. Each map is made up of open and tightlyspaced environments. The currently playable Grandview and Promenade maps are based on famous American landmarks, the Grand Canyon and Santa Monica beach. Zero gravity zones in more open areas require you to use the environment to quickly move around. Your role defines the way you traverse through these areas, as well. The Assassin can swing across environments with their whip, at times entirely avoiding combat in big open spaces. Meanhile, the Vanguard’s jetpack ability lets them easily manoeuvre in zero gravity zones.
Lawbreakers looks to be a tightly designed and executed competitive experience and should be interesting to both play and watch.
See, this is why you make sure your weapon's unloaded before doing parade drills