June 20, 2017

E3 2017 - Hands on with Lawbreakers

If you know me, then you know that I am not a multiplayer guy, online requires way more dedication of time than I can afford and local requires getting people around to play, which life always seems to want to avoid, so going hands on with Lawbreakers was something I was a little unsure of to begin with.

When I checked in for my media appointment, I was asked if I wanted to play the game on PC or PlayStation 4 and I selected the console, purely because it was the newer of the two. In fact, the PlayStation 4 version at E3 was the first time that the game was being shown off in public on the platform. I was granted the chance to play two rounds of the game, over the one of the regular line folk and I think that is what changed my mind from meh to yes, I want more. The game mode that we were playing was a variant on capture the flag and it was a lot of fun.

Each team was made up of six players, each player could select whichever character appealed to them and then the game was on, with the first team to 8 points being declared the winner. At first, I really did not understand why the game was any different, sure it looked cool, it kind of had a mix of Quake speed, but with Call of Duty kills and a little of Titanfall movement, but that was it and another me too shooter was not what I wanted to play. That all changed for me though, the moment that I stepped into the centre of the map where the gravity was weak and that is where things got tremendously cool.

If you know Lawbreakers at all, then you will know that the game is all about movement, but more specifically movement in the spaces where gravity is a little wonky and if you don’t pay attention you might find yourself moving in a direction that you never planned to. These sections are about momentum, if you stand still and jump, you may find yourself jumping up a little higher than normal, before you float back down, if you try to run and jump, you will cover a little more distance within the space, however if you are moving at true speed or jumping from a higher point, you can pull off some unquestionably insane moves, letting you twist around and end up in a new position, either planned or unplanned.

Given that the game mode was about scoring with a ball, it would appear in the same spot, each time it did, but then rather than just be ready to be collected, it had a field around it, that until it was gone, no one could pick it up, however once you could, you needed to sprint to the opposing teams goal and score. All the while, said opposing team would be doing all they can to stop you, sometimes it was just straight killing you, other times it was special moves that would have strange effects, until they killed you. When I was carrying the ball, I noticed that I could shoot still, in fact all my movement options were present, something that some games remove, so I could keep myself alive if my other team members were busy elsewhere.

At the end of the first round, I came second in our team for kills, but first in scores and while we did not make it to the required 8 to win, in the end we had more points than the other team, so it did not matter. At this point, everyone else playing was swapped out for new people and I then selected my next character to play again and now that I knew what I could do, I went for it and at the end of the round, which my team won by collecting the required number of points, I was the MVP, because I scored the most points and had the most kills, a result which made me very happy.

What really has my attention with Lawbreakers, is not the maps, the modes or even the characters, it’s the gameplay, far too often you need to spend a dozen hours minimum in a multiplayer game in order to get good as people say, but when you review games, sometimes time is not something you have a lot of. Lawbreakers showed me in less than 20 minutes that the game is perfect for a pick up and play session, of course with other modes, it might require 25 minutes, I kid, but the result is that I want to play more. 

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