Boss Key Productions and Nexon have themselves one of the year’s most fun shooters, and it’s a game that shows how a multiplayer-only experience should be done. LawBreakers is a truly innovative, fun and frantic experience that shooter fans of all types will truly enjoy.
Of the many multiplayer games we’ve seen this generation, LawBreakers nails what it means to be a multiplayer-only experience. Its modes are diverse and provide unique gameplay pretty much across the board. The game’s roles are different and do a fine job of embracing a throng of playstyles.
Progression and customization are fun and give players a chance to tailor their characters to their liking. Its maps are eccentric and all provide gameplay you can’t find anywhere else. All of this is emphasized by the $29.99 price LawBreakers is available for. The price is a very satisfying icing on top that won’t make you feel cheated after any amount of playtime.
Yes, this is a multiplayer-only experience, and I’m very glad it is. Boss Key clearly understands what their game is and they excel at it in some many ways. From a gameplay standpoint, LawBreakers contains all parts entertainment, fun, action, teamwork, originality, skill and suspense. All of this is enhanced by the refreshing decision that all modes are team-based.
For me, shooters are at their best when they encourage teamwork, and your team works together. There’s a certain sense of satisfaction in that and LawBreakers hits on that note from start to finish. Working together is an essential element to winning each match. Those who choose the Quick Start option will continuously bounce around mode after mode.
Every mode in the game asks players to work together in a different way. A mode like Blitzball shows not only how well you work together, but also how the roles complement one another. Teams that know what they are doing in Blitzball shine in a dominant way.
Blitzball is a fun, and sometimes frantic, mode in which teams have to pick up a ball, which is placed at the center of the map. Once you gain possession, you then need to cross the waypoint on your map to score a point. The role you pick is very important, and the same is true for your teammates’ roles. It is a simple concept to understand, but man, is the action enthralling. Blitzball creates some wonderful, nail-biting moments, as it is a personal favorite of mine.
Overcharge and Uplink are the two modes in which I have somewhat of a gripe against, as they feature some similar characteristics from one another. Uplink feels like a throw in mode that’s slightly different from Overcharge. The latter asks players to pick up a battery from the center of the map and return it to their base. From there, it needs to charge to 100 percent and then a countdown timer runs down before you can record a point. First to three wins.
On the other hand, Uplink asks players to pick up the uplink from the center of the map. Then, they need to return it to their base where they need to charge it to 100 percent. After that, there is a countdown timer that needs to pass before you can record a point. It’s pretty similar, however, there’s a subtle difference between the two modes.
During Uplink, if a team scores, the other team’s percentage doesn’t reset to zero percent. Each team has their own charge they need to complete. While in Overcharge, it is one battery that is being charged for everyone. Once that battery is charged and the time runs down, it’s back to zero. The two modes are largely the same, but do provide some nuance to separate themselves. Still, Uplink feels like a throw in mode.
Outside of those, there’s Turf War and Occupy, which are a blast. The former is more of your traditional domination-style mode, however, it has a great twist to it. After all three points are captured, they lock for a brief intermission, and then they open up again. Instead of allowing players to camp on an objective and own them for a full session, each must be captured again and again. I really like this twist on domination and think it makes LawBreakers stand out in a great way. First team to 16 points gets the victory.
On the other hand, Occupy is a mode in which a capture point periodically shifts around the map. Players have to hold the point in order to net points. First to 200 points wins this match. This mode is exactly like Call of Duty’s Hardpoint mode, yet it fits as a wonderful compliment to LawBreakers‘ other modes.
I’m a creature of habit and eventually settled into a few roles, like I did in LawBreakers. While the game embraces all types of playstyles, the roles I enjoy most are Wraith and Juggernaut. Each possesses a different collection of skills, but all require thoughtful use during every match.
Wraith is a role that’s focused more on traversal and kill combination skills. One skill is a slide and while that doesn’t seem that powerful or cool, it actually is. Gamers can combine that into a stomp to kill an enemy. They can also utilize the slide and then jump mid-slide to perform an outstanding feat of traversal. This makes moving around many maps all the more satisfying.
For example, Blitzball is a mode where effectively using the slide can result in great things. Understanding when to use the slide and how to time your jumps can make for an easy score. I absolutely love traversing with the Wraith, as its equal parts fun and satisfying.
Additionally, the Wraith’s special ability slows down enemies who are caught in it, making for a much easier kill. This skill focuses a lot more on timing and isn’t a slam dunk for trapping opponents in it. Finally, a timed-grenade is the third ability for the Wraith. This is perfect to use when enemies are camping around a certain point. One shot and its explosion will drop your enemies’ health significantly.
Separately, Juggernaut comes in handy when you feel like hunkering down or delivering some serious pain. This role comes with a higher overall health count, as well as three very different abilities. The Juggernaut’s fuel level is extremely important for two of its abilities. Whether or not it is full controls your ability to use the armor and sprint abilities.
When you activate the armor ability, this beefs up your health so long as the fuel lasts. If you’re battling a few players at once, this can really come in handy. It isn’t an impregnable ability, as you can very much still die when it is activated. Next, the Juggernaut isn’t exactly the quickest of classes, so that’s why the sprint ability is nice.
Again, this ability is tied to your fuel meter, so you’ll want to be mindful of it. Using the sprint ability allows you to do just that, sprint. The Juggernaut is in no way the most agile of roles in LawBreakers and can even be a liability in some matches, however, it powerfulness and deadliness make him a force to be reckoned with.
Finally, the Jug’s last ability is a wall that can be posted up anywhere. This blocks any incoming fire as well as keeps enemies from moving passed it. In tight corridor situations, this ability is very effective. The same is true for when playing modes like Uplink and Overcharge. It can serve as a valuable defense to your base.
Progression is tied to your ultimate performance, and completing certain in-game objectives provide bonus XP. Leveling up is a satisfying experience, and with each level comes a Stash Box. These provide gamers with weapon skins, character skins user icons and more. There’s even a unique stamp you can customize, and this appears on an enemy’s screen after you have stomped them to death.
Eight unique maps provide another element of gameplay variation and surprisingly, I really like them all. The gravity aspect of LawBreakers is the “X factor” for me. This helps each map stand on even footing, providing that essential ingredient to gameplay. Losing gravity and floating around is a brilliant innovation and creates some very unusual, yet never-before-seen gameplay moments.
I often found Mammoth was the best map for Blitzball. Its open center embraces the nature of the mode. Grandview is a lot of fun during Turf War, as its “B” capture point is one of the more fun points of conflict. Promenade is a blast during Occupy, as its smaller spaces make for fun, close-quarters combat. Vertigo is perfect for Overcharge and Uplink as it is a more straightforward design, and one that rewards great traversal.
LawBreakers is multiplayer-only game done right. For what you pay, gamers will find tremendous value, fun and a shooting experience that’s top of the class. Boss Key Productions and Nexon have a hit on their hands, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this experience evolves in the future. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on LawBreakers. Nexon provided We Write Things with a PS4 review code of LawBreakers for the purposes of this review.