It seems like the shooter genre is in a bit of a revolution at the moment. The modern military shooter has fallen out of favor, with many series transitioning into the future, adding scifi elements, while keeping the gameplay relatively static. Others are taking a different approach though, borrowing mechanics from the mega popular MOBA genre, and mixing them into the classic shooter gameplay. LawBreakers is firmly in this second group, taking many disparate pieces of both classic shooters and MOBAs and jamming them together into something wholly different.
The result is something that sits kind of in between Overwatch and Battleborn, two games that are already looking like huge hits even before they have released to stores. All three of these games mix up pieces of MOBAs and shooters, but LawBreakers stands on its own in many respects. At PAX East 2016 we got to go hands-on with the title, the first time this has been available to the public. The time with the game showed a very nice take on the shooter, bringing in some classic arena-style combat, while keeping things modern and fresh with the MOBA trappings.
Still, it’s a huge stretch to call LawBreakers a MOBA, as characters don’t have ultimates, and the mode we played was distinctly based on Capture-the-Flag. It just kind of sprinkles a bit of that genre in, helping keep the classic gameplay feel fresh in many ways. The character classes were varied enough to really push how you played the game, with the sword-wielding assassin quickly becoming a favorite at PAX East. Others felt natural in many ways, though certain abilities really made things unique, such as how two characters don’t really sprint, so much as fly around the level.
This combined with the gravity element to really shake up the formula. LawBreakers story impacts the multiplayer in this area, as the world has had a gravitational event occur. This manifested in our match with sections of the map having lowered gravity. It didn’t factor in too much in just our single match, but once players learn how it all works, and what areas of the map are affected, it could really shift the landscape of the game.
Check out the video below to get my full impressions from LawBreakers at PAX East 2016.