While the game is in an early Alpha stage and much of what we have below may change by the time the game ships, this is an impressive looking game.
Lawbreakers will be Bosskey’s first game ever and it’s already hyping up to be a legend. Bosskey is still very much a company in its infancy, only having come together under their CEO, CliffyB, in 2014. The team that Cliff has assembled is anything but green. Stemming from all types of big name companies and triple A titles, the Bosskey programmers, artists, and engineers are all pros and their experience clearly shines in Lawbreakers.
The loose story of Lawbreakers is the world is rebuilding from a cataclysmic event known as, ‘The Shattering.’ This gigantic cracking of the moon and the Earth itself has caused major land destruction. It has also caused extensive gravitational distortions all around the planet. Rather than continue down the road of post-apocalyptic strife, CliffyB insisted that the world and its people have actually come back stronger than before, employing new technologies and resources to harness these energies and use them to humanities advantage. The planet is re-flourishing and new buildings, towns, and cities are popping up bigger and better than before.
However not everything about humanity has improved for the better.
Lawbreakers pits two rival factions against one another; the Law, a team of law enforcement officers and soldiers who seek to keep the order and peace of this alternate future, and the Breakers, their complete opposites. The two teams are symmetrical to one another and each team sports the exact same type of character archetypes: the ninja assassin, the heavy brawler, the middleweight solider, and the flight-suited maverick.
Each character comes with 3 abilities, one of which is a, ‘gravitational-effect’, ability. This adds a whole new angle to the mayhem in this first person arena shooter as your attack may be interrupted by a gravitational distortion that sends you, your teammates, and your enemies spinning through the air. You’ll need to think quick to re-orient yourself and get back into the fray or you may find yourself with a bullet in your back or physically pushed off the board. Your enemy and gravity itself has to be conquered if you have any hopes of winning.
The teams will brawl with one another in famous United States landmarks and locations that have been changed by the Shattering; some just slightly enough to make the stage feel familiar yet different and some so severely that you won’t even recognize them. The stages are gorgeous and you can easily get lost in the picturesque beauty of these new worlds. But don’t stare too long because Lawbreakers moves at a break-neck pace from the get go.
The gameplay style we tested was called, ‘Overcharge,’ a creative reimaging of Capture the Flag. In Overcharge, players must rush the center of the map, which has had its gravitational forces modified by the Shattering, and grab a battery. The battery must be rushed back to your side of the base and plugged into your team’s charger. You and your team must then defend the battery until it gains a full charge. The opposing side can of course try and steal it from you but when and how the battery gets stolen makes a huge difference as the battery retains its charge even after being stolen. So you could feasibly charge the battery to 99% percent capacity only to be nuked by opposing rockets or gravitational weapons, allowing your opponents to dive into your base, race back to their side, and finish charging the battery for a final 1% to win the board.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the modified gravity works for and against everyone. You can use it to sprint, jump, or fly through, over, and around the arenas if you can time your special abilities right. Or you can deliver fatal gravitational combos to send opponents spinning helplessly into the air to pick them off at your leisure. Using your character’s abilities in conjuncture with gravitational forces specific to your arena is a near endless source of creative, murderous fun.
As CliffyB himself giggled mischievously; ‘ lateral thinking and gameplay will get your killed really quick.’
While Bosskey has 4 solid character types ready for play, they have hinted at a 5th and even 6th player that may be ready upon Lawbreaker’s release. Whether this is just hopeful speculation or not remains to be seen. But the characters so far, when played as a team, balance each other brilliantly. No one character type can survive on its own and it will take a balance of them to get you and your team the victory.
Lawbreakers has no release date set as of yet but plans are in the works to release it via Steam and not the major gaming consoles. No solid pricing has been set either but the heads of Bosskey report it will be under $60.