LawBreakers

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LawBreakers
LawBreakers Logo.png
Developer(s) Boss Key Productions
Publisher(s) Nexon
Director(s) Cliff Bleszinski[1]
Designer(s) Dan Nanni[2]
Artist(s) Tramell Isaac[3]
Composer(s) Jason Graves
Jack Wall
Engine Unreal Engine 4[4]
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 4
Release August 8, 2017
Genre(s) First-person shooter
Mode(s) Multiplayer

LawBreakers was a first-person shooter video game developed by Boss Key Productions and published by Nexon.[5] It was released worldwide on August 8, 2017 for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4.[6] Physical copies are distributed by Limited Run Games.[7]

Despite positive critical reception, LawBreakers sold poorly, leading to the game's servers being shut off on September 14, 2018.

Gameplay[edit]

Two teams of five players must work together to complete the objective of the match, with one side playing as "Law" and the other side playing as the "Breakers." Though teams may not play as characters from the opposite side, the chosen Roles have the same equipment and play-style regardless of team. The gameplay modes include the following:[8]

Overcharge[edit]

A modified capture-the-flag mode with one flag planted in the middle of the map in the form of a battery. Teams must race to grab the battery and then take it back to their base, where it must be defended until it reaches 100%, and then a further 20 seconds, to earn a point. However, the battery keeps its charge even if it is stolen, so one team could charge the battery to 99% complete, then the enemy could steal it and take the point after successfully defending the battery at 100% charge. The first team to score three points is the winner.

Uplink[edit]

Similar to Overcharge, except the battery is replaced with a satellite dish. The upload percentage is not linked to the dish itself, but to the team's progress in defending the uplink.

Turf War[edit]

There are three capture points spread out between each team's side and the center of the map. Each team must clear and hold as many points as possible until the maximum score is reached. Once all three points on a map have been locked down, the number of points captured by each team is added to their total, and the capture points reset to neutral control after 10 seconds. The first team to reach 16 points wins the match. If both teams are tied going into the last round, then an "Overtime" round will occur where the first team to capture two of the three points wins the match.

Blitzball[edit]

Both teams must race to acquire the "EURO ball"[8] in the center of the map. Once a character controls the ball, they must run with it to a goal located in the enemy base to score a point while a 30-second "shot clock" ticks down. If the ball-carrier is holding the ball when the shot clock expires, then the ball explodes and takes the carrier with it, before resetting in the center of the stage. If the ball-carrier is killed before scoring, the ball is dropped and can be picked up by anyone. If the enemy team kills the original ball-carrier and picks it up, the shot clock resets. If the ball falls off the stage or is not picked up by anyone when the shot clock expires, the ball will reset to the center of the stage. The first team to reach 5 points, or the most points after 15 minutes, wins the match.

Occupy[edit]

One circular capture point is placed at the center of the map. Upon activation, one team must race to hold the point and completely clear the enemy team off of the point in order to earn points for their team. Every 45 seconds, the capture point will rotate to a different spot on the map and re-activate after a 10-second break. Whichever team has accumulated 200 points, or the most total points in 15 minutes, wins the match.

Team Deathmatch[edit]

Each team is tasked with killing as many opponents as they can. The team that reaches the maximum amount of combined kills or the most after the allotted time has passed is declared the winner.

Roles[edit]

Though two factions have separate characters for each Role in the game, the equipment and abilities of each Role remain the same regardless of factional character. As of "Patch 2.0",[9] teams are only able to choose a maximum of two of the same Role per team (and are not allowed to double any Role in the "Boss Leagues" competitive mode). In addition, all Roles are capable of slowly regenerating health after spending 5 seconds outside of combat.

The following table lists the characters by Faction and Role:

Faction Vanguard Enforcer Titan Assassin Gunslinger Juggernaut Battle Medic Wraith Harrier
Law Maverick Axel Bomchelle Hellion Abaddon AEGIS Tokki Deadlock Sunshine
Breakers Toska-9 Kintaro Cronos Kitsune Faust Nash Feng Helix Baron

Development[edit]

Previously named BlueStreak,[5] the game was set to be free to play, but in March 2016 Boss Key announced that they had abandoned the format in favor of a pay-to-play release.[10] After being demoed at the 2016 PAX East gamer festival in Boston,[11] LawBreakers began closed alpha and beta testing.[6] On June 30, 2017, Boss Key released an open beta on Steam, which lasted until July 5.[12] A second open beta was available from July 28 to 31 for PC and PS4.[13]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic(PC) 76/100[14]
(PS4) 76/100[15]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Destructoid8.5/10[16]
EGM7/10[17]
Game Informer7.75/10[18]
Game Revolution4/5 stars[19]
GameSpot8/10[20]
GamesRadar+4.5/5 stars[21]
IGN7.9/10[22]
PC Gamer (US)84/100[23]

LawBreakers received "generally positive" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[14][15] Eurogamer ranked the game 39th on their list of the "Top 50 Games of 2017".[24]

Decline[edit]

Despite favorable reviews, the game failed to gain a healthy player base. According to Githyp, the closed-beta peaked at 7500 players on Steam, followed a month later by an open-beta with 40% fewer players. The game launched with a 60% lower player base since the beta peak and launched outside of the Steam top 100 Most Played Games.[25] In an interview with GameSpot, game director Cliff Bleszinski stated that the PlayStation 4 version was doing much better, although he did not confirm any statistics.[26] In April 2018, Boss Key released a statement that the game failed to find enough of an audience to generate the funds necessary to keep the game sustained.[27] On June 11, the game was made free-to-play on Steam with a notice that the servers would be shut down on September 14, 2018.[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jager, Chris (June 16, 2016). "CliffyB: LawBreakers Cosplay Is Going To Be A Real Bitch". Kotaku Australia. Retrieved July 2, 2017. 
  2. ^ Stubbs, Mike (September 1, 2016). "LawBreakers lead designer discusses the gravity of making another hero shooter in 2016". International Business Times. Retrieved July 1, 2017. 
  3. ^ Marks, Tom (March 17, 2016). "LawBreakers will no longer be free to play, is exclusive to Steam". PC Gamer. Retrieved July 1, 2017. 
  4. ^ Birnbaum, Ian (March 7, 2015). "Cliff Bleszinski shows first footage of Project Bluestreak". PC Gamer. Future plc. Retrieved March 11, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Webster, Andrew (August 26, 2015). "LawBreakers is the next game from Gears designer Cliff Bleszinski". The Verge. Retrieved July 2, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b S. Good, Owen (June 12, 2017). "Lawbreakers launches in August on PC and PS4". Polygon. Retrieved June 14, 2017. 
  7. ^ Deogracias, Elisha (June 30, 2017). "Limited Run Games announces Lawbreakers physical release, PC pre-orders available". Gaming Trend. Retrieved June 30, 2017. 
  8. ^ a b "Modes: Official LawBreakers Website". LawBreakers. 
  9. ^ Makuch, Eddie (October 19, 2017). "Huge LawBreakers Update Out Now, See The Patch Notes". GameSpot. 
  10. ^ Jarvis, Matthew (March 18, 2016). "Boss Key abandons free-to-play model for LawBreakers". Develop. Retrieved March 18, 2016. 
  11. ^ Twinfinite Staff (April 26, 2016). "PAX East 2016: Hands on With LawBreakers Is a Gravity-Defying Good Time". Twinfinite. Retrieved June 14, 2017. 
  12. ^ J. Capel, Chris (June 30, 2017). "LawBreakers open beta kicks off today". PCGamesN. Retrieved July 1, 2017. 
  13. ^ Martin, Liam (July 28, 2017). "Lawbreakers beta COUNTDOWN: Beta release date, time for hardcore PS4, PC shooter". Daily Express. Retrieved July 30, 2017. 
  14. ^ a b "LawBreakers for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 21, 2017. 
  15. ^ a b "LawBreakers for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved August 13, 2017. 
  16. ^ Carter, Chris (August 9, 2017). "Review: LawBreakers". Destructoid. Retrieved August 9, 2017. 
  17. ^ Plessas, Nick (August 10, 2017). "LawBreakers review". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Retrieved August 10, 2017. 
  18. ^ Tack, Daniel (August 11, 2017). "A Passionless Prison For Great Gameplay – LawBreakers – PC". Game Informer. Retrieved August 11, 2017. 
  19. ^ Leack, Jonathan (August 11, 2017). "LawBreakers Review – The Best Shooter You Probably Won't Play". Game Revolution. Retrieved August 11, 2017. 
  20. ^ Concepcion, Miguel (August 12, 2017). "LawBreakers Review". GameSpot. Retrieved August 12, 2017. 
  21. ^ Houghton, David (August 15, 2017). "LawBreakers review: 'An exhilarating, eclectic, yet tightly designed FPS theme park'". GamesRadar. Retrieved August 15, 2017. 
  22. ^ Marks, Tom (August 15, 2017). "LawBreakers Review". IGN. Retrieved August 15, 2017. 
  23. ^ Lahti, Evan (August 11, 2017). "LawBreakers review". PC Gamer. Retrieved August 11, 2017. 
  24. ^ Eurogamer staff (December 27, 2017). "Eurogamer's Top 50 Games of 2017: 40-31". Eurogamer. Retrieved December 30, 2017. 
  25. ^ Curtin, Paul (August 9, 2017). "LAWBREAKERS LAUNCHES OUTSIDE STEAM'S TOP 100 MOST PLAYED GAMES". Githyp. Retrieved October 31, 2017. 
  26. ^ Makuch, Eddie (September 15, 2017). "Cliff Bleszinski On LawBreakers: "I Have To Keep This Game Alive"". Gamespot. Retrieved November 22, 2017. 
  27. ^ "APRIL 2018 STUDIO STATEMENT". April 5, 2018. Retrieved April 10, 2018. 
  28. ^ "NOTICE ABOUT THE FUTURE OF LAWBREAKERS". June 11, 2018. Retrieved June 12, 2018. 

External links[edit]