LawBreakers - A lot of potential, but destined for obscurity
LawBreakers is a fast-paced FPS that features gun duels that play out like thrilling tightrope dances. The maps and gamemodes, unfortunately, are not nearly as exciting as the spontaneous, explosive fights themselves. LawBreakers has plenty of exhilerating moments, using 5v5 hero-based combat and zero-gravity manouvering to great effect, but it is the general lack of 'life' to both the game and its characters that knocks a great many points off this passable title.
All of LawBreakers' nine roles (each of which is shared by two characters) let you explore its levels in a different way and at a different speed. The Assassin can swing like Spider-Man with a ridiculously fun grappling hook; the Wraith can slide on the floor for a speed boost and then triple jump through the air; and the Juggernaut can barely get off the ground, but makes up for it with a whole lot of health and a generously proportioned shotgun.
In place of the standard class archetypes, LawBreakers attempts to foster variety through its distinct styles of movement. While this provides nuance, I can't help but feel that the idea is a little half-baked, with no one hero being distinct enough from another. What separates each role are the fun little micro-skills. Gunslingers teleport in 15-foot bursts like Tracer from Overwatch, but the first shots from either of their dual pistols are buffed immediately after you blink. If you fly backwards as the Harrier, you shoot lasers from your boots that can fend off pursuers. This is the only FPS I can think of that lets me shoot behind myself, nevermind turns it into a way to physically propel yourself forward. I found a couple of these movement styles uncomfortable. I felt fragile and clumsy as the Assassin, who uses a grappling hook to swing into stabbing range.
LawBreakers' five game modes are similarly enjoyable but inconsistent. They all provide interesting twists on common game modes like Capture the Flag or King of the Hill, but aren't all equally as successful at it. Unlike other shooters, all of the modes in LawBreakers are score-based with a shared, contested objective and teams competing until one side reaches a certain score limit. It gives an average match of LawBreakers a more recognizable identity, but I was surprised (and just a little disappointed) to see it didn't have anything like Deathmatch.
It is difficult to recommend LawBreakers, with games such as Titanfall 2 offering far more refined and nuanced movement mechanics and the likes of Overwatch just offering a more complete experience. A game with a lot of potential, but destined for obscurity nonetheless.
PS4 / PC