LawBreakers is out now The game’s disconcerting tone makes it difficult to play Its industrial reception doesn’t appear to be too hot either

LawBreakers takes pride in a remarkable pedigree, with one of the developers of Killzone, and among the creators of Gears of War behind it. Instead of drawing on the video games from either franchise, this team-based first-person shooter obtains from the playbook of Quake Champions, and Overwatch. That sounds great, but sadly it’s set about leveraging their strengths in the worst possible ways.

While its character classes share the very same edgy, over the top, 90s shooter personas like Quake Champions, it’s far more grating here. Every hero, whether robot or human, is overtly aggressive to the point where you ‘d believe the world of LawBreakers is one where anger management, yoga, or any form of mental treatment does not exist, and every resident is an escaped inmate from Arkham Asylum. It’s a location where having a character and attitude evolve beyond the bitchy or vitriolic isn’t possible either.

This extends beyond the characters too. The game never misses out on the chance to tell you that you’re bad, and you must feel bad, each time you pass away. For those of us who do not utilize a headset while gaming to prevent the trash talk, it’s thoughtful of designer Boss Secret to include this. And by ‘thoughtful’ I mean downright unneeded.

Voice lines, character skins, aesthetic appeals, and even character animations all reek of this amped up fury that provides the video game a tedious feel. Players craving the return of old school multiplayer delights might be looking for this, but it’s unpleasant and not accessible for the rest of the audience.

Such is Law offender’s adherence to its monotoned pre-pubescent rage that even the video game’s menus suffer. Both icons for eliminates and deaths in its scoreboard are frowns. One has crosshairs, the other does not. It ruins visibility and understanding of how each round plays out, making it needlessly hard to find out how you’re performing in a match.

This honestly teenaged mindset reaches the gameplay style too. The Battle Medic and Juggernaut are the only two classes with support capabilities – the previous has healing orbs, while the latter can deploy a wall on the battleground. All the other characters have self-serving capabilities. And while it can be pleasing to change into a hulking mutant, or fire salvos of rockets that’s all it is – minutes of glory that don’t do anything to let you turn the tide of a match.

Unlike Overwatch, which lets members of the exact same team coordinate and stack complimentary skills such as Zarya developing a singularity to draw challengers close, lining them up for Doomfist to trigger his supreme that eliminates them all. There’s little to no group play in LawBreakers that makes it less enjoyable and strategic.

It remains in sharp contrast to the recently released Fortnite – a game weding survival, crafting, and zombie slaying all while keeping a veneer of cartoony vibrance. By the way, it was made by Epic Games – the business where Manager Secret founder and legendary game designer Cliff “Cliffy B” Bleszinski used to work.

All of this is terrible, since movement is blisteringly quickly. Titanfall did this well, as did Quake Champions (a minimum of during the beta), and its good to see Employer Secret improve upon both with tighter air control and subtle variations in speed that keep each character distinct. Combined with shrewdly placed low gravity zones within its lots of expertly created maps and you have a recipe for exciting gameplay.

But smart, quick combat isn’t enough for many. At the time of writing this, it seems that Law offender’s active player base is cratering. In reality, it’s already dropping near to listed below 1,000 concurrent gamers, and is 60 percent below the its beta. To put these numbers into viewpoint, Battleborn, the poster child for online FPS flops had a peak of 12,000 gamers at launch while LawBreakers had a little less than 3,000.

This might be due to numerous aspects aside from LawBreakers’ aesthetic and tonal choices, such as Overwatch’s Summertimes Games 2017 garnering more attention, or that core gamers are viewing The International 2017 – Valve’s premier Dota 2 event, or just simply bad marketing and presence. As it happens, the game was prepared to be free-to-play. After a disappointing showing, it’s just a matter of time before it happens.

Despite the factors for its failings or its cost, LawBreakers itself is an unwelcoming, tryhard affair twisted around a sense of speed that would have been much better served in a more attractive vessel. You might be curious to see what Gears of War developer Cliffy B made after the timeless Xbox 360 franchise, however don’t let your inquisitiveness get the much better of you.