In advance of the PAX Prime game fan event in Seattle, the trailer from Bleszinski’s Boss Key Productions, the developer, and publisher Nexon shows off the different characters that you can play in the title, which debuts in 2016.
Gears of War designer Bleszinski, who formerly went by the handle CliffyB, has grown up, left Epic Games, and started his own game studio. Lawbreakers got its big reveal this week. The first announcement explained the plot. In the future, government experimenters manage to blow up the moon in an event called “The Shattering.” (Here’s a hilarious analysis of that possibility). The result is that Earth’s gravity has been changed, and jumping huge distances becomes possible, as it is in prior shooters games such as Titanfall, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and this year’s Call of Duty: Black Ops III. You’ll be able to manipulate gravity and shoot while flying. That’s going to take a lot of skill.
By the time this game comes out in 2016, big jumps are either going to be a requirement of all shooters — or something that gamers are tired of seeing. Add some extra special vitamins, and you have some super soldiers that either uphold the law or break it. That’s probably not going to be an Academy Award-winning screenplay, but it’s as good a premise as any for a lot of shooting. As long as we see some more innovation, the game should have a chance at getting some traction. Lawbreakers will at least be available at the right price, considering it is a free-to-play title with full support from micro-transaction pioneer Nexon.
The world of Lawbreakers is another post-apocalyptic scene, akin to Gears of War. It’s gloomy and gray. But the new video shows that the first playing field — a mutli-level building on the cliffs of the Grand Canyon — looks like a Call of Duty multiplayer map. Society has recovered but has been divided into two factions fighting for control. One side is a peacekeeping group, while another is a crime syndicate bent on breaking the law.
The first character we meet is Kitsune, an assassin, who is armed with twin katanas, a cool electronic grapple rope, and some kind of shotgun. She uses the grapple to latch on to a point, jump off a cliff, and then swing into the battle in the air. She’s a highly mobile melee fighter, but she’s vulnerable to attacks.
Maverick is a “skirmisher,” who is “what you what you would get if you strapped armor made from an F-15 Fighter Jet onto a Spec Ops soldier.” Maverick uses her jets to take to the sky and move around the battlefield. She can rain down fire from a Vulcan Gatling cannon and drop a pretty big destructive force called Starfall. And she’s got some attitude, saying, “You want some more, asshole?” that is reminiscent of Gears of War and Bleszinski’s Bulletstorm shooter game.
Breacher is a gunner made for “run-and-gun gameplay.” Novice and experience shooter players will like this one, as he carries an assault rifle and a sidearm. He has a nice move — shooting backwards while jumping.
Lastly, Cronos is a Titan, or a tank. He’s a brute with high durability and high damage, but low mobility. He charges in frontal assaults, dealing twice as much damage with his rocket launcher and ricochet grenades as compared to other characters. You have to stay away from him. Cronos’ big ability: he can do rocket jumps, a throwback to the old Quake games. Gosh, I feel old for remembering that.
These are all pretty familiar characters in a good-looking setting. It’s a CliffyB game, alright. But is it original enough? I don’t know. I have high expectations for Bleszinski, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of that special touch.