As the old adage goes: they don’t make them like they used to. That saying is, of course, utterly false, or at least it is when said with a sign of nostalgia of. True, they don’t make them like they used to, now they make them a damn sight better. Enter Cliff Bleszinski’s LawBreakers, a class-based multiplayer shooter with all the speed, accuracy, and skill of a time-honoured sport or match of Quake III Arena. It is Overwatch set to fast-forward, where every character can fly, and the healer wields a grenade launcher instead of a staff. If all of that sounds good to you, then great news: LawBreakers is having a free weekend.
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The LawBreakers free weekend starts on September 28 and runs until October 2 – there’s also a 25% discount on top of that if you decide you like it. That means you can download the game and play it restriction-free for four days to see if it is your cup of fast-paced tea. But, seeing as there are probably countless other games you could be playing this weekend, we thought you might need a little extra encouragement. Here are five reasons to try out the game during the LawBreakers free weekend:
It has the best game modes around
While they are not wholly original, LawBreakers’ four objective-based game modes are all pacey twists on established classics like capture the flag and domination. Blitzball for example, sees both teams compete over a ball that spawns in the middle of the map – once your team has control of the ball, it is a mad dash to the opposition’s goal that can be over in as few as five seconds.
While Blitzball is essentially capture the flag turned up to 11, game modes like Overcharge actively encourage clutch victories by outfitting the objective with a capture meter that is shared by both teams – even if the enemy team charges the objective to 99%, you can still win the match by stealing the objective and defending it for that final 1% charge. These game modes are built for tension, so all it takes is a good killstreak or period of finely-tuned teamplay to pull ahead of the opposition.
You won’t have to worry about the player count
It is impossible to ignore the elephant in the room: not many people are playing LawBreakers right now, despite its very recent launch at the start of August. Asking people to pay for a multiplayer game that they might struggle to find matches in is a big ask. But a free weekend promises to raise the player count so that you don’t have to wait around too long just to get a match.
The LawBreakers free weekend is also good news for people who own the game, but who have stopped playing due to difficulties finding matches. Free weekends worked wonders for Rainbow Six Siege, which also struggled with its player count at launch. It is never too late for a game to find its audience.
A diverse suite of characters
There are nine classes in LawBreakers, and while each one borrows qualities from multiplayer class archetypes like healer, tank, support, and defender, they’re anything but conventional. This is because, in LawBreakers, the emphasis is always on dealing damage and area control rather than rock-paper-scissors class picks.
Battle Medic, for example, brings two healing drones into the fight, which you can assign to friendlies. Doing so takes nothing more than a couple of clicks, leaving the Battle Medic free to pepper the enemy with grenades until those drones need reassigning. Battle Medic can help the team out, but its primary purpose is as an aggressor, bombarding the enemy team with the Lobber grenade launcher and keeping them pinned back. Titan, who bears all the hallmarks of a tank class with its buffed health and heavy weaponry, is surprisingly nimble in the right hands, thanks to the Neutron Mine ability that drags and holds enemies in place for long enough to fire a rocket or two at them. Most tanks struggle in open spaces, but Titan flourishes.
Dizzying zero-gravity shootouts
Maps in LawBreakers sport an incredibly simple layout: each team has a base, a couple of corridors connect the two bases on the border of the map, and the middle zone is a zero-gravity arena of death. Cross over into the zero-gravity core of the map, which is where the objective spawns, and yep, you’ll find you are no longer bound by gravity. Aim up as you run and you’ll start floating upwards, launch yourself into the air with a character’s movement ability and you’ll hang in the air, giving you an aerial view of the battlefield.
When both sides are racing towards the middle of the map to gain control of the objective, there can be as many as ten combatants floating around – as mentioned in our LawBreakers PC review, there is nothing quite like it on the market. These aerial duals are spectacular, particularly when a usually sluggish tank is spotted trading blows with a nimble Wraith or Assassin. The interplay of the nine class-specific movement abilities keeps these high-flying battles from devolving into pure chaos – zero-gravity zones are still hectic, but that is part and parcel of the appeal.
There is no skill ceiling
One of the reasons the Quake series is still hailed as one of the greats of PC gaming, is that it has always valued individual player skill above all else. LawBreakers carries that proud heritage forward into the world of modern shooters, adding a few new tools like movement abilities, ultimates, and blindfire to the mix to ensure dedicated players always have something to improve on if they want to continue claiming MVP at the end of each match.
And individual skill really does matter in LawBreakers. While team composition and combined attacks will win most matches, a player who has mastered Wraith’s Slide and Wasp combo – this pair of class-specific movement abilities can be endlessly chained together, meaning you literally never have to touch the floor in a match. Likewise a Titan with good aim can dominate a zero-gravity section of the map, soaring into the air by rocket jumping, and then using their new vantage point to rain rockets down on anyone trying to wrest control of the objective.
So there you have it, plenty of reasons to jump into the LawBreakers free weekend and give it a try. Don’t forget there is also a 25% discount on Steam for the duration of the free weekend, should you fall head over heels for LawBreakers’ speed and style.