After a few days of teasing, a livestream event has revealed CliffyB’s new game, LawBreakers. It’s a free to play arena FPS in the UT mold where low-gravity takes center stage thanks to the moon having exploded. That event happened 25 years before the game’s timeline, meaning the world has been rebuilt, giving it a part-sci-fi, part-post-apocalyptic look that they’re aiming to be grittier than Overwatch but less dark than Gears of War. Beyond that, a lot of details were discussed on the stream.
The game depicts two sides, one a global combined police force that fights against the world’s various cartels, mafias and other bad guys banded together. Various gene modifications and future tech allow gravity manipulation with verticality being a main design goal. Bleszinski pitched it as “the floor is lava” – any time you’re not hanging on a wall, leaping through the air or scaling a building with a grappling hook, you’re probably in trouble.
Here’s the LawBreakers announcement trailer.
Obviously with this set up everything’s team-based. Within those teams are different characters, which are being designed to be as varied as possible and try to appeal to different gamers with different preferences, much like how TF2 did. One might have a double jump and energy swords, while another is slower but better at area control. Each side will have a different varient of each character who will behave the same mechanically but have their own flavour and aesthetics. In that theme of diversity, Cliff promised that there will be an even split between men and women as possible avatars.
This continues into the weapons, where every class will have a primary and secondary gun that are meant to be different options rather than a back-up for when the more powerful one is out of ammo. They mentioned that there will be the usual arena staples – rocket jumping, alternate fire and Shock Rifle-style combos – but also some characters will have aim-down-sights rifles reminiscent of CoD and others.
Narrative will be told through map design and small hints, as is the new norm. Boss Key don’t want to be showing you long cutscenes, especially because a big part of the audience won’t care anyway. They’re aiming for a competitive, high-skill game and believe that a wider playerbase will roll in if it’s good enough. Obviously that means e-sports, but they’ve no specific plans for that until it gets into player’s hands.
At the end of the livestream it was confirmed that should happen some time in 2016. There will also be a first gameplay reveal on Friday, and live demos going on at PAX Prime this weekend. If you want to watch the stream, which was broken into 3 parts due to quality issues, it’s been archived on Twitch.