LawBreakers, Cliff Bleszinski’s New FPS Revealed

LawBreakers [official site], the new shooter from Cliff Bleszinski and his new studio Boss Key, was shown for the first time earlier today in a livestream. That livestream is finished now, but below you’ll find the game’s first proper trailer. It’s a competitive, 5 vs. 5 sci-fi first-person shooter about manipulating gravity, with two factions based around law enforcement and criminal gangs.

Here’s the trailer they showed during the stream:

The Twitch livestream hasn’t yet been archived, perhaps because it had to be restarted multiple times as audio and visual problems disrupted the quality. But here’s what we learned about the game:

  • Bleszinski called Reddit “the Reddit.”
  • LawBreakers is set years after the destruction of the moon caused a worldwide earthquake, but it’s not post-apocalyptic. Though the event, called “the shattering”, has changed the world, cities and societies have re-built.
  • But there’s a problem with crime. The game pits a Law faction versus criminal gangs, called Breakers. “And both are breaking the law of gravity,” says Bleszinski. The game is “insanely vertical,” players will want to avoid the ground, and you have powers that can create low-gravity zones.
  • It has “arena shooter in its roots”, but is also doing RPG-ish things with classes and weapon types and so on.
  • Bleszinski talks a lot about American Football.
  • Half the playable characters are women. “I want as many people to play this game as possible and to feel represented.”
  • Bleszinski wants to make a game about a lost dog.

We already knew that LawBreakers would be a free-to-play first-person shooter set in a sci-fi world, as Bleszinski has been teasing the game – previously known as Project Bluestreak – since the middle of 2014. This is the first sight of what it looks like beyond concept art and comes after publisher Nexon launched a teaser site for the game called The Shattering earlier this week.

Here’s what Bleszinski said about the kind of game he wants to make in a Reddit AMA last year:

“I want to make a skill based game where someone who is really, really good is seen as a player with nearly godlike abilities. Sure, once in a while the person who sucks might get lucky with a stray shot and take that person down, but I want to craft a game that has weapons and moves that are easy to learn but to really make them sing takes thousands of hours of play just like a professional athlete would. Anyone can toss a football, but Drew Brees can get it through the tire at X yards every time.”

Did the livestream, or does the trailer above, do enough to convince you there’s space for LawBreakers in an increasingly crowded genre?

56 Comments

  1. DedlySpyder says:

    Makes me think of Fracture (dunno if it had a pc release). The point of that was ground manipulation, but in ways that you could like bump the ground under you and jump really high.

    In retrospect not sure why though.

    • vorador says:

      There’s also a game named Inversion that played with gravity, but it was so generic almost everybody forgot about it.

      • DedlySpyder says:

        OH! How could I forget about Dark Void, that game had so much potential, but it just didn’t play nearly as good as I hoped. The fact of being able to fire up a jet pack at ANY TIME, was a great idea, but it wanted to be a cover-shooter too much.

  2. Lord_Mordja says:

    Cliffy B might get a lot of shit sometimes, but hey, more arena shooters are always welcome. Well, hopefully this one gets a playerbase…

  3. caff says:

    The kind of game he wanted to make sounds like Rocket League. But then I am addicted to it currently.

    • Marblecake says:

      Wanted to say the exact same thing. Now all I can do is resort to the usual “This.”

  4. bit.bat says:

    I only have time for casually playing online shooters these days and this lack of commitment does not justify the spend on all the expansion packs which in turns makes me feel left out and not wanting to play.

    It might be an idea to go down the DOTA route, sell cosmetic items and have all updates/expansions free and not break up the community. If you look at the multiplayer of the new CODBLOPS, it already has the distinct classes with unique special abilities that is reminiscent of DOTA maybe take another page from that book.

    As for Law Breakers, ehh… I have nothing to say. Please do the above! And be good.

  5. Spider Jerusalem says:

    I hope the Breakers break the law only through a series of intricate physically demanding dance moves performed outdoors on large pieces of cardboard.

    • FoSmash says:

      And the police have to galvanise their forces into the fiercest dance troupe ever formed in order to save the planet!

      Much better plot.

  6. John O says:

    Bleszinski, the Michael Bay of game production. Do we get gameplay or just stuff that nobody cares about?

    • Distec says:

      I understand the dislike for ol’ Cliffy, but this is pretty bullshit. The games he’s known for may be full of Bay-isms, but they’re still fun games even when they dip in quality (UT3, GOW3).

      • John O says:

        It’s not dislike, really. I thoroughly enjoyed some games he’s worked on. They just work by a similar formula. It works for me in games, not so much in movies.

  7. Crusoe says:

    I’ve never understood the amount of chatter “CliffyB” aka “dudehuge” (no, really) gets.

    He was involved in the Unreal Tournament games. Great! But that’s it for really good games he was involved in, unless for some reason you count the Gears of War series as great, which I absolutely do not.

    • Lord_Mordja says:

      Good for you?

      I mean, I’m don’t actually like those games either, but the fact is they were critically acclaimed and enjoyed by millions. For better or worse, they ended up changing an entire genre so to say Gears isn’t an important series is disingenuous. And since Cliff was essentially the face of Gears of War, he’s gonna get attention.

    • Big Murray says:

      He made Jazz Jackrabbit.

      Your argument is invalid.

    • ninnyjams says:

      Gears of War was a very important game, actually. And the games are quite good, but that’s my opinion.

      • Jenks says:

        (Stupid) People think of it as just another cover based shooter, as if it isn’t the game that all those other cover shooters were aping.

        • Deadly Sinner says:

          Gears was the first game that did cover shooting right. And it would somehow take about a half a decade before the average third-person shooter got on its level. Maybe people don’t remember, but practically every other game failed at the simple act of getting your character in and out of cover.

          Not a fan of the games, myself, though I’ve only played the first.

    • BooleanBob says:

      Wuh-oh. Someone’s forgetting seminal 256 colour adventure game Dare 2 Dream.

    • hungrycookpot says:

      Gears of War was a fine game, probably not in my top anything, but it was one of the first modern cover shooters and IMO it popularized the technique/genre.

  8. Twist says:

    I think CliffyB gets way more flak than he deserves, but that trailer is terrible. “You either uphold the law… or you break it!” Yarrg!

    Oh no! Cliffy’s gonna open a can of cheez whiz on our asses!

    But I think he knows how to execute at least two of Marc Leblanc’s eight kinds of fun (sensation and challenge) in game design as well as anybody. I just think it’s a shame someone who already had such a strong inclination for cheese got into the NFL and pop country music. Things could have been different.

  9. Pich says:

    >Bleszinski talks a lot about American Football.
    The band?

  10. Kefren says:

    Cliched bass boom sound effect in a trailer = no sale.

    (Only being partly ironic).

  11. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: You either uphold the law, or you break it.

  12. aldo_14 says:

    The music is different, but there’s something about that trailer that really, really reminds me of the Pacific Rim intro (link to youtube.com)

  13. EnduroDoug says:

    Not that anybody played Prey’s multiplayer, but the game did some gravity shifting that was pretty fun at times. The game had you target switches with your guns to flip the gravitation pull. Basically, the arena rotated 90 degrees at a time.

    I loved me some Gears of War, but that was most likely due to it being the one series of games that my friends made scheduled game time for two nights a week for months on end. Those were good times.

  14. Eggman says:

    Trailer synopsis: “Yeahhh let’s kick those lawbreakin’ furrners out of ol’ peaceful ‘merica!”

  15. Mutak says:

    Shooty game with tough-talking white male protagonist and colorful secondary characters. Where have i seen that before? Oh yeah – everywhere.

    Maybe the gameplay will break new ground. Something tells me the story won’t.

    • Distec says:

      If you’re looking for storytelling excellence in an arena shooter, you’re probably going to be dealing with a lot of disappointment.

  16. w0bbl3r says:

    It’s such a shame that most FPS games these days that could be interesting are all multiplayer, or at least the main focus is on multiplayer.
    What happened to great singleplayer FPS games? Like wolfenstein? They proved there is still a huge market for singleplayer FPS games, if they are good enough.
    What’s the big pull of multiplayer these days? Because honestly I just don’t really get it. It’s the same old tosh every time; all well and good if you can spend hours and hours perfecting every aspect of every weapon, map and all movement, but if you’re new to the game after a few months of the game being released, or if you don’t get to play more than a couple of hours here and there, your whole time is spent being soundly thrashed by people far more skilled at every aspect of the game than you are.
    A good singleplayer game you can take at your own pace. You can enjoy a good story. You can get more invested in the character you embody and the other people around you in the game (if it’s well written and voice acted of course), and as in the case of games like wolfenstein, they can just be laugh out loud funny to just go blasting around having a ball.
    Bring back the days of singleplayer shooters, that’s what I say.
    More wolfenstein. More stalker. More metro. Just more
    Less multiplayer only games, please.
    Please.

    • liquidsoap89 says:

      The mistake you make is considering them as multiplayer games. They are no longer simply… Games, they are now experiences. One will EXPERIENCE LawBreakers! Plus over the following year they will get to EXPERIENCE new content released every so often that will fracture the player base for a one time fee that will be roughly half the cost of the base game.

      Unless that new content goes against the norm and is released for free; which will garner much praise, despite being nothing out of the ordinary circa the 90’s/early 00’s.

      In all seriousness though, I’m with you 100%. Rocket League notwithstanding, I’m not interested in multiplayer games. Give me a good(ish) story and I’m all in!

    • cpt_freakout says:

      You either uphold the Wolf… or you stein it!!

  17. verve_rat says:

    “I want as many people to play this game as possible and to feel represented.”

    That’s nice, can we get some non-Americans represented? Or are drug cartels only a thing that starts impacting people when they start killing people in the US?

    The game might be all right, but I’m not going to be able to get past that piece of shit, americentric story. That’s right folks, story will not gain you customers for your F2P arena shooter, but it can sure as tell lose them.

    • Thankmar says:

      I finally watched the trailer after reading, and you’re so right.

    • bill says:

      Comparing your game to American Football and name checking american football players (i assume?) is also a good way to lose most of your international audience.

    • Dawngreeter says:

      I just love how “US soil” is used almost religiously, even in an age where the civilization collapsed and was rebuilt and gravity went crazy.

    • hungrycookpot says:

      Because he’s american? Nobody boycotts when kojima makes references to the coolness of japan and japanese culture, even though it has nothing to do with the rest of the game. Games are art, and artists create what they know and what they love. If you want a game based in Europe, make your own game.

      For the record, I’m not american, don’t even particularly enjoy arena shooters, so I don’t care, but you wouldn’t tell a painter that he needs to paint less birds and more dogs because birds are so overdone.

  18. FoSmash says:

    “..and gravity never went back to normal.”
    Just thought I’d shoe-horn that one in there.

    Why would the moon disappearing change the laws of physics? And why is the narrator stoned? Is he sitting by a campfire smoking peyote telling someone who’s been in a coma for the last couple of decades what’s been going on?

    • emotionengine says:

      Your post, together with the comment by verve_rat and the replies there, sum up pretty perfectly why I found this trailer thoroughly unappealing.

    • Deadly Sinner says:

      I’m pretty sure that the story is just an excuse for some (hopefully) wild mechanics.

  19. Dawngreeter says:

    I groaned out loud when I saw the name of the game. Really? Not only is it a terrible name for cops and criminals type game, but it’s even MORE terrible when you put the gravity bending mechanics. How did more than one heavily drunk person ok this?

  20. Seafort says:

    Has everyone forgotten what CliffyB said about PC gaming a few years ago when he was at Epic developing Gears for Xbox?

    Here you go.

    “I think the PC is just in disarray… What’s driving the PC right now is Sims-type games and WOW and a lot of stuff that’s in a web-based interface. You just click on it and play it. That’s the direction PC is evolving into.” – CliffyB

    He’s now developing a F2P FPS game with Nexon supposedly on PC. He can go back where he came from for all I care just like Microsoft.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      That was seven years ago. Do you still hold a grudge?

      • Dawngreeter says:

        I don’t know about Seafort, but I wouldn’t exactly call it a grudge. I think it just shows that CliffyB will be a shill for whatever benefits him at that particular moment. More importantly, he’s either to be counted on to be insincere in whatever he’s saying or he’s just a sincere fool. And I don’t think he’s a fool.

        • Premium User Badge

          Graham Smith says:

          Or maybe things change and people change.

          • Dawngreeter says:

            That’s entirely possible. I’m not holding witch trials nor hold a grudge. I just have a certain impression of CliffyB based on his public behavior.

            But personal impressions are largely irrelevant. As long as he’s making good games all’s well. I just might not be interested in his industry analysis.

    • Premium User Badge

      John Walker says:

      In 2012 he said everyone should develop for PC.

      link to rockpapershotgun.com

      So, well, there you go.

    • bill says:

      Darn it, you’re right. I missed my chance to be outraged!

    • Jenks says:

      Do you disagree with anything he said there? It all looks pretty accurate to me.

    • Deadly Sinner says:

      At the time he said it, he was absolutely right. That was in 2008, before the explosion of Indies and before Steam got massively popular. Maybe you weren’t around at that time, but PC gaming was kind of dire at the time. There was tons of money being made from consoles, so developers were beginning to ignore the PC. We had to make do with shoddy console ports and the very few exclusives we could get our hands on. And what were the titans of PC gaming at the time? The Sims and WoW.

  21. iainl says:

    If the moon’s blown up, why am I supposed to care if some of the soon-to-be roasted corpses are breaking a few laws before the planet does an impression of the Hadean Era?

    This is going to be very difficult to take seriously after reading Stephenson’s seveneves

  22. bill says:

    I’m just having a hard time getting past imagining how they came up with this.

    No gravity -> breaking the law of gravity -> law breakers -> law AND breakers! -> Awesome dude!

    or maybe

    The Law and the Law Breakers -> Law breakers! (awesome name dude!) -> breaking the laws of gravity -> the moon blows up! -> Awesome!

  23. peterako1989 says:

    “It’s a competitive, 5 vs. 5 sci-fi first-person shooter”

    Then why did they even bother giving it a lore?