CliffyB’s LawBreakers To “Dial Up The Maturity”

No Nexus platform, fewer microtransactions, and fewer colours: these were the main points of the GDC panel held by Cliff Bleszinski and his Boss Key Productions about their multiplayer shooter LawBreakers [official site].

The game will be released exclusively on Steam, with an upfront purchase and their latest screenshots showcase a change in visual direction away from the colourful and cartoony look of some of its competitors. But boy, do we need some new marketing lingo in gaming. Come raise your eyebrows with me.

If you missed it previously, LawBreakers is a class-based arena FPS emphasizing vertical movement, with grappling hooks and jetpacks aplenty. The game is being developed by the aforementioned Cliff Bleszinski (Unreal, Gears of War) together with Arjan Brussee (Killzone) and it’s being published by Nexon, which worried many for their oppressive business models. This trailer from last summer is still the most recent look at gameplay we’ve had.

The first two announcements, then, are meant to reassure those who feared the game would be hampered by microtransactions and pay-to-win: LawBreakers will not be released on the Nexon platform but on Steam, and it will have an upfront payment to “ensure an even playing field by giving fans access to every available role without any barriers.” This doesn’t mean no microtransactions, however: much like Killing Floor 2, there will still be cosmetic items on sale.

As for the shift in visual style, which you should be able to appreciate in these screenshots, here are Cliff Bleszinski’s words:

Being constantly compared to the current slew of colourful shooters on the market made us realise we needed to stand out from the crowd. […] We decided to take a step back and explore how we could dial up the maturity in LawBreakers, going back to our original vision. The new look and feel embraces the innovative and vertical nature of our game elevated by violence, intensity and competition.

I don’t disagree with this new direction, if that’s what they feel fits their game best, and with competitors like Blizzard’s Overwatch, Dirty Bomb and even the immortal Team Fortress 2 showing a more competitive side as of late, I can see why they feared they wouldn’t stand out. But, dude: “dial up the maturity” is language that borders on self-parody.

According to the FAQ on Steam this won’t mean all-out gore, however, just a bit more blood and visual violence than before.

There is no word on the exact cost or on the release date, but it sounds like it’s almost ready to enter alpha testing, and it should be less than a full $60 release.


  1. WJonathan says:

    Ahh, obviously a reference to the Hitchcock classic “Dial M for Maturity”.

    If only someone could “dial-up” Cliffy’s maturity.

  2. cpt_freakout says:

    I believe it’s now our sacred duty to use that phrase in ridiculous contexts.

    As in “Hey, I’m gonna have some cereal. Let’s DIAL UP THE MATURITY by adding in some black-tinted milk and struggling to avoid every star shape in these god-forsaken Lucky Charms.”

    • mariusmora says:

      I really don’t understand why we haven’t been using it all the time. I now understand all those red leds and transformer gaming peripherials, they are just DIALING UP OUR MATURITY!

    • Jay Load says:

      Chris Nolan: “Let’s DIAL UP THE MATURITY” by having Batman growl instead of talk. And for Superman’s costume let’s use ridiculously darker shades of colour.

      • The First Door says:

        To be fair to Nolan, isn’t the lack of colour in the Superman costume thanks to Zack Snyder and his… ‘mature’ colour palettes?

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      I like eating milk chocolate, but now I’m dialing up the maturity by only eating dark chocolate, because maturity = dark.

    • Shuck says:

      No, no, no – you “dial up the maturity” when eating cereal by screaming an occasional obscenity and punching the cereal box. Granted, this is actually pretty immature, but so is their notion of “maturity.”

      • mattevansc3 says:

        I’m just picturing the Terry Crews parody advert where he’s dressed up as a leprechaun.

        “New Lucky Charms with marshmallow CliffyB pieces!”
        *uses a chainsaw to shred box apart*
        “Dial up the maturity!…EXTREME!”

      • Gap Gen says:

        “dial up the maturity” OK cool, yep, yep
        “elevated by violence, intensity and competition” *nods sagely*

      • Don Reba says:

        Mature cereal is eaten with a gun on the table and a scantily dressed girl talking dirty to you while you eat.

  3. MrFinnishDude says:

    Maturity is gray, because mature people cant have happy colors in their lives.
    Mature people don’t see colour, they only see the grayness of death and decay.
    Maturity means that you can have no positivity in your life, and colours are positive so they are not allowed.
    You dont play games to have fun, only little baby kids do that, and little baby kids have colours and you’re mature so you don’t want colours because you’re not a kid anymore, you’re 13.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Earl-Grey says:

    Cliff “Dialed up to M for Mature” “Don’t call me CliffyB” “CliffyB” Bleszinksi.
    A man of many names.

  5. Tony M says:

    Xtreme maturity to the MaxX

  6. Rao Dao Zao says:

    Woah, according to that last image, is blind-firing behind you going to be an actual mechanic? Can’t really see it working in an FPS but okay. (Disclaimer: yes, it could also be concept art, but that wouldn’t be as fun. >:))

    • Melody says:

      It is an actual ability of one of the classes in the game. You can also see it in action in the trailer.

  7. wu wei says:

    Looks like a fake geek game to me. Talk about cultural appropriation.

  8. LexW1 says:

    Shades of “tighten up the graphics!” – link to

  9. Banks says:

    So they just desaturated the colours and throwed buckets of blood? Ok, so mature now.

    If they want to stand up, maybe they should dial down the genericness.

  10. Tommando says:

    I blame the ESRB for how that word gets used. I mean it says it right there on the box, rated “mature” for strong language, violence and gore.

  11. int says:

    Stop right there criminal scum!

  12. gunny1993 says:

    “Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no medicine exists”

  13. GWOP says:

    I hope the game is matured enough to make all the characters orphans as well.

  14. Urthman says:

    Sort of like how the target audience for Seventeen magazine is 13-year-old girls, a “Mature” video game is targeting 14-year-old boys instead of 12-year-olds.

  15. Uncle Fassbender says:

    “Being constantly compared to the current slew of colourful shooters on the market made us realise we needed to stand out from the crowd.”

    Just when we were finally getting past the slew of the ‘gritty realism’ aesthetic; I can’t believe that they think you need to back to the dark ages of modern military FPS to stand out.
    Gameplay looks fun though.

  16. Minglefingler says:

    “Hello, who’s that?”
    “This is Youthful Exuberance.”
    “Ah, sorry, I must have the wrong number, I was trying to dial up Maturity.”
    “Oh, well you didn’t so piss off, I’m at a party and you’re distracting me from all the garish colours. I don’t see why you can’t Snapchat like everyone else you boring old fuddy duddy. I’ll bet you have a face like a sun dried teabag.”
    “Sorry. Are you sure you’re Youthful Exuberance, you seem a bit agressive?”
    “I lack empathy. Stop trying to telephone abstract concepts you twat.” Click.

    • Minglefingler says:

      The person being verbally abused in the above scenario is meant to be me, I would never have a fictional concept call Cliff Bleszinski a twat, nor would I suggest that he actually tried to telephone maturity, although I think it would be praiseworthy if he were to do so as part of the creative process.

    • SyCo_Venom says:

      I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Youthful Exuberance doesnt call people fuddy duddy.

      • Minglefingler says:

        Thank you for your input, I shall be sure to imbue any anthropomorphic manifestations that I concieve of in the future with a vocabulary more in line with what it should be based on extrapolations from the abstract idea which I have had them embody.

        • Minglefingler says:

          Thinking about it, that probably reads a great deal sarkier than I intended it to.

  17. reggiep says:

    According to the 2015 ESA Gaming Sales and Usage Data, the older you are, the less competitive multiplayer shooters you play. So if Cliffy wants to “dial up the maturity”, he should make a strategy game.

  18. Muzman says:

    Cliff Bleszinski: This is a mode that we use in the office, but it’s very special because if you look you can see the maturity all goes to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and…

    Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most Maturity goes up to ten?

    Cliff Bleszinski: Exactly.

    Philippa Warr: Does that mean it’s more mature? Is it older? Is it more developed?

    Cliff Bleszinski: Well, it’s one more mature, isn’t it? It’s not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You’re on ten here, all the way up, on your Tomb Raider, on your Grand Theft Auto, all the way up, swearing, blood, all the way up. Where can you go from there? Where?

    Philippa Warr: I don’t know.

    Cliff Bleszinski: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the Cliff, you know what we do?

    Philippa Warr: Put it up to eleven.

    Cliff Bleszinski: Eleven. Exactly! One more Mature.

    Philippa Warr: If you wanted to be more mature, wouldn’t you make it 15+ ?

    Cliff Bleszinski: [pause] These go to eleven.

    • Minglefingler says:

      You’ve made my imaginary conversation above look like a shark sandwich.

  19. MrUnimport says:

    You’d think their primary concern would be addressing the generic sci-fi look.

  20. Psychomorph says:

    Often adult content attracts the young and childlike content affects the older.

    Now we know what type of audience this game is geared toward. ;)

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      Yeah, Duke Nukem was a “mature” game that mostly appealed to teenage boys.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        That said I prefer this art style to the super cartoony shooters we see a million of at the moment, just not sure why they have to state it as being more “mature”. If they’d just said “more realistic” people would not be taking the piss en-masse like we see in these comments.

  21. LionsPhil says:

    I love how basically every one of these comments is taking the piss from different angles.

    • Psychomorph says:

      We need to thoroughly rub it in, from all sides, no spot to be left alone. Once purified by piss, we can talk business.

      • mattevansc3 says:

        It’s has to be bloody piss or it won’t be mature enough.

        • gunny1993 says:

          No it has to be bloody piss followed by a 2 week wait of dread for a doctor appointment and then another week of dread to confirm results of a totally benign illness easily treated.

    • thedosbox says:

      It’s why I love RPS.

  22. horrorgasm says:

    Isn’t this an online shooter? So…where is “extra maturity” even going to enter the picture when 95% of the players will skip the campaign and just go straight to teabagging and calling each other faggots?

    • SyCo_Venom says:

      The difference is it will be more of a cynical, apathetic style of teabagging and calling ppl fags than just the immature thoughtless random teabagging and fag calling.

  23. Monggerel says:

    god damn cliffy b get it together
    you’ve been drinking for 7 weeks straight and still haven’t made a new daikatana

    • SyCo_Venom says:

      Did i miss this joke …….. isnt cliffy the counterstrike dude and the game that shall not be spoken made by a different self centered 1 hit wonder asshole?

  24. mattevansc3 says:

    The only way to dial up the maturity is ring Tharg the Mighty’s head.

  25. davec1 says:

    I love games with a maturity of over 9000. But will this game also be visceral?

  26. Unclepauly says:

    Day one rental.

  27. dajt says:

    Gah – maturity in games! It’s as bad as wittering over whether games are art, or taken seriously.

    Good games have good gameplay and don’t need blood and boobs to sell them. I cringe when my sons play Assasins Creed. So mature.

    I bought The Witcher 2 cheaply during a Steam sale but can’t bring myself to play for it fear of how mature it is and how badly it will make me wince.