LawBreakers smashes into closed beta this month

“Lawbreaker!” shouted the fogie queueing ahead of me. It was a sunny San Francisco afternoon and we stood at a crossing where a pedestrian had brazenly crossed the quiet road against the lights.

“I was thinking the same thing!” her friend added.

I don’t know if LawBreakers [official site] is trying to conjure up images of Judas Priest and The Clash with a name like that, rock ‘n’ roll rebels, but I’ll always think of those two cranks sick of jaywalkers. But if you want to see more of the upcoming multiplayer FPS from Boss Key, the new studio founded by Cliff Bleszinski of Unreal Tournament and Jazz Jackrabbit fame, you can sign up for the closed beta which starts March 16th.

LawBreaker, to refresh your memory, is a class-based arena shooter with loads of neat-looking movement options, from grappling hooks to slingshotting yourself through gravitational anomalies. The name is awful (ha-ha-hilariously, ‘Law’ and ‘Breaker’ are the two sides of some futurefight blah blah) and the character design is boring but I did dig what Rob Zancy thought after playing last year. Here’s a chunk o’ thoughts:

“The fact that Lawbreakers got me flashing back to Facing Worlds in Unreal Tournament, or the Bouncy Map in Quake 3 Arena tells me that something special is going on there. I went into Lawbreakers thinking it was a game stuck in the past, but left feeling like it was a game unencumbered by the present.”

If you’re into that, go sign up for the beta through the game’s site. Boss Key say the first closed beta will start on Thursday, March 16th and end on Sunday the 19th. Alpha testers are automatically in the beta. Given that Boss Key spaffed alpha keys all over the place — we alone gave away 10,000 — I’m guessing they won’t be stingy with the beta.

LawBreakers is due to launch later this year. It was initially announced as free-to-play but has since switched to being a regular paid game.


  1. Chairman_Pow says:

    I see Sombra has hacked a less interesting looking clone of herself into the game.

    • Seafoam says:

      I was about to post the same thing.
      If the resemblance is this apparent, I wonder if it’s intentional, accidental, or the character design was done before Sombra was revealed.

      • Dreggsao says:

        She was in the Lawbreakers alpha way before Sombra was revealed and I would go as far to say the purple haired hacker girl is an archetype by now.

        • Chairman_Pow says:

          Ah, I didn’t know she was a long established character for the game. Yes, certainly an unintentional similarity.

          It goes go to show how very different the art direction is to have such similarly styled characters looking so different in terms of quality (in my opinion, anyway).

          It sounds like LawBreakers has more going for it than looks. I look forward to finding out how it plays.

  2. Herzog says:

    Was totally bored with the alpha and unistalled after one hour. But maybe that’s because I am stuck in the past. By the way, Reflex comes out of early access tomorrow. What about some item timing and rocket jumps combined without any loadouts?

  3. mitthrawnuruodo says:

    Only the 5419199879th mulitplayer Arena FPS to be released in the past couple of years. So fresh!

    • Herzog says:

      May I correct you good sir. But I believe lawbreakers is more in the vein of a hero shooter, like genre behemoth Overwatch. Arena Fps have been released sparsely in the last years. Even Quake Champions will have heroes with specific abilities.

      • mitthrawnuruodo says:

        Thank you good sir. I stand corrected. I mean after all “hero shooters” are totally different from Arena FPSs. They have none of the arenas, multiplayer, first person and shooting.

        • Vandelay says:

          They are basically the same, as long as you are also including the CoD games, Titanfall, Battleborn, Killing Floor, etc. They are all multiplayer games that include shooting things from a first person perspective in an arena. All identical.

          • mitthrawnuruodo says:

            They are to me, yes. But at least a couple of those put at least minimal effort on single-player stories, NPC AI etc for me to justify getting them at 75% discount at some point. Otherwise I do not see why anyone would pay for more than one of these copy paste games.

            Wow… feels strange not using sarcasm.

  4. Dreggsao says:

    The game sure has some fun grapple-hooking, I hope the rest also got as good since the alpha.

  5. DailyFrankPeter says:

    I looks Evolve and a little like Battleborn, too (cue funeral march).

  6. MiniMatt says:

    Can I run down Alice’s jaywalking tangent for a second and ask our US contingent what the deal with jaywalking is?

    This side of the pond the concept of it seems a little silly – you can get prosecuted for safely crossing the road? I guess we assume that crossing the road unsafely has it’s own rather painful discouragements such that a law forbidding it is unnecessary.

    Has it sprung from the perceived more litigious culture? Do people actually get charged with it, or is it potentially more used as an unethical tool to inconvenience, or threaten to inconvenience, certain groups of people?

    • gunny1993 says:

      It’s also a crime in Germany, but in America it originally evolved from a term used to blame people who got knocked down by cars.

      link to

      • MiniMatt says:

        Ahh, interesting clip, never knew “jay” was once both an offensive term, and the word “jaywalking” invented by the automotive industry.

        Looks like all countries faced the same car/pedestrian interface problem and which way they landed on who has primary right of way was pot luck and/or relative strength of government/industry a hundred odd years ago.

      • Vandelay says:

        As does Spain, I believe (unless classic episodes of Only Fools and Horses are lying/law has changed in the decades since it was on.)

        Does seem slightly ridiculous that it is illegal to cross a completely clear road with clear visibility, but then we don’t consider it weird that a car can’t do the same on a red light. Guess it is just odd to us as it is something we are not used (plus, when you spend time in countries with jaywalking laws you see plenty of people disobeying it, so I assume it isn’t enforced in anyway.)

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      Drib says:

      People seem to fairly rarely get actually cited with jaywalking unless something stupid happens because of it.

  7. Pich says:

    i played it for 30 minutes when i got in the alpha and it was the ugliest game i had played in a while, so no thanks i guess.

  8. PiiSmith says:

    I also have played it for a short time in the Alpha (I guess it was the Alpha, as this is going to be the Beta.) My feelings were not as negative as all the people show it here in the comments.