Following its release on PS4 and PC earlier this year, former Gears of War lead designer Cliff Bleszinski and Boss Key Production’s debut first-person shooter Lawbreakers has continually struggled to build up a respectable player base.
In spite of its exciting low-gravity premise and generally favourable reviews – ourselves included; at the time of writing, the first-person shooter’s early troubles aren’t improving. To put it into better context, Lawbreakers launched in August to a peak of 3003 players on digital platform Steam, a low but respectable number for a new game. However, over the course of September and October, that number has dropped way below the initial launch numbers and is continuing to decline. At the last check, Lawbreakers is fighting just to get a full lobby of players together on PC, and PS4 isn’t fairing much better with a smaller community of players.
Worse still, the games apparent failings have begun to draw comparisons in the media with 2K Games and Gearbox Software’s much-maligned shooter Battleborn, which struggled in the shadow of Blizzard’s Overwatch before the studio eventually announced that it would stop updating the game in September to focus on the next Borderlands game.
Though the comparison between the 2 games won’t likely be lost on Bleszinski, the former Gears of War developer believes the media are always quick to ‘highlight’ Lawbreakers and its current plight. “They’re just looking for clicks, man,” says Bleszinski, speaking recently with GamesIndustry.Biz. “They’re just looking for ad revenue. We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing, and they’re welcome to print whatever they want – but as far as I’m concerned, they can fuck off. We’re going to keep making our game for our fans.”
True to his word, Boss Key Productions continue to be transparent with the future of Lawbreakers; releasing new maps, modes and short developer videos directly into the games main menu to discuss upcoming features and updates. Additionally, despite its extremely low player count on Steam, Lawbreakers still boasts a high rating as Bleszinski points out: “Everyone who’s played it loves it. You look at the Steam reviews and we’re damn near 90% positive”. And he’s right. Currently, Lawbreakers has a review rating of 9/10 on Steam with over 3000 reviews, leaving the shooter with a very positive response rating.
Featuring fast and frantic action as 2 teams of 5 players fly about each map using positioned pockets of low gravity to take down opponents and a handful of exciting modes to sink your teeth into, there is plenty to like about Lawbreakers, but will it be enough in the long-term? Only time will tell.
Originally announced as a free-to-play game, Lawbreakers left Steam Early Access earlier this year and is available right now at the affordable price of £24.99 on PS4 and PC.