Cliff Bleszinski (a.k.a. CliffyB) is the brash, outspoken game designer behind such hits as Gears of War and Unreal Tournament, and three years back, he decided to leave Epic Games after 20 years and try something new.
That new thing is another first-person shooter. But this time it’s a free-to-play experience, focussed on five-on-five team-based play, plus an effort to move away from the streak-based perks that now define top genre entries like Call of Duty. And it’s the first game from his own studio, Boss Key Productions.
LawBreakers is its name, as was revealed in a recent livestream, and it’ll be published by Nexon, a Korean giant in the free-to-play space. The game spotlights a future in which the Moon is accidentally split in half during government testing, an event that becomes known as “The Shattering.” The result? Gravity is totally busted back on Earth.
“Gangs, guns, and gravity” are the core tenets of the game, he said in the stream, noting that grappling hooks are a big part of the gameplay, and that the shooter will be fast-paced and arena-like in tone (think Unreal Tournament or Quake III Arena, fittingly). And half the playable cast is female, which is a welcome shift for the genre.
Headed only to PC, LawBreakers is set to release sometime in 2016. While the above trailer does a good job of setting the tone, Boss Key plans to follow it up on Friday afternoon with the debut of the first gameplay trailer, so we’ll find out quickly whether this free-to-play game is the arena revival many old-school shooter fans have been waiting for.