Is this game dead on arrival? Why?

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#1 Posted by personandstuff (584 posts) -

For a game of this tier, it not selling well.

http://steamcharts.com/app/350280

First of all, I sincerely hope they can turn it all around if only because a lot of talented people's jobs depend on this game's success? But do think that is even possible? And why do you think this game isn't connecting with people? There was a huge line of people at E3.

I think was a mistake to make the gravity mechanics so central in talking about this game. Because I've never liked zero grav gameplay and I don't think I'm alone in that. And, from watching gameplay videos, it doesn't even seem all that integral to the game. Most of the action happened outside of those zones.

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#2 Posted by BoccKob (471 posts) -

I dunno, it looks like it has potential depending on what they continue adding to it. I really like the apparent lack of sniping and reliance on headshots, but trying to look up gameplay videos of it on YouTube is mostly people going "hurr hurr it died at launch can't beat Overwatch!" I'd try it during a free weekend or something, but probably not drop $30 on it.

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#3 Edited by OurSin_360 (5739 posts) -

Even though it has some names attached to it, i think its still a multiplayer only indie game. Judging it by that i would say its doing ok, i havent seen much marketing for it and most word of mouth is just overwatch comparisons which dont help much.

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#4 Posted by BigSocrates (1904 posts) -

I don't think the game is dead...it has some attention, it has a chance to build its playerbase and it hasn't yet gone free to play, which might help...but it's definitely in deep deep trouble.

I don't think that emphasizing the zero grav is the problem (since that's basically the game's gimmick and if not for that it's super generic.) I think the issues are 1) it's in a flooded marketplace, 2) it doesn't look particularly special, appearing to be just another one of these online only multiplayer shooters and 3) it has zero personality. For a game called Lawbreakers it certainly doesn't emphasize the "lawbreakers" themselves, and even after watching the GB Quick Look I couldn't name one of them except ninja-guy, who seemed pretty generic.

It just looks like another one of the same game we've been playing for a couple years now (which is an iteration of the same game we've been playing since Quake.) There's nothing about it that seems appealing. If you wanted a high mobility team based shooter there have been a ton of them.

To succeed in this market these days you need a hook. Titanfall has giant robots. Overwatch has characters. Paladins has some characters but is also free to play (low barrier to entry is a way to get people in.)

What does Lawbreakers have? Zero gravity, which as you said isn't that big a game change, and Cliffy B's name, which doesn't carry that much weight anymore.

How to turn it around? Fix the tutorials so that it is welcoming to new players. Create some new marketing focused around characters or other unique elements of the game. Lower the barrier to entry, even if it annoys the current player base. Games are too focused on making sure early adopters feel like they got bang for their buck, but they're better off with a larger player base.

Would all that work? Depends on how it's done, but probably not. It would at least give them a chance. Sitting back and waiting for the playerbase to build itself on word of mouth rarely works. I guess Rainbow Six: Siege did it, but that game had a lot more unique features, and it was aggressive with discounts and free play weekends fairly soon after launch.

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#5 Posted by RonGalaxy (4915 posts) -

This is a really bad time to launch a brand new MP shooter. There's so many good options people are already into, that they either ignore or aren't aware of games like lawbreakers. Doesn't matter if it's really good.

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#6 Posted by BoccKob (471 posts) -

@bigsocrates: Lawbreakers' thing seems to be the general movement and pacing, on top of the low gravity stuff. Apparently all/most characters have different ways of zipping around? They ought to be marketing that part, since that seems to be its hook and I haven't seen much video comparing how the different characters move.

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#7 Posted by xolare (1370 posts) -

I don't think having an art style that looks like a launch game from last generation helps very much.

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#8 Posted by BabyChooChoo (6841 posts) -
  • No waifus
  • Multiplayer only
  • Overwatch exists
  • No big names attached (Cliffy B's name doesn't carry as much weight imo)
  • Arena shooter in an age where arena shooters are out of style
  • Art style doesn't really stand out to most people
  • Forgettable name
  • Not f2p
  • No waifus

They made a good game, but like...everything surrounding it is working against it

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#9 Posted by Undeadpool (6357 posts) -

Blizzard is an unstoppable juggernaut.

The MMO genre learnt it, the online cardgame genre is learning it, the MOBAs would have had two of the biggest games of all time not ALREADY had a solid foothold.

Even if the two games aren't very similar when you drill down, what the average person sees is: a first-person, objective-based shooter with different, balanced classes and cosmetic-driven loot. I watched the entire Quick Look, and I'm an enthusiast of videogames, thinking "Man...I'd SO give this a shot if I weren't already playing Overwatch."

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#10 Posted by 49th (3726 posts) -

The gameplay is too niche and therefore charging so much for it was never going to work out well for them. It doesn't seem like a bad game but I don't think many people would choose to play this over Overwatch/CS:GO/Quake which are all similar but more popular and recognisable games.

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#11 Posted by sfw44 (241 posts) -

I played the beta, the game is fun. Overwatch might've killed it and the marketing wasn't quite there. They should've stuck with the original plan and kept it free to play.

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#12 Posted by Anonymous_Jesse (257 posts) -

I played a few rounds of the beta and that killed any interest in it.

For me I was hoping for more quake/unreal tournament and less overwatch/ team fortress.

Especially as the art style makes everyone look same.

While the capping game mode is fine, the one with the ball in the center was awful.

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#13 Posted by SarcasticMudcrab (365 posts) -

@babychoochoo: Overwatch exists...hmm as someone with over 1000 hours in tf2 overwatch does not appeal to me, I tried it for about 5 hours and it's a kids game, sorry but it is typical blizzard hand holding and making everyone feel great even if they suck. There is a market for a class based shooter that doesn't do that, not sure if lawbreakers is it but there's definitely room for a less cushioned experience.

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#14 Posted by BoOzak (2098 posts) -

I played a few rounds of the beta and that killed any interest in it.

For me I was hoping for more quake/unreal tournament and less overwatch/ team fortress.

Especially as the art style makes everyone look same.

While the capping game mode is fine, the one with the ball in the center was awful.

This was my problem with it as well. I've had enough of class based 'hero shooters' It feels like Cliffy B & co just wanted to make another Unreal but slapped all this shit on top because it's popular and they thought it wouldnt sell otherwise. (they might be right) I feel like Quake Champions will also flop by making the same mistakes. (did that come out already?)

I didnt hate it nor do I hate Overwatch or TF2 but it isnt a game I can dive into and have fun with for 20 minutes or so like I would with UT or Quake.

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#15 Edited by BabyChooChoo (6841 posts) -

@sarcasticmudcrab said:

@babychoochoo: Overwatch exists...hmm as someone with over 1000 hours in tf2 overwatch does not appeal to me, I tried it for about 5 hours and it's a kids game, sorry but it is typical blizzard hand holding and making everyone feel great even if they suck. There is a market for a class based shooter that doesn't do that, not sure if lawbreakers is it but there's definitely room for a less cushioned experience.

Oh, I don't disagree with you, but it's hard to deny the fact that Overwatch is definitely eating a nice chunk of every other FPS' lunch, especially if they're team and/or character-based. Counter Strike and TF2 are, to my knowledge, still doing well so I don't doubt there's a market for competition, but like...in the same way WoW was the MMO for years or, perhaps a better example, CoD was the shooter for years, Overwatch is currently the shooter. Meaning when most people are looking for one to play, it's going to be pretty high, if not the highest on a lot of people's list.

This isn't me defending Overwatch either - Lord knows I have some fucking massive issues with that game - but it is what it is.

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#16 Posted by Humanity (17382 posts) -

Why? Because it's unremarkable. The awful "teen edgy" vibe that permeates every aspect of the game doesn't help.

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#17 Edited by ThePanzini (661 posts) -

Recently we've had many fast multiplayer games fail to launch or even take off Law Breakers seems to be following this trend. No game had a bigger push than Titanfall and its pop sank like a stone TF2 never got going at all, COD Advanced Warfare mobility was largely hated by its community and Infinite Warfare suffered greatly because of this, Quake Champions and the new Unreal Tournament are failing to gain any traction heck Destiny 2 nerfed player movement 50%.

The gameplay LB is offering gameplay nobody seems to want and not looking visually appealing isn't helping. Lacking basic tutorials and any sort of PvE even just bots, LB is a hard ask with gameplay that isn't generating any word of mouth buzz.

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#18 Posted by MetalBaofu (1677 posts) -

I know next to nothing about the game, but no matter how good it is, I just have no need for it. If the urge to play an online shooter hits me, then I have Overwatch. I don't need more than one.

Now, if it was free to play, I'd check it out, but I'm not going to go spend money on it.

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#19 Edited by SarcasticMudcrab (365 posts) -

@babychoochoo: yes that's true, and ofc the behemoth of a game pubg is taking another huge slice of the pie, even if it is kind of a different flavour.

I'm just a little salty after Overwatch being such a disappointment to me, I still find it's domination level of success a bit baffling, I mean it's okay, I guess.

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#20 Edited by Sdoots (497 posts) -

I don't get the Overwatch comparisons. I really don't. Class based shooters existed long before OW. What you could consider an "ult" in OW is sometimes just another ability, as well. The Juggernaut, for example, simply turns on his armor, which reduces incoming damage and increases rate of fire. It's not nearly at the level of, say, screaming across the map and murdering anyone you pin against a wall.

I'm having no problems finding matches for the time being, and that's enough for me. Having seen this game evolve from a shitheap in alpha to an engaging experience now, it's a huge bummer to see people dismiss it outright.

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#21 Posted by cikame (2138 posts) -

It's just kind of... a known quantity?
It fits into a genre and doesn't really do anything to advance or improve upon it, personally if it had a cool asthetic, cool characters or something it might pull me in a little, but mechanically it's just a fine ability based shooter.
For me though it's the genre that pushes me away, the classes each have unique weapons and abilities which i think makes these games inherently unbalanced, every time you die because someone rounds the corner with a sword, or uses a movement ability you don't have access to, or mops up your entire team because their ult was ready, is any of that fair? It's personal preference and i prefer when everyone is on an even playing field, they try to balance it all by making players bullet sponges, which ends up making all the weapons feel weak, holding a gatling gun on someone for 3-4 seconds is a lackluster experience but that's just how this genre of shooter is.
The only other thing i'll point out is the character design, not that the characters are all that important to this game it's more their loadouts, but Overwatch thrived on it's cast of colourful characters and Lawbreakers' motley crew of generic looking sci fi badasses just isn't as interesting.
I played it up to the point where i could still refund it because it seemed a little less bogged down in ability spam than Overwatch, but it's not enough for me to keep playing.

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#22 Edited by Onemanarmyy (3345 posts) -

It seems like a 6,5/10 game. To me, the main differentiator is the gravity stuff. But that's just not enough of a hook on the formula to make it stand out. The general menu design, tutorials and artstyle actively push me away from it actually.

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#23 Posted by mrfluke (5996 posts) -

its the world, overwatch drew me and I bet a countless amount of others in due to the animated shorts they have put up that did a great job of setting up the world and characters.

This game didn't really have any of that, so without that, the art style of the world and characters doesn't stand strong which cripples a solid gameplay foundation that the game has.

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#24 Posted by Lanechanger (1637 posts) -

  • No waifus
  • Multiplayer only
  • Overwatch exists
  • No big names attached (Cliffy B's name doesn't carry as much weight imo)
  • Arena shooter in an age where arena shooters are out of style
  • Art style doesn't really stand out to most people
  • Forgettable name
  • Not f2p
  • No waifus

They made a good game, but like...everything surrounding it is working against it

Is it not horny enough?

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#25 Posted by BoccKob (471 posts) -

@mrfluke: But none of the characters, setting, or lore in Overwatch are relevant to anything at all within the context of actually playing the game outside of a few pre-match voice lines that are again invalidated by what you actually do during those matches.

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#26 Posted by mrfluke (5996 posts) -

@bocckob: but it still gives the world a flavor, a feel to it, which then contributes to getting attached to the game vs it being another class shooter

Your right about what you are saying, but look at how wild the overwatch fandom has taken over on filling in their own lore for the characters they cared about with their fandom. I bet a lot of those people are attached to their characters and only casually play the game

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#27 Posted by Yesiamaduck (2348 posts) -

@babychoochoo: yes that's true, and ofc the behemoth of a game pubg is taking another huge slice of the pie, even if it is kind of a different flavour.

I'm just a little salty after Overwatch being such a disappointment to me, I still find it's domination level of success a bit baffling, I mean it's okay, I guess.

It's successful because of it's overwhelming positivity. In a world of online shooters which have some bullshit elitism attached to it (case in point calling Overwatch a kids game soley because it's not 'hardcore') it's a dopamine factory that players go back to. It's clever game design that had been lacking in the market and the moment it came in people swarmed to it like wasps to cider.

The reason I play Overwatch is because it's largely free out of the negativity which plagues TF 2, CS GO etc etc etc because when I play an online game I want to just chill out n have fun and not be too stressed out about things. I couldn't give a rats arsed if it's the most skillfull FPS.

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#28 Posted by ALavaPenguin (927 posts) -

I never heard of this game except when I update my nvidia graphics drivers.... maybe that says a lot. I just keep seeing this thing that says lawbreakers + some pic of some generic cyber military dude on it and then click install drivers lol.

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#29 Posted by ImGrifter (62 posts) -

It's not a game for everyone. Overwatch is a game where literally anyone can hop on and do well in a role. Lawbreakers not so much. Even the medic class requires a bit of skill. Arena shooters are just out if style. Last I saw Quake and Unreal Tournament weren't doing all that great either.

Also doesn't help that you have bigger streamers crapping on the game because they're getting bodied.

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#30 Edited by BoboBones (170 posts) -

I played both of the Betas they ran, and during both of them I never had trouble getting into a match, and the gameplay was tight, but man it's just so bland. I had my fill and have had no real desire to return back to it.

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#31 Posted by glots (3606 posts) -

@humanity said:

Why? Because it's unremarkable. The awful "teen edgy" vibe that permeates every aspect of the game doesn't help.

I guess it has Drawn To Death to fight against in that market...I wonder how that thing's doing.

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#32 Posted by mrcraggle (3046 posts) -

I can't comment on why people aren't playing/buying but I tried one of the betas out and just didn't enjoy my time with it.

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#33 Posted by SarcasticMudcrab (365 posts) -

@yesiamaduck: I experienced more toxicity in the 5 hours of overwatch than I ever did in 1000 hours of tf2. The game being easy and having classes that make unskilled players believe they are skilled has nothing to do with it being friendly. It does however attract a younger crowd.

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#34 Edited by Yesiamaduck (2348 posts) -

@sarcasticmudcrab said:

@yesiamaduck: I experienced more toxicity in the 5 hours of overwatch than I ever did in 1000 hours of tf2. The game being easy and having classes that make unskilled players believe they are skilled has nothing to do with it being friendly. It does however attract a younger crowd.

I wouldn't assume that. Given that TF 2 is free to play and is several years old it's open to a younger audience because the price is right and literally any hand down PC can run it. There is a high chance that TF 2 has a younger audience. This isn't in relation to skill or anything, I just think what you clearly stating as fact has no research behind but is directed by pure bias.

IN reality, both games are probably made up of mid - late teens with a large spread of people in their 20s and 30s.

Especially on PC.

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#35 Edited by SarcasticMudcrab (365 posts) -

@yesiamaduck: well I already stated that my feelings on it are biased, I'm just being salty. My hours in tf2 are pre hats, I stopped playing after that because they imo ruined the game with all of the unlocks, I like the chess element of class based shooters and both overwatch and current tf2 don't really have that due the the clusterfuck nature of all the different abilities and cross abilities between characters. I don't think there is anything wrong with playing a casual or basically a fun orientated game, hey I played hearthstone for 2 years, I just think there is room and an appeal for a more serious game in this genre.

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#36 Posted by Humanity (17382 posts) -

@glots: I can only imagine that it's not doing very well but I could be wrong. I just think Lawbreakers is very bland. The few times I played it I honestly couldn't believe how much it felt like a PC shooter pulled straight out of the late 90's and not in a good way. The levels are not interesting or graphically impressive and the characters don't stand out much. In comparison Raiders of the Broken Planet, a very peculiar team based game currently undergoing beta testing may not be the greatest playing thing in the world but at least all the characters have a great look to them - the designs are awesome. If Lawbreakers toned down the 90's edge undertones and put some more color and life into that game it would be a lot better for it.

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#37 Posted by Spaceyoghurt (166 posts) -

The game is really fun, I love how fast everything moves! But the overall tone, art direction, UI and HUD is a goddamn mess. Cliffs games are always solid and tight from a gameplay perspective, but they always seem to be packaged in gritty garbage. It's really off-putting, hard to read and gets in your way. I won't touch the game unless they fix these things. I know they've got the message on these things since the beta, so we'll see.

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#38 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (7674 posts) -

I have Overwatch in my life, so that's why I don't need to play it. I imagine it's a similar case for a lot of other people.

Edit: And when I mention Overwatch, I don't mean to comparte them or anything. It's just that I already have a multiplayer game that I'm invested in.

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#39 Edited by someoneproud (132 posts) -

Trying to compete with Overwatch, but has the presentation of a free to play shooter. I think it's gonna tank hard (hope I'm wrong for Cliffy B's sake) but I certainly won't be buying it.

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#40 Edited by ArtisanBreads (9107 posts) -

I like people to keep their jobs but I also don't think the game looks good at all.

Not a big Cliff fan either at this point.

It might do fine. I have no idea what they are expecting.

Online
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#41 Posted by Dispossession (124 posts) -

I played the beta when it came to PS4 and liked it for the most part but I typically play with a group of people whenever I do play a multiplayer only game and right now, those games happen to be Siege and Overwatch. Also, with Destiny 2 on the horizon, I wouldn't see myself playing it much so I will save myself the $30 for something like Absolver, Uncharted, Windjammers or Nidhogg 2.

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#42 Posted by dudeglove (13174 posts) -

It looks fine but i pity any FPS trying to compete with either Overwatch or PUBG right now.

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#43 Edited by mcbisquick (39 posts) -

Pretty much echoing what others have said. I can't speak for the game's quality, but the timing of it isn't great. People already have their multiplayer options locked in right now, with even more popular titles coming soon. The market is just too stacked with multiplayer shooters for all of them to do well, at least right out of the gate.

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#44 Posted by uhtaree (858 posts) -

A small twitch streamer I watch came out of hibernation to start playing this game because he got a gig demoing this game at a con. It kinda made me sad for the game because it just looks and sounds like a generic overwatch clone that has to scrape the bottom of the barrel for streamers to play their game.

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#45 Posted by Mister_V (2390 posts) -

@uhtaree said:

A small twitch streamer I watch came out of hibernation to start playing this game because he got a gig demoing this game at a con. It kinda made me sad for the game because it just looks and sounds like a generic overwatch clone that has to scrape the bottom of the barrel for streamers to play their game.

They also got a lot of really well known streamers to do sponsored streams during the beta, however none of them stuck with the game after so it's pretty much dead on twitch as well.

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#46 Posted by Deathstriker (781 posts) -

Much like Battleborn, it looks too similar to Overwatch and there's hardly any room in that space right now. I'm still puzzled why people love Overwatch so much, I think Paladins is way better, but that's what it is. Plus, there wasn't a lot of press on it, I didn't even know it was out. I haven't seen or heard anything on it in like a year.

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#47 Posted by Nefarious_Al (267 posts) -

It's pretty fun and it plays nothing like Overwatch. That's like saying Guilty Gear plays like Street Fighter because they are both fighting games.

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#48 Posted by TheHT (15157 posts) -

It looks alright, and some of the gravity stuff seem neat in concept but not quite as crazy in execution. Biggest knock for me is probably that it looks really bland when compared to super charming Overwatch.

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#49 Edited by Onemanarmyy (3345 posts) -

We're now in a place where most people have a multiplayer game that they stick with for a long time. To dethrone that game, you need to bring something really special to the table. A game that's alright or okay is just not good enough to make people switch from a game that they play for months or years.

People can take the time to appreciate a fun singleplayer game. To stick with a multiplayer only game for months, requires something special.

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#50 Posted by musclerider (845 posts) -

Much like Battleborn, it looks too similar to Overwatch and there's hardly any room in that space right now.

The crazy thing is that gameplay wise Battleborn and Overwatch were practically nothing alike. Battleborn was a pretty pure MOBA and not even a terrible one at that but since it had a first-person perspective and a cartoony art style everyone just lumped it in with Overwatch. Battleborn wasn't a great game and this one is maybe not the best either but this "hurr durr it's a Overwatch clone lol" dismissive attitude doesn't help anybody. OW didn't invent class based shooters or shooters with abilities and it doesn't have a trademark on those concepts.

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