Cliff Bleszinksi is a legend in the field of video game design, debuting his first game at the age of only seventeen. The game, a point-and-click adventure called The Palace of Deceit: Dragon’s Plight, impressed Tim Sweeney, the founder of Epic Games, enough to bring the young designer onto the fledgling team. From the humble beginnings of Jazz Jackrabbit to the incredible success of Unreal Tournament, Bleszinksi has only continued to improve his craft.
The prolific designer turned his attention to the Xbox 360 next, serving as lead designer on Gears of War. The game earned universal acclaim and the franchise has since gone on to be one of Microsoft’s defining properties. After the release of Gears of War 3, Bleszinksi departed from Epic Games to take a break from making games and to plan out his future.
However, it wasn’t long before Bleszinksi returned to game development. He announced that he was starting a development studio known as Boss Key Productions with Dutch developer Arjan Brussee, co-founder of Guerrilla Games and development director over the entire Killzone franchise. The studio announced in July of 2014 that it was working on a free-to-play game for PC codenamed Bluestreak, before going quiet.
Until recently, that is. Boss Key Productions has officially announced their upcoming game, titled Lawbreakers. The studio released the first trailer (above) which provides some story context, but no gameplay.
Update: the first gameplay trailer for Lawbreakers was unveiled at PAX. Watch below.
Lawbreakers takes place on Earth after an event known as “The Shattering,” which saw the moon destroyed by secret government testing on its surface. The fallout caused a massive earthquake that left much of the planet in ruins. Most importantly, it altered gravity itself. This allowed for levitating structures to be easily constructed on Earth’s surface. Humanity rebuilt and for a time lived in a futuristic utopia. Unfortunately, as is human nature, the residents of the planet soon turned the gravity manipulation and advanced technology into a weapon that lead to widespread war.
The game is a competitive, team-based first-person shooter that takes place in the midst of a global war between criminals and unified law enforcement agencies. The matches will be 5 vs 5 and players will choose whether they want to side with the Law or the Breakers. As the game is going to be released as free-to-play, there will undoubtedly be microtransactions in the game, though no details have been released thus far.
The name Lawbreakers refers to the two factions in the game, but the game will also allow players to break the laws of physics themselves. The gravity distortion will have an affect on projectile weapons, allowing for bullets to curve a la the film Wanted. The gravity will also play a big part in movement as the game is focused on effortless vertical traversal, allowing players to remain in flight for the duration of the match.
While the plot of the game (as depicted by the trailer) seems scientifically dubious and more than a little silly, it promises to serve as a vehicle for a fun and interesting take on first-person shooters. The mechanics could allow for spectacular feats of skill that would be just as exciting to watch as they are to play. The game will let players do the impossible on a regular basis, opening up exciting possibilities for streaming and Esports applications.
That said, this is all speculation until gameplay is revealed. Bleszinksi has hinted that some footage will be revealed soon and with the giant gaming convention Pax Prime set for this weekend, it’s likely there’s more to come within the week.
Lawbreakers is set to launch sometime in 2016 on PC.