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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that LawBreakers is a downloadable, online-only, team-based competitive first-person shooter. Players group together in teams of five and compete in fast-paced action in a number of different game modes. Violence is constant, with players engaging in lethal combat to defeat their opponents and accomplish certain tasks. Combat is brutal, with players getting hacked to pieces or exploding into bloody chunks on a regular basis, only to respawn and try again. While there's some strong language used in the game itself, its competitive nature leaves players open to more profanity and offensive content via online interaction. Finally, while future characters, maps, and modes will be included as free downloadable content (DLC), players can still spend extra real-world money to purchase additional Stash Drops with cosmetic items for their use.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
In the futuristic setting of LAWBREAKERS, humanity is, quite literally, picking up the pieces of a devastated planet. Some time in the near future, a series of secret government experiments leads to the complete destruction of the moon. This event, dubbed "The Shattering" wreaks havoc on Earth. Aside from the mass destruction, The Shattering also has another strange effect on the planet. All over the globe, pockets of light or even complete absence of gravity spontaneously appear. In time, humanity begins to recover. Unfortunately, the criminal element has not only survived, but it's thriving in this new world. Gangs, cartels, convicts, and killers joined together to create the crime syndicate known as "Breakers." In response, global peacekeeping agencies band together as "The Law," to fight back against the chaos and restore order to the people. It's a deadly, zero-G showdown of cops and robbers, with the fate of the world at stake.
Is it any good?
This fast-paced shooter takes the cops and robbers game you played as a kid and makes you play it on a giant trampoline, while adding cool lasers and swords for good measure. That's the best way to describe the feeling you get while playing LawBreakers. The game has some great level design, using compact stages to force players to come together and fight, while still giving plenty of space to maneuver, dodge, and attack. Meanwhile, thanks to the pockets of warped gravity scattered around each map, all of that action comes at players from every direction. The result is a fast-paced shooter experience with a roller coaster-style rush.
While LawBreakers is a lot of fun to play and is bursting at the seams with style, one thing it's lacking is depth. There's very little in-game to explain any of the game's lore. In fact, each side has a character specific to one of nine classes, or "roles," but they're generic and completely interchangeable, with the same abilities, weapons, and so forth, and only cosmetic changes to differentiate them. This doesn't take much away from the actual gameplay, but it doesn't give players any real reason to get invested in the world, either. LawBreakers is the gaming equivalent of a popcorn movie blockbuster, with players pulling off insane moves and being a part of all kinds of intensely slick action, but with the audience never really understanding how or why the characters got there to start with.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. How can the over-the-top violence in a game affect players' actions and moods? Does a sci-fi or fantasy setting for the violence, rather than a gritty, realistic setting, lessen the impact?
Talk about healthy competition versus toxic behavior. What are some positive ways players can interact with each other in online competition, and how should they deal with toxic behavior when exposed to it?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows
- Price: $29.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Nexon
- Release date: August 8, 2017
- Genre: First-Person Shooter
- Topics: Superheroes, Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Robots, Science and Nature
- ESRB rating: M for Intense Violence, Blood and Gore, Strong Language
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.