Cliffy B Talks Lawbreakers vs Overwatch

Lawbreakers was at E3 2016 in full force this year, letting people play on the show floor, as well as an announcement of a closed alpha this past weekend. With all the buzz, Cliff Bleszinski got chatted up quite a bit, and in an interview with Eurogamer, he talked about some of the similarities and differences he sees between Lawbreakers and Blizzard’s Overwatch.

The supply of what we call “hero shooters” has been unprecedentedly high lately, but each one has something different or unique about it. There’s Paragon, which prides itself on being a MOBA first, Battleborn, which leans heavily on its MOBA tendencies, Overwatch, which focuses on its characters and its inherently competitive nature, and now Lawbreakers, which seems to be most easily compared to Overwatch. Bleszinski agrees to a point, but he said that there are some core differences between the two.

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“When people, when they see something, they immediately want to put it in a bucket with something else, and there is some overlap in regards to the fact that we have characters and guns and weapons and whatnot, but the thing is our art style is a little bit more gritty, where their’s is kind of very super bright colors, almost anime-ish looking characters, in some instances.” Art style can make a huge impact on how a game is received, what kind of people like a certain game, and can lead developers to different decisions based on the world they’re building. Overwatch is rated “T” as there are no f-bombs, and cartoonish violence. Bleszinski has talked a lot about how Lawbreakers is a sort of “R” rated version of these hero shooters, with more blood, more cursing, and sense of realism that shapes the world of Lawbreakers

He also talked about the number of characters in each game, and why the difference is significant. “They’re going for like, bazillion different characters — we’re going for a less is more and we’re ramping up to find our balance.” Lawbreakers will launch with four characters, where Overwatch has 21 and counting. Bleszinski also talked about how the characters work, saying, “Them as a game is so much rock-paper-scissors… if I come around a corner in Overwatch and I have the wrong character and someone else has the right character in that rock-paper-scissors match, I’m dead. I don’t stand a chance. For us at least… if I enter a room with four, five, six people on the other team… if you’re really good at this game, with any of the different roles or classes, you can take out an entire team.”

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Bleszinski mentioned a few changes they might be making to Lawbreakers, too, like whether or not the ability to aim down sights will be available in the final game. He said that sometimes iron sights make players stay back and act more like snipers and he doesn’t want that; he wants players to engage in the fights and jump around in zero-g. He also talked a bit about consoles and controllers, where he said that they’re looking into it, because it is hard with the lack of button options compared to a keyboard and mouse. He did stress, however, that if Lawbreakers ever does come to console, it will not be cross-play with PC, because it will be unfair, as keyboard and mouse players will have the advantage.

Lawbreakers has been getting a lot of good buzz and our own Matt Whittaker had lots to say about what he saw at E3.