It’s becoming a cliche at this point – game X is the Dark Souls of genre Y. It’s shorthand to describe a game that’s difficult but isn’t an action RPG called Dark Souls. It’s also a comparison that, 99% of the time, fundamentally misses the point of what Dark Souls actually is.

Describing LawBreakers as the Dark Souls of shooters aren’t my words, they’re that of the game’s creator Cliff Blezinski. And they’re wholly accurate. This is a difficult game that relies on skill and mastery of your chosen characters abilities. Not just their special attacks, but even things like the way they can get around the maps.

LawBreakers is a character-based shooter that places its emphasis on speed, precision, skill and shooting. Imagine Overwatch on fast forward with insane traversal skills, a “never stop moving” mentality and an incredibly satisfying set of gameplay mechanics.

LawBreakers is all about those mechanics and how they can interact with one another to create such fast-paced and satisfying gameplay. Even something as simple as the ability to blindfire behind you can have huge ramifications on the game:

“It’s one of those things that, when you combine the characters and the movement and the gravity, it actually is an incredibly useful thing. You occassionally do get a blindfire kill, which is pretty rare and it’s exciting when you’re like Ash in Evil Dead. Feels good.

But this came about from me reading the books The Expanse and Leviathan Wakes, when they’re talking about what happens if you fire a weapon in microgravity – well, you go the opposite direction. And so, even with our heavier classes such as the Titan who has a rocket launcher – we’ve seen YouTube videos who, by using microgravity and the rocket launcher, blindfiring and rocket jumping, they can traverse the map just as fast as our fastest characters.”

Comparisons to Overwatch are inevitable. Both games are character-based multiplayer shooters. While it’s immediately obvious to see the difference between the games by simply looking at screenshots, in action LawBreakers couldn’t be further from Overwatch. Both are excellent. Both are very different:

“Our healer is very much fire and forget – you get a heal, you get a heal, back to shooting. Our tank drops a shield, they don’t walk with it slowly, so we can get back to shooting. The elephant in the room we always talk about is Overwatch being a great game. And that’s cool. We look different, but also they’re a character-based game with abilities that happens to be a shooter. We are first and foremost a shooter that has characters and abilities.”

There’s nothing quite like LawBreakers on the current generation of consoles. Over the past decade or more shooters have slowed the pace down, made it easier for anyone to pick one up and immediately play it.

LawBreakers understands that the best way to learn how to become skilled at a game is to remove popups and tooltips and let players learn how to play themselves. There’s a tutorial mode, sure, but the most effective way to master a character is to simply play them and experiment with their abilities. It’s difficult, but fair, and it feels amazing once you start getting into the flow of its gameplay.

Almost like it’s the Dark Souls of shooters.

LawBrakers launches on August 8, 2017 on PC and Playstation 4.

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