Reviews - Updated on April 12, 2022

Developers of multiplayer (however, not only) entertainment like to copy each other. There was a time when MOBA games appeared one after another, and the latecomers failed to win success – Paragon and Battleborn had already outlived their usefulness. Then the fashion for team shooters began, with the division into attack aircraft, “tanks” and doctors – many wanted to snatch a piece of the market from Overwatch. But even here there were some victims – support for LawBreakers has recently ceased. Now every week someone announces their own battle royale, but it will not be easy for them to compete with PUBG and Fortnite.

There hasn’t been anything truly original for a very long time, except for the Rocket League, the idea of ​​which is also not new – its authors only made an improved version of their own Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars. Developers are afraid to perform in unusual genres and do not want to set trends, but only follow them. Therefore, Laser League will immediately attract the attention of those who are looking for something unique: the game looks stylish, offers outstanding mechanics and is no less exciting than competitive shooters.

fresh ideas

Understanding what is happening is very simple – after completing the tutorial, you will understand almost all the details of the gameplay. Participants are divided into two teams of two or three people each, after which they enter a random arena. From time to time, laser cores appear on the field, upon contact with which lasers are formed, and over time, the entire arena is strewn with them. You can pass through lasers of your own color, but running through those activated by another team is a guaranteed death. The loser is the group whose members are all dead at the same time.

Already by the middle of the first match you will feel like a fish in water. But at the same time, you will begin to notice subtleties that no one talked about in training. Including try different classes in action, which differ in skills and force you to play differently. There are attacking characters: the Blade makes a dash in the manner of Genji, the Scope puts a marker and teleports to him, demolishing everyone in its path, and the Rebound pushes the opponent with a shield and knocks him down.

Among the defenders there are also interesting characters. The discharge is able to stun opponents for a couple of seconds, attacking them with an area of ​​​​electricity. The phantom becomes temporarily invulnerable and can slip through other people’s lasers – for example, to revive a comrade, for which it is enough just to run over it. Well, Capture will instantly repaint someone else’s activated laser in the color of your team. All classes also have modifications that speed up the process of skill recovery or add other bonuses.

The first three heroes are designed for an aggressive game and are completely devoid of the ability to protect themselves from danger. Another part of the characters controls the situation in the arena, but cannot engage in battle with opponents. The gameplay for each is unique, so the same tactics will not work. But with all classes, you will find yourself in situations where a button pressed at the right time will change the course of the match in favor of your team. Once I took Zap and so successfully “froze” two enemy fighters at once that moving lasers drove over them and destroyed them in a split second. In another game, I picked up Lightning and timed it perfectly, pushing my opponent into a wall, after which he flew out from the opposite side of the arena (yes, the walls serve as a kind of teleporters) and hit the laser of my color.

Laser League game review

A white triangle always hangs above your character, helping you not to lose sight of the hero.

Coordinated teams are more likely to succeed than random comrades not using a microphone. But you can pick up a good line-up even without communication – the classes chosen by the teammates are shown before the start of the round. Taking only defense characters is not the best solution, as you have to expect opponents to make mistakes without the ability to attack them directly. Playing aggressively with three stormtroopers is also dangerous – if the defenders are sensible, you will constantly fall into traps. It is best to take heroes of different types and play their roles, activating skills in time, trying to intercept the cores and carefully moving around the field.

We achieve mastery

Understanding which classes are good for what and how to play them is only part of what will make you an experienced and skilled player. It is also important to have a good understanding of how arenas work. Although the action always takes place in the same size “boxes”, the laser cores appear in different places and take on different forms when activated. In one case, these can be long lasers spinning around an axis, in another they will look like the letter X, in the third they will be long and divide the arena into several parts. To date, the PC version of Laser League has five stadiums and two dozen options for the location of lasers, so the matches will not get bored soon. But the console versions in terms of filling for some reason are still lagging behind.

Another gameplay element is the one-time buttons that appear in a random place and allow you to quickly change the situation for the losing team. You can pause and stop the lasers for a couple of seconds to recharge. You can replenish energy to use the ability, or, conversely, take away all the energy from opponents. And the strongest modification repaints all lasers in opposite colors. There is nothing worse than taking over the entire arena and losing everything in the blink of an eye, losing the round as a result.

Laser League game review

Each class has its own mastery rank with challenges and costumes as a prize.

Due to the relatively large number of mechanics and simple controls in Laser League, every match becomes exciting. Here you are running from one corner of the arena to another, trying not to run into lasers, and at the last moment touch the corpses of your partners, resurrecting them. Here you are standing near a dead opponent and do not let his comrades near him, pushing them away with a shield and thus taking away their energy. Here you are running a race with the enemy to the laser core in the hope that you will have time to activate it first, and you succeed, and the enemy dies. Either you swear loudly because of your mistakes, or you rejoice after a well-played round – there is no third.

The way the matches are designed here also plays a big role in the perception of the game. Each meeting of the rival teams in the Laser League is an entire event, with an introduction, yelling spectators in the stands, waving winners, replays and even special team names. And all this does not seem like extra tinsel, because of which you lose a lot of time – on the contrary, the game looks much better and more serious due to this. Not the most melodic electronic music playing in the background does not distract and fits perfectly into what is happening, and the chosen visual style in the spirit of Tron makes you believe that the action takes place in the year 2150.

Minor flaws

One of the main drawbacks that many players will surely encounter is the occasional color confusion leading to nasty bugs. The fact is that the teams here are always different – in one match you can be green or yellow, and in another you will be painted blue or pink. At some point, the brain turns off and refuses to admit that you have not been yellow for a long time – you need to beware of the yellow gate, and not freely run through it. Therefore, I had to constantly repeat to myself: “I am red, I am red” (or say a different color), otherwise I got confused at the gate and let the team down.

This problem is especially noticeable in two-on-two matches – it is dangerous to make a mistake there, because if one of the team members plays poorly, the second one has to take the rap for everything.

Laser League game review

The first few matches I played with bots, as I did not change the server from Russian to a more popular one.

Much more interesting and chaotic than three-on-three battles, which in Laser League can be safely called the main mode. Here, there are much more interesting situations, you have to control a lot of elements in the arena, and knowing the order in which laser cores appear becomes almost the main weapon in the player’s arsenal. Matches consist of three stages divided into five rounds, and after each stage, the losing side can change their classes to “counter” the opponent’s characters or simply modify their tactics.

Ultimately, Laser League turns out to be a unique competitive arcade game that, with proper marketing, can gain a lot of popularity. So far, she has not been able to boast of this, despite the constant holding of free weekends on Steam and the distribution of the full version to the “gold” subscribers of Live on Xbox One. To date, players can be found on any platform, including on PS4, where no such promotions have been held, but what will happen in a month or even a week is unknown. Most importantly, do not forget to change the search region in the settings – initially Russia is located there, where it will be difficult to quickly find someone.

But even if multiplayer isn’t going to be a big hit, Laser League will remain one of the best entertainments for a group of friends on the same screen. On the PlayStation 4, you can only participate in a match with four people – that’s how many simultaneously connected gamepads the console supports. But on Xbox One and PC, there are no such restrictions. At the same time, a shortcoming is associated with local multiplayer – a group gathered at the TV cannot go online. However, this will most likely be fixed with a patch – after all, such an option is available in Rocket League.

By earning additional levels, the player unlocks new costumes, emoji to use in the arena, laser patterns, and avatars with photos of different people. It’s hard to call it some valuable trophy – the looks here are not as attractive as in Overwatch or Fortnite, and emoji are far from dancing. But there is still at least some kind of progress system – those who cannot play modern multiplayer entertainment without prizes dropping out for pumping will be happy to know about it.

Laser League game review

The last murder is accompanied by a spectacular replay.

***

So far, the question remains whether Laser League will be able to drag out for the same long time as other successful online games. The gameplay in it is unusual, and, perhaps, the desire to return to the game again and again is connected precisely with the effect of novelty – after one completed match, you immediately start the next one. But without good publicity, cross-platform multiplayer, and cool character customization items, I suspect audiences will lose interest too quickly. The game is great, but great projects developers need to actively support.

Pros: unique gameplay; management and basics are easy to understand; classes that are different from each other, forcing you to play for each in different ways; stylish visual design and good music; exciting matches.

Cons: periodic confusion in colors; lack of cross-platform multiplayer; unlockable customization items don’t look very interesting.

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