Mar 5, 2014

LAWLESS is one of those games that appeals to our collective decadent side. It is a game from powerhouse Mobage that is able to combine a few different elements into a neat (but explosive) package.

It is a career crime game, perfect for the straitlaced do-gooders out there. To begin, the player has the option of selecting his/her main character, which is decked out with weaponry and tasked with being good at being bad.

The gameplay is a unashamedly arcade-y in nature; the graphics are made to highlight gunfire and explosions. The natural behavior of the protagonist characters is to duck behind obstacles: corners, upturned vehicles, sofas and such, which are all in the foreground. Further on out, different opponents run into view, looking to destroy the law1player’s crew of misfits. Getting rid of these enemies is done by tapping them on the screen, which makes the shooter(s) pop out from behind cover to fire on them. Red health bars are a measure of life on both sides, and depleting that of the enemy is the name of the game. The game is leveled, with boss baddies making appearances at junctures.

The game incorporates some nice animations to enhance the aforementioned arcade feel. For example, shooters dashing from one end of the screen to the other generally provide a hard target to hit. The powerups — grenades, baby — are another element that adds to the game. The bullet-riddled environments are decently done, and the artwork is sustained indoors and outdoors.

A big element is cash/gold mechanism. They are earned by success, and can be used to buy more weapons, as well as getting more specialized helpers on the team. Facebook can be used to recruit friends, and in-app purchases are available. There is a monthly Live Event feature also.

Call me a wuss, but there is something a bit disconcerting about shooting at LEOs. For all the high-falutin’ action and explosions, the gameplay is often the same, albeit clothed in different looks.

Still, it’s a fun game, with great social portions and a career ladder that would make Al Capone swoon. It’s free to play too.