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The Witch and the Hundred Knight arriving in Europe and North America in early 2014

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Laser League

Posted by GG Goblin On May - 29 - 2018

Bright lights, big lasers.

I tend to avoid competitive games on the whole. My reactions are not what they used to be, and I never spend enough time on any single game to actually become more than competent at it. So when a game comes along such as Laser League from Roll7, the team behind the excellent OlliOlli, it is much more about not messing up before the other team, rather than actually out playing them. Needless to say, the frantic action made it surprisingly easy to mess up.

laserleague1 (Copy)

Laser League is a multiplayer eSports hopeful for two teams of two or three. Depending on the abilities of your team, it is either a game of skill and speed, or a game of luck. Laser League is quite easy to understand, with incredibly simple controls, but can have a surprising amount of depth and, above all, is very compelling to play, no matter what your skill level.

The basic premise is that two teams of different colours face off against each other from opposite sides of a single screen arena. Once the match begins, players attempt to run across nodes that are spread across the arena, activating them and turning them into laser walls of their teams colour. These walls move around the arena and are perfectly safe to pass through if they are of your teams colour. If you get touched by one of the opposite colour however, then your little on-screen avatar is eliminated, and winning the round comes down to eliminating all of the opposition. See, pretty simple.

Things get more complicated, or tactical, with the wrap around nature of the arena. Players can move through the bottom wall of the arena to reappear at the top, and vice versa. The same happens with the left and right walls. Also, if a member of your team gets eliminated, they can be revived by simply running over their icon on the arena floor, if you can get to it without being eliminated yourself.

laserleague2 (Copy)

Even just as this, Laser League would be a pretty fun little multiplayer game, both online or at home with buddies. But there are also power ups that appear around the arena, drastically changing things up when activated, tipping the tide of the match one way or another. Offering a bit more control to the chaos, players get to choose a class that offers a singular special ability.

So there are six different classes to choose from, and each has an ability that can be activated, once charged, with a single button press. This really is the simplicity of the controls – a stick for movement and that single button for activating an ability. In this respect, Laser League is an incredibly accessible game.

Anyway, the abilities range from being able to change the colour of a laser to being able to push an opponent into harms way. You can stun players, leaving them at the mercy of the lasers, or simply eliminate them outright with a slash attack. Then there is the ability to pass through opposing lasers unharmed, for a limited time of course, and the vastly more complicated teleport ability which involves dropping a marker. An accomplished team would carefully choose the classes of their entire team and know how to use the skills to compliment one another. Players like myself would just pick one that sounds cool and hope to use the ability at the right moment.

With neon laser walls growing, shrinking, rotating and moving around the arena, players running through walls and appearing on the opposite side, power ups popping up and being activated, and the random use of player abilities, there is so much going on in Laser League that new players will feel overwhelmed. But the game is so addictive, and matches tend to be over so quickly, that there is always time for one more try, and so the player soon becomes accustomed to the fast pace of the game. I am not saying that everyone will become masters after only a few games, but they will soon become competent enough to avoid making silly mistakes. And then it is just a matter of waiting for the opposition to make their mistakes.

laserleague3 (Copy)

Laser League is a multiplayer game with a simple premise, and as such may struggle to attract the gaming masses. However, with a few friends, the frantic action can be an absolute riot. I would imagine, in the hands of skilled players, it would be very exciting to watch, further aiming the game at the eSports crowd. Laser League knows its market, and if easy to pick up, difficult to master multiplayer games are what excites you, then pick it up and start avoiding the lasers.




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