E3 2017: Cliff Bleszinski Dubs LawBreakers 'the Dark Souls of Competitive First-Person Shooters'

Boss Key’s Cliff Bleszinski wants to change the way we view competitive shooters.


In an exclusive interview at Shacknews’ E3 booth in West Hall, Boss Key Productions co-founder Cliff Bleszinski shared his vision on FPS games and how he believes LawBreakers will push even the most experienced pro players to continue improving with each match.

“I think we’ve kind of made the Dark Souls of competitive first-person shooters,” he said. “Our matchmaking required a lot of tuning because the first alpha [test] was all over the board. But in the first beta, your average person’s win rate was only 20 percent. If the matchmaking’s doing its job, you want it to be closer to 50/50, which our programming team has tuned to the point where now it’s literally the definition of ‘win some, lose some.’”

After achieving worldwide acclaim following games such as Unreal Tournament and Epic Games’ Gears of War franchise, Bleszinski took a hiatus from the games industry. His body may have been at rest from the long hours and frequent meetings, but his mind never sat still. Before long, he bubbled over with ideas and co-founded Boss Key as, among other reasons, a vehicle through which to facilitate innovative concepts as well as refinement to known quantities such as arena shooters.

You can check out our full interview with Cliff Bleszinski below. For more E3 interviews and content, check out the Shacknews YouTube channel as well as our website, where we’ll be streaming live interviews throughout the remainder of E3 2017. 

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at davidlcraddock.com and @davidlcraddock.

From The Chatty
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      June 14, 2017 10:47 AM

      Hmm, I watched a gameplay video, it showed a guy using a grapple in a large map. It felt like it would be super hard to have any kind of engagement given that players can spider web their way around the map using both speed and vertical distance as an advantage. I had a hard enough time with the grapple in Q1 back in the day, and that was in smaller enclosed maps. I would never be good at law breakers.

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      June 14, 2017 11:42 AM

      I dont want the Dark Souls of competitive fps's because I generally dont do MP much anymore since my tolerance of online asshatery is pretty low these days.

      HOWEVER I would definitely be interested in a Dark Souls-esque single player FPS...

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        June 14, 2017 12:47 PM

        I would definitely be interested in a Dark Souls-esque single player FPS

        DOOM was that in a way. Not as punishing, but all about learning to deal with enemies in the most effective ways.

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          June 14, 2017 1:33 PM

          I agree that DOOM was probably the closest thing so far, but the gap is still massive as to what a DarkSouls-esque shooter could be. Imo.

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          June 14, 2017 2:25 PM


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      June 14, 2017 1:03 PM

      Oh Cliffy B.

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      June 14, 2017 2:31 PM

      I like CliffyB. He should have stayed retired because this game sucks.

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      June 14, 2017 2:44 PM

      I'm the Dark Souls of "creepy Shack lurkers".

      try tongue but hole...

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      June 14, 2017 2:56 PM

      It's almost like people have heard of Dark Souls and how popular it is, but have not played it. I've seen LawBreakers and detected literally NOTHING that put me in mind of a Souls game. Much like 75% of the other games claiming to be Souls-like.
      Now TF2 / Overwatch? Sure, lot of that in there. Brink? Yep. COD? Detected.

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        June 14, 2017 4:07 PM

        Right. This just comes off as desperate to get attention.

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        June 14, 2017 4:15 PM


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          June 14, 2017 4:32 PM

          There's no skill (W/L, MMR) based match making in Souls games. Yes I read it trying to see what he was talking about.

        • Zek legacy 10 years legacy 20 years
          June 14, 2017 5:05 PM

          This is a useless statement though. Just say "it's really difficult." Save the Dark Souls comparisons for games that borrow gameplay elements from Dark Souls.

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      June 14, 2017 2:59 PM

      Looks like Titan Fall too.

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      June 14, 2017 3:00 PM


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      June 14, 2017 3:34 PM

      No it's not. How could it be when it's MP only.

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      June 14, 2017 4:31 PM

      I wish there was someone with a better aesthetic style who was desperately trying to keep arena FPS games alive.

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      June 14, 2017 4:34 PM

      I tried the new Little Debbie's moon pie today. It's like the Dark Souls of snack cakes.

    • reply
      June 14, 2017 8:27 PM

      De La Soul is the Dark Souls of freshly embered hip-hop groups.

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      June 15, 2017 3:10 AM

      Slightly broken peer 2 peer with a not insignificant hacker presence?

      Sign me the fuck up!

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      June 15, 2017 4:02 AM

      Reductio ad Dark Souls

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