We had a look at Roll7's Laser League all the way back at E3 2017, and after internal tests aplenty the developer has now released the game in early access this month for fans to enjoy, and we've been taking a look at it. There's been laughter, tears, expletives, and so much more, but now comes the time to take a step back, think about what we've played, and ask ourselves whether what we've seen of the game bodes well for the future.
If you don't know anything about what Laser League is, it's a multiplayer game in which you take control of one person in an arena, and in teams of various sizes your task is to eliminate the opposition. Simple, right? Well, not quite, as you can move between walls in the arenas (so exiting the left side will spit you out on the right) and there are of course lasers to consider as well, which are activated in your team's colour once you step on them, which then proceed to move around the map at different angles. Touching a laser of your own colour is fine, but touching a laser of the opposite colour will kill you. And there you have the basics.
The maps are varied enough already, but we're sure there are more on the way. For now though we have the Empire Campus in the UK, Geng Hao Megaplex in China, and Silvertip Arena in Detroit USA, and within these you can customise the arena to have differently calibrated lasers, with some having them around the border while others feature them more sporadically around the map.
There are a plethora of classes to choose from on top of the maps too. Blade, for instance, lets you perform a dash attack towards your enemies to kill them if you connect, while Smash provides a non-lethal tackle perfect for knocking people into lasers. Ghost has the invulnerability ability, whereas Thief has an area-of-effect (AOE) skill to steal laser nodes (where the lasers originate from). Then we have Snipe, which has a ranged teleport attack, and Shock, with an AOE stun attack, incapacitating enemies for a short period of time.
We found each of these classes to be satisfying in their own way, and as studio director Simon Bennett told us recently, the guys at Roll7 are happy with the balance, which has clearly been worked on for months. Each class has their own distinct advantage, and as such you'll probably see players trying all of them out, which is exactly what we did. Of course, everyone will have favourites, but it all feels balanced and fair when in the game.