Developer: Mobage
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.4
App Reviewed on: iPad Mini 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Lawless chronicles the rise of a gang of no-gooders, as they go from a band of common crooks to a team of professional criminals. Obviously there are a lot of gun fights to be had on the way to criminal infamy.

20131206-142530.jpgShooting in Lawless is a strictly tap and hold affair, and it’s all the better for it. Players simply need to hold their reticule over an enemy to fire and release it to return to cover. Killing enemies encompassed by a white aura provides the user with more points as they are usually on the move or in relatively good cover themselves. Green outlines, however, highlight civilians and shooting one is a big no-no. Taking out multiple enemies at once will boost combos and therefore effect the resulting star rating, as will well-placed headshots. The gameplay is fast and frantic, and although it may be a one-trick pony Lawless can perform that trick very well. There are special shoot-outs (including a one-man fight with a helicopter) and numerous boss missions to liven things up.

Lawless looks absolutely stunning. Everything from the detailed environments to the typically moody characters and general presentation of the game itself is top-notch. There’s definitely something to be said for shooting-up the destructible environments, too. Glass shatters, paperwork flutters, and bullet holes pierce the decor during gunfights; really taking things to another level in terms of realism and suspense. Sure blowing up a police car and watching the officers go flying is great, but shooting a grenade in mid-air? So much better.

20131206-142535.jpgThe social aspect of Lawless comes in the form of recruiting other players as allies. Players can search for friends (who must sign up for the Mobage service through one of several channels, one being Facebook) or find random players, then initiate them into their gang — after agreeing to their fee obviously. Their skills and arsenal can then be utilized during story missions or during the unique monthly live events.

There is a slight over-reliance on the in-game currency of Crimecoins — used to upgrade and purchase the more impressive weapons — and while they aren’t a necessity, the game never lets players forget that they’re an option. Still, Lawless is a free-to-play game, and a stellar one at that with over 50 missions and those monthly live events to conquer. Although some may find the gameplay wearing thin after a while, there’s no doubt that this is an extremely impressive iOS title and a sign of good things to come.


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