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Racing for the nodes – hands on with Laser League at E3 2017

Couch co-op games seem to finally be making a comeback, so when I got the chance to check out Laser League, a game that looked like it thrives at being just that, I was very excited. When I finally I got my hands on the game I wasn’t disappointed.

Laser League is a multiplayer arcade-style arena game where your goal is to use an arena’s lasers or your character’s abilities to take out the other team’s players. Each player will be able to choose from one of six classes that each have their own ability. Some classes are more defensive than offensive, such as the ghost class, whose ability allows them to go through lasers and attacks when activated. This can make for some really interesting team compositions. My personal choice of class, during my time with the game, was the blade class. This class allowed me to slice forward with a blade, once I had enough power, and destroy my enemies. Using this ability in conjunction with my teammate, who was playing as the shock class, we were able to coordinate so that he would stun our opponents and then I would use my blade to take them out. This tactic was extremely satisfying and always got a reaction from the other team.

Laser League can be played with up to eight people. While I only got to play in a group of four, I can easily imagine how much fun it would be to have a group of eight friends playing this game. Even If you are playing online with players that you don’t actually know, you quickly bond with players as teamwork is vital.

You can also take out the enemy team without ever using an ability through the use of nodes. Running over a node will claim it for your team and turn its laser on in your team’s color. Once a node is activated, only the members of the team that activated it can touch its laser. If someone of the opposing color touches it, immediate death is the result. The beginning of every match is a mad dash with both teams trying to claim as many nodes as possible. Every node will reset after a certain amount of time, so staying aware of which nodes are still active and which need to be reclaimed is key to winning a round.

When we got to play the game mode warzone, it became an all out assault of lasers. With lasers that stretch from the top of the arena to the bottom, to lasers the shoot across at an angle, and even large cross-shaped lasers that slowly rotate and move through the arena, there are very few places that are safe to stand for more than a second. At one point my teammate had died and I was surrounded on all sides by the enemies’ lasers. Everyone knew that this was the end and that I had no way of escaping the cross shaped laser that was approaching me. Squeezing through what had to be the smallest gap possible, I narrowly escaped, shocking everyone that was watching and bringing on some very loud cheers.

The sheer excitement that was in the room during each round was incredible. No matter who I was playing with, or how well the teams were performing there was never a dull moment and everyone seemed to be having a wonderful time. For a multiplayer game I don’t think that there can be any higher goal than to make everyone playing have a good time, even the losers, and that was exactly what Laser League does.

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