Laser League is a futuristic sports game where the goal is to get the opposing team to run into your colored lasers while avoiding theirs. Last team standing wins the round where the first team to win a best of 3 sets win the match. A few months ago I got to preview Laser League before it hit beta; check it out if you are interested in reading what my initial thoughts were and for a better breakdown of the characters and game overall.
The TL;DR on that preview is that it’s a good game and has quite the potential to do some great things with a community to back it. Unfortunately, the community has not banded together around it yet. While playing on PS4, I found other human players one time. There is essentially no one playing the game right now, which is a huge problem.
When there are no other humans to fill spots, the game places AI in the empty roster spots. This sounds okay until you realize that the AI in the game is simultaneously the smartest, toughest opponent and the laughably dumbest. On the one hand, it understands the game and will trap you into their colored lasers, but on the other hand will stare at a wall of oncoming lasers and not move at all, completely taking the fun out of the match. This game excels for human players only, and the lack of human counterparts drastically takes away from a good experience.
While playing with fellow TVGB writer Joel Campos, we wanted to see if there was a way to make our own lobby. That way, we could at least face each other and make a human-human match. Unfortunately, unless you are playing a local game, there is no option for this.
So how does Laser League fix its player issue? On Xbox the game launched in the Netflix-style program Game Pass, so if you have a subscription you can play the game for free which one would hope will fix that issue there. On PS4, the only chance I believe it has to get any player base is to be offered as one of the free games of the month (ala Rocket League). The Nintendo Switch has been a great boost for indie games on its platform, so maybe a Switch release can do the same here?
People need to give this game a try, and they can see that it is an enjoyable experience. The big draw is the variety of characters each player can choose from. Each character has a special ability that can be used to eliminate the opposition. There are abilities to stun, knockback, steal lasers, and others. They bring an interesting aspect to the game.
The overall gameplay is very easy to understand and gets more fun once you get the hang of it. I don’t think it will ever hit the levels of Rocket League, but it can be a fun game for some time with a fan base to drive the developers to keep supporting it. As it stands now though, this is a dead game less than a month after its release on the two most popular home consoles.
Joel Campos’ final thoughts
While Laser League has a lot of great mechanics and gameplay aspects, it all means nothing without people to play it with. As of right now, Laser League is not worth purchasing b cause there is nobody to play with. We had a great time playing against the AI, but that can only last so long until you memorize their next move and eventually demolish them.
John Hansen’s final thoughts
If the game was populated we may be having a different story, but the lack of people to play with and against makes this a very hard pill to swallow.
This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher.
Gameplay - 7/10
Design - 6/10
Overall Experience (Against AI) - 2/10
A dead game with potential
If Laser League ever gets any server population whatsoever, this will be a very fun game to take up time. As it stands now though, it is a graveyard filled with wasted potential if people do not start picking it up.