Posts Tagged ‘All Point Bulletin’

PAX ’09 Coverage: APB

Thursday, September 10th, 2009
Is that a gun in your hands or are you just hap... Nope, that's a gun. Never mind.

Is that a gun in your hands or are you just hap... Nope, that's a gun. Never mind.

We played a lot of games at PAX ’09 that made us want to play more. We also just happened to come across one game that wasn’t playable that made us wish we could just play it for a few minutes. That game was APB (All Points Bulletin) and it’s looking to be the newest bad kid on the block. Published by EA Games and developed by Realtime Worlds, it is going to be impossible not to compare to Grand Theft Auto and harder so because of its origins.

Yes, it is the brainchild of David Jones, creator of the original GTA and yes, there’s the criminal aspect, taking missions to increase your ranking in the criminal world, driving cars haphazardly over pedestrians, and getting bigger, badder weapons to take out your enemies. That might be enough to compare it to GTA but APB throws a curve at the audience.

You can play as an Enforcer, the police in the world of APB. As an Enforcer, you take missions to safeguard businesses from the criminal element, also in order to increase your rank so you can get to the bigger and badder weapons and vehicles. You’ll follow criminals from a discreet distance in order to catch them committinga crime at which time you can choose to arrest them or put them down for the count with a well placed gun shot.

Still not convinced there’s a difference?  Imagine all of the above but in an MMO. Yes, now you’re on to something.

While the creators of APB are hesitant to call the game an MMO, there’s some of the best aspects of MMOs for flavor. You can group up with friends to wreck things as the Criminals or protect and serve as the Enforcers. Each group has its pros and cons but ultimately, it’s the gameplay that’s the draw.

The video we viewed showed actual gameplay footage. As the programmer gave a guided tour of the city, we saw firefights burst out in the street, we drove under an Enforcer and a Criminal opening fire on one another on a catwalk high above the street. We even saw one ill-fated group of criminals ran over as the demo began.

As the scenes unfolded, we witnessed gorgeous backgrounds, beautiful vehicles, and intense fights. As the programmer parked the car, another vehicle drove up next to him. The other vehicle had the radio on and as it pulled away, we could feel the bass of the track they were listening to vibrate our tailbones.

The screens may be from E3 but the images we saw were just as good looking.

The screens may be from E3 but the images we saw were just as good looking.

The missions we were privvy to as the game played out were varied. There was an armored car mission with two Enforcers driving to different locations to pick up the items to be delivered. As the last item was loaded into the truck, the Enforcers were attacked and split up as the Criminals tried their best to steal the cargo. One gunned his way back to the armored truck while the other ran to the street and commandeered a vehicle. Able to meet back up on the road, the two fought to stay on the road to the delivery point while the Criminals engaged them in vehicular combat, trying to run the armored truck off of the road.

Once at the deivery point, the two jumped from their vehicles and a firefight broke out on the street. While the combat was short, it was savage. The Enforcers emerged the victors and managed to deliver the cargo to its destination.

We also watched as the Enforcers responded to a call for backup. Driving up, there were various Enforcers shooting it out with Criminals. Our two heroes jumped into the fray and shortly after, were able to assist their fellow officers in securing the area while arresting or killing the Criminals.

After the video ended, we were able to ask a few questions about highlights of the game and discovered the following:

-There will be “PvP” servers called Chaos servers where it’s every man for himself. Criminals can interfere with any Enforcer mission, attacking and even killing the Enforcers. The same holds true for the Criminal missions so it’s not a one way street.

-There will be no levels per se, only ranks achieved through the amount of missions completed and time spent in the game. No more level grind.

-Higher level weapons will become available to each of the factions as they progress through the ranks. The fights won’t be a matter of who brings the biggest gun to the party but a matter of tactics and numbers.

-Initially the game will only be available for the PC but there is more than a little work being done to bring the game to to consoles relatively close to the PC launch.

While it’s too early to tell if APB will be a hit with the masses, we can certainly say the Reckon Crew was impressed. We’ll be waiting patiently for our chance to trash some baddies, or goodies, when the game launches.

Gritskrieg – End of Line