APB Looks Stunning

APB is the greatest looking MMO I have ever seen. All I can say is Wow — and not as in World of Warcraft. All Point Bulletin is the newest game from Realtime Worlds and Electronic Arts.

The game takes place an imaginary city of San Padro, where the players become an “Enforcer” [good guy] or a “Criminal” [bad guy] but I must admit I tried an enforcer and seemed just as bad as the criminals most of the time.

The tension in the game comes into view when opposing forces do missions against each other — it is like a quest but with the twist that there are players working against you.

To stop the unwanted bloodshed in the game, the developers limited who you can shoot to just the people against you for that quest. At first I didn’t think that idea would work, but now I am convinced that it does.

The other really fun aspect of the game is that while me and my comrades (and the criminals) are doing a quest, so are several other groups doing the same. And we all interact with each other — gun battles rage around me, screeching tires and cars smashing into each other, total mayhem in the city of San Padro.

I found so much of the world is destructible from windows, signs, fire hydrants, plants, statues, and a whole list of other objects in the world. Of course, not every object can be damaged but the world seems so much more vibrant than most games today. I would like them to go a step farther and allow me to enter all the buildings and better sit down at chairs and interact with mundane objects in the world (maybe later šŸ™‚ ).

The missions in the game (ala quests) aren’t all that original, with most is just go here and secure that, then bring here sort of thing. It is the opposing team’s mission of course to thwart you on it that makes for the fun. The pull and tug of objectives, all the while in a team vs. team environment is what makes the game exciting. I found that they also stretched the mission points across the map, so one has to use vehicles very exciting too — I am constantly “commandeering” a citizen’s car to zoom off to the next fighting spot.

I haven’t played enough to truly realize the penalty of death — right now it seems to be a 7 second delay in the game but I am sure that will change. Rewards come in ingame objects, money, and what appears to be “real world money” that you can swap out for exactly that — real money. I would be amazed if this part of the game stays in, and if it would be possible to actually acrue enough real world money to make it possible to spend it (other than on penny candy and gum).

The physics seem very convincing — too many games I have seen ragdoll physics that are over the top and just plain dumb. Fallen Earth, for example, is like that. Decent little game but the physics in the game are stupid and a pure joke. APB are all within relative norms — If I “accidently” hit a person they go bouncing off the car and roll a good distance down the road, but not crazy nor unbelievable.

Firefights and battle also seem very well balanced. I am not a very good PvP player but I did get some hits and kills on others, though I died probably more than I killed. The weapons seem very realistic and plentiful — as a matter of fact, there seems to be allot of different objects to own and use in the game. I had some troubles initially equipping items, mostly clothing items and I am still a bit vague on how to do this. Perhaps they need a better tutorial on that.

I am still learning the game but sadly I am almost out of time to play — I must only have a few hours demo of it (which sucks) but I guess I have made my determination if I will try it or not (perhaps what the developers wanted). If the game is not too expensive, I may give it a go for a couple of months.

Bottom Line: If you can get a free access key, you MUST play it. If you have to buy the game, I give it two thumbs up. I have not played a smoother, richer, more intriguing game in years.

Troy

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