Used for decades in the playground, now a seller concept with the advent
of television and video games, the game of cops and robbers keep an
unparalleled attraction. David Jones, creator of Grand Theft Auto and
Crackdown, is well aware, and we also propose to try again experience
APB: All Points Bulletin, a GTA-like massively multiplayer online. After
weeks on the beta and dozens of hours now consumed in the commercial
version available since the beginning of the week overseas, the time of
the verdict has finally come for this highly anticipated title from the
creators of Crackdown .
During its long development phase, All Points Bulletin has been
immediately seen as a GTA online, because its creator David Jones,
causing the first Grand Theft Auto. Indeed, APB is a driving game and
shooting in the third person but he finally reveals very different. Its
concept is simple: play cops and robbers in an urban world in the grip
of civil war and chaos. The recipe is enough to make your mouth water
but the alchemy is it to visit you?
With the basis of the GTA Vice City or San Andreas, the players have a
large area to enroll in two factions, the criminals or the defenders. In
this grand theft auto mass crimes take place all we could do in the
games of the series Rockstar. In this case Realtime Works is responsible
for play this world of violence and crime where we have considerable
freedom of movement.
APB is not your typical massive RPG. The simple fact of talking about a
game of this nature evokes the typical player games like World of
Warcraft. This is a total action game developed in the city of San Paro
where we move through the different districts on board hundreds of
different vehicles fully customizable, like our character.
About the game:
The mission is simple – achieve fame and fortune, and achieve it fast.
APB is a persistent multiplayer online game where players form alliances
and develop rivalries. The game is from Realtime Worlds, creators of
Crackdown. Players can battle with 100 players in 100’s of living
persistent cities shaped by player actions.
San Paro was one of those modern mega-cities ravaged by crime and
violence, until the assassination of its mayor; John Derren does make
the switch in total chaos. It took the election of Derren’s own
daughter, Jane, to see the city return to some semblance of stability:
arming a portion of the population to monitor and punish offenders, the
fine strategist its hand. Criminal gangs and corrupt militias now
engaged in a fierce struggle on the streets of San Paro makes many
collateral victims among the population, but at least this motorized
urban guerrilla "she brought down a precarious balance. And you, what
sides will you store it? This is the first question you are asked by
APB: All Points Bulletin, the first MMOG of Realtime Worlds, which
attempts to reproduce more or less, in a persistent universe, the
multiplayer experience offered by a Grand Theft Auto IV.
The city of San Paro has fallen under the sway of gangs of criminals
following the assassination of its mayor, John Derren. A few years
later, his daughter, Jane, takes over and creates the CSA, a group of
mercenaries who has carte blanche to reduce crime in San Paro. The
scenario is almost nonexistent since it amounts to the cinematic
introduction and presentation cards of your contacts (the characters
that will give you your missions). But this lack is ultimately not a
problem for an action game as APB: the scenario, as it is enough to
contextualize and to put yourself in the bath.
- San Paro: The Living City – APB: All
Points Bulletin is set in San Paro, a persistent, online modern city
which lives and breathes, filled with a population of civilians going
about their daily lives. Joining the civilian population are opposing
factions of players: Criminals and Enforcers, fighting for control and
leaving their mark as they succeed or fail.
- Criminal or Enforcer? –
Players choose to be either a criminal or an enforcer and are matched
against each other in fast-paced, third person action. The criminals aim
to create a city rife with violent crime. The enforcers are pitted
against them, protecting the civilian population and fighting the
criminals at every turn. Want to commit a robbery with your friends? You
can, but watch out because another group of players will be out to stop
- Conflict and Game Play –
Players can pledge to criminal or enforcement organizations and receive
missions or move through the environment choosing open world activities.
For criminals; robbery, graffiti, arson and murder all add to
notoriety. For enforcers; arresting criminals, preventing crimes and
cleaning up the city all add to prestige. With a range of weapons and
vehicles to choose from and multiple ways to be matched up with other
players, this is the ultimate test of your skills.
- Be a Celebrity! – As a top
player, your name will be at the top of league tables held online. San
Paro will be your world: your character’s name and face as well known as
a Hollywood movie star, a standard that other players aim for. But how
long can you stay at the top?
- Be Creative! – APB has one
of the most in depth character and vehicle customization tools
available today. Every player can create a unique character with a level
of detail unparalleled in other games. And customization doesn’t stop
at physical appearance. Clothing, body art and vehicles can all be
customized using symbols created by the players themselves in our symbol
editor. Successful players are rewarded with greater ability to
customize so the better you are at the game, the better you’ll look.
- Play Your Own Music! – The
world of APB will be filled with music: you can import your own music
files into APB plus we have more than 100 tracks licensed to the game
and a sophisticated in-game music editor.
The principle is simple: whatever the chosen camp, the criminals or
vigilantes, you’re part of a series of tasks you opposed to other
players at opposite reasons. Through your success, your character
acquires better equipment. But this new prospect does not mean a real
MMOG APB, for several reasons. Firstly, besides cutting the city into
three districts, we must know that they are instantiated and cater for
only 100 players maximum, which is not what we see as a population
"massive". On the other hand, exceptions which will be discussed in due
course, it is impossible to open fire on a player from the opposing
faction if you do not object within a mission. PvP is not open to the
At the same time, we cannot help thinking that he would have made the
conduct of missions a tad chaotic. We can judge in a few months with the
arrival promised by the developers of a district that promises chaos
clashes at a larger scale. In the present state of things, APB is barely
distinguishable from a multiplayer GTA IV. The simultaneous action by
other groups of players is mainly used to ensure the atmosphere (this
duck in every sense, damaged vehicles explode, frightened bystanders
fled …), but in reality each work in his corner. Your actions have,
anyway, not the slightest influence on the surrounding world, far too
During the first ten hours, however I felt that something was amiss,
that had nothing to do with time. In fact, I did not really want to go
out in the hot sun; I was just looking for a reason to stop playing APB.
This is not unusual in itself. The game testers may have to force
himself to play terrible things and nobility is to play much longer than
any sane human being would want to do. However, APB does not exhibit
defects that are typical for a bad game to start, just a studio –
Realtime Worlds – whose last game, Crackdown , is personally one of my
favorite titles on the Xbox 360 and whose responsible for creation have
cut their teeth on small projects like … Grand Theft Auto .
APB is a game remarkably successful and polish. I have played many MMOs
at their launch and, if they have one thing in common is a chaotic start
– the server problems, lack of stability, customers riddled with bugs,
half-finished content and functions not yet implemented are commonplace.
This is not the case of APB , this does not mean that the game is
technically perfect, but it is closer to any of the MMOs that I played
If my lack of enthusiasm for APB could be put down to technical
malfunctions easily remediable, there was always a glimmer of hope. It
is much harder cons to make a patch to make a fun game that has
apparently forgotten to be. It’s a terrible statement and I have to
explain it. APB is a game where you have to drive and shoot. It takes
the basic model of Grand Theft Auto and he tries to put in a massively
The way to achieve this has been extensively studied and some solutions
have been found very intelligent, but the basic idea is simple – you
choose a camp for your character, that is to say that you make is a
criminal or a representative of the law, and every time you start a
mission the game tells the players of the same region and their mission
is to stop you.
Another highlight of the circumstances of the game is about killing for
killing. This type of attack transients that our reputation will plummet
and we are susceptible to an attack by the rival gang or the server can
line up against an entire army because we feel like we have earned name
above. Our movements will be through different parts of the city where
they can accumulate up to a hundred players with their characters
simultaneously. Thus, fights among factions accepted up to twenty to
twenty using different weapons and cars for infractions to the masses, a
true spectacle worthy of the best street fights.
The clothes and the
Like any self-respecting MMO game begins with the creation of your
character. The first choice that you will require one of your faction,
Criminals or Avengers. You have the choice between allowing free rein to
your dark side and break the law to live as you want or put your
talents to help bring justice and peace in San Paro, willingly or
forcibly. There are some notable differences between the two factions.
An Arbiter shall not affect the residents of San Paro, they can use
lethal weapons to stop a criminal and he has the opportunity to report
to his colleagues a player who breaks the law. As for criminals, they
can rob and assault passers windows. Your decision, you’re in the
character editor and we can say that the possibilities are enormous.
Everything is customizable in detail so you can create an avatar of your
dreams: the size, height, hair, eyes the color of your skin, makeup and
any tattoos and scars.
All Points Bulletin do not stop in so good way and offers through the
district office of the City of San Paro customize much more than your
physical character. The district office is a little break between your
two shootings. The fights are prohibited, so you can quietly stroll
through the mall. We happily discovered that not only can rebuild a
wardrobe to his taste, but also paint and tune your car. And if the
symbols and decals available to you do not suit you, an editor is
available. It appears very comprehensive and has all the tools necessary
to give free rein to your imagination.
You will need a good amount of talent and expertise to take full
advantage. All Points Bulletin still in the customization to the extreme
and we propose to create a theme song about 5 seconds that your
opponents will hear each time that they inflict the fatal blow. You will
understand APB only limited by the creative talent of the players. You
will be rewarded and will also make a fortune, see them get additional
playing time, if you can sell your creations to the marketplace, the
auction house APB.
Payment for hours:
So far, how much massive online play was to have a monthly, quarterly or
yearly and thus pay to play as much against it. APB also brings
innovation when it comes to this administration and, according to
developers, to save money during the time that you are not playing in
the case of making a minimum purchase of twenty hours. The payment will
be made by the game, which will be available to the average price
whatsoever, about fifty euros, which will also include fifty hours of
play. From there the purchase of hours shall be by payment of about six
euros for twenty hours and about nine or ten euros to buy thirty days.
The study also reported in the same event to be possible to buy packs
with more time but still do not know the figures.
In these circumstances it seems difficult to justify the proposed
monthly subscription. But well aware of the direction of her baby, who
is a bad MMO but a good multi track, Worli Realtime offers 50 free hours
of play (which are consumed in the districts of missions) and the
possibility of buying Packs of 20 hours at a fairly reasonable price.
That’s much better to glue the optical APB, much funnier when applied in
small amounts from time to time with pals. For if the principle is
neither very deep nor very original, it offers a fun and immediate
constant buoyancy. It’s simple: once logged in, you’re in the heat of
the action. Just as in City of Heroes, the progression is built around a
system of contacts that offer distance missions.
Once the task is accepted, you complete a series of successive
objectives that can make it evolve. You are asked to pick up such a
vehicle, then use it to fetch more supplies before having to face
opponents who wish to take it …. The characteristic that is the
strength of APB is that the missions involve never any NPC and are
designed to confront players with conflicting objectives. One of two
things: either you opt for the manual creation of a group to play with
friends or with your clan, or you’re alone and you have the option to
request the game you automatically find teammates.
In both cases, a matchmaking system to support or oppose a group of the
opposing faction. So effective it might be, it remains dependent on
small number of players on each instance, which sometimes leads to crash
into opponents with a threat level and rank higher than yours, that is
to say, the better equipped players and more powerful. Fortunately, in
case of imbalance in the forces, you can call in reinforcements from
other groups of players in your faction, knowing that the mission may
involve up to 20 participants on each side. Complete a mission can begin
increasing your level of reputation with the contact who gave it to you
and the organization to which it belongs, giving you access to better
weapons and new elements customization for your character and your
But it also gives you the prestige (for the justices) or fame (for
criminals). This line of temporary increase affects your reputation and
gains can compensate the lack of timely full PvP at max, you get the
opportunity to shoot anyone and become a target for all players in the
district. Another feature that promotes interactions among players: if a
criminal can do bad things (breaking windows, stealing cars) in
parallel missions, vigilante has the option to report all crimes
recorded and chase / stop the player involved.
The missions bring into sharp relief the weakness of the battle of the
game as many games with mediocre shooter mechanisms, it is infinitely
easier to camp on his positions and defend, so that the second team to
arrive on the objective will usually chopped up and will wait to
regenerate to 200 meters away to start from the assault and get shot up
again. I do not pretend to be an outstanding player, but usually when I
reach the goal first, I win the mission when I get there mate, I die
again and again.
Factors still aggravating, sometimes a team will make only a few seconds
to scan the passage of time allotted for the mission, the fact that
after having seized the position, the enemies have to keep only a few
seconds for the win – Realtime Worlds with oddly determined to win would
be held to that position during the passage of time, and not one who
would be retained for the greater part of the mission.
Things become even more annoying in missions where you have to keep an
object. In general, the first player who will be on hand to rush as
quickly as possible to darken and a vehicle through the city at high
speed until time runs out. There is not much to do to counter this,
especially if the player has taken a small lead. Unless he makes a
mistake and had an accident (which is, admittedly, quite plausible given
the side’s erratic driving of vehicles) will scroll slowly until the
time flow and it will win.
These huge shortcomings are all the more regrettable as they sabotage
the many clever ideas and clever design which is based on the structure
of the game There is something deeply satisfying in the meta-game of APB
, which allows you engage in all sorts of free activities (stealing
cars, scaring pedestrians or smash the windows of stores when it is a
criminal, be a witness to crimes and their perpetrators loop when you
are a representative of the law) and you drink to d a steady stream of
optional tasks on your PDA internal to the game it will be new missions
to undertake, or invitations to join other players have asked for your
support to tackle a difficult goal.
The support system in particular is a great idea. Basically, this means
that if you play the game solo, you can move from one group to another,
play a mission with a group of people and join another happens when the
next application for support. The game focuses heavily on team play, but
the support system makes it possible to play solo – and even if you are
frequently associated with morons finished, as is the case in all the
games online, will be at least that during the few minutes that lasts
for a mission, after which you can find a new team with which to play.
Unfortunately, the poor shooting and driving are not the only elements
that sabotage the system. The matching engine which is entirely based on
the experience of APB is also pretty inept. At first I thought that
this was just a poorly designed program, but I quickly realized that the
more fundamental problem is the extremely limited number of players to
associate with each other.
So well designed as they are, the missions are varied enough and quickly
become repetitive. This preserves their interest in the medium term
(one should avoid talking about the long term) is their scale PvP
against a human opponent remains unpredictable, a mission already played
X times can still surprise you. It must be said that the clashes
proposed by APB, whether motorized or not, have certain dynamism,
although the grip is not necessarily more intuitive. In fact, if it is a
pleasure for passengers to be able to get through the window of a car
or open the door of a van during a chase, the driver should know to
share his lot cold sweat as the driving of vehicles appears rigid and
We made it in time, but still! Moreover, it is very likely that you will
not want to negotiate your first gunfights. Singles in their approach,
yet they remain too vague, the lack of a camera damn bad that sometimes
makes aiming difficult, or the lack somewhat troublesome gauge life: if
you know full well when you are injured because the screen is gray, you
cons by difficulty in knowing when you hit your opponent, management
Hitbox is revealing quite disconcerting. Some also criticize the
perfected balance of weapons (some are useless, others are required),
which needs to be corrected.
Yet, they are falling further improved in comparison with GST solos that
are flooding the market, fighting to remain pleasant APB because they
enjoy an excellent level design. The mission objectives are often in
well-chosen offering a real variety of approaches and an ideal
playground for ambushes (which is always a pleasure to get to the roof
to surprise the enemy that awaits you hidden behind a trash can).
Overall, the city of San Paro is extremely well designed. The size of
the district, well studied, allows players to cross often. It was great
fun running into the streets jostling passers by climbing the barricades
where the doors by pushing for the rally at the earliest goal of a
mission. Starsky and Hutch and Miami Vice are never very far!
This immersion successful based on a sound dimension particularly
effective, starting a voice chat that you can hear other players
(regardless of faction) to discuss locally as long as you get closer
enough. Already experienced in other securities multi, it is integrated
here in a truly convincing. At the visual level, there will be more
reserved. If the characters and vehicles have been modeled with care and
finesse, generic environments and too little texture reminiscent of a
Second Life revived the day. So why the load time of unbearable
heaviness and the system requirements?
My reaction ahead of the game is that it provides innovative things to
the field of massive online games. First is an action game in the third
person with the seal of the creators of the first Grand Theft Auto as
security. Second payment methods are aimed at an audience with an age
and lower availability of cash to which they depend are likely to have a
high annual fee. What is also revealed is that the player can earn
hours of play through the overcoming of some missions and actions during
the game without paying a single euro.
The customization is another of the strengths with which ABS will gain
the respect of players. The level of customization reaches every corner
imaginable and really get a single operator for the adventure of it will
be impossible to find a copy as well. The quality of these models is to
admire and really be the ideal complement to a game of this nature.
Speaking of APB is to do a series of wide open spaces for which they
have designed all types of buildings – both interior and exterior –
streets, neighborhoods, alleys and tunnels. This great work will give us
the opportunity to guide your character through the houses, gardens and
streets and boulevards different jumping fences. The level of this game
closely resembles the game that comes so sometimes find old but it
works exceptionally scenarios.
It’s simple: if APB also shows resource-intensive and solicitation of
servers is that you can change almost everything to your liking, thanks
to an ultra-customization system Complete. In the absence of class and
character sheet statistics, and if we exclude the possibility to benefit
from some improvements and release roles (opening for benefits)
depending on how you play, customizing your avatar is essentially
cosmetic. It was therefore necessary that the game provides on the
ground, and the contract is fulfilled: the editor whose power and
flexibility in no way inferior to that of Champions Online, you can edit
it your face, your clothes , your tattoos or your vehicle by changing
colors, patterns, decals to apply … You can even create your own
symbols, and if the (relative) complexity of the tool has enough to
frighten anyone who wants to plunge your hands dirty, the result is
Although we cannot really judge the content of an MMO in the first weeks
of its release, All Points Bulletin, wearing a monthly subscription,
but nevertheless with some big flaws are easily recoverable. There
remains the alternative to buy hours of fun with unlimited use and there
is certainly pulled its pin qu’APB the game with an atmosphere of
frantic chase cops / gangsters delirious, and a system Personalization
very thorough, APB is perfect for casual parties with friends, but in
the long term future seems less certain.
Perhaps what is most disturbing in the game of Realtime Worlds? The
customization options are great players, the game client is very well
done and effective – for cons, the most critical aspects on which APB
was not entitled to the mistake, driving, shooting and structure
assignments seem weaklings and neglected. There are only two "Action
Districts" in the game and even if they are immense, the scenery is
varied and the missions that we ask you to make start to become
repetitive after a few hours. We really feel that the developers were so
concerned about interior design and furniture they forgot to build the
house itself properly.
Coming from a team the caliber of Realtime Worlds, it is not surprising
that APB is not really terrible – as I said, it is successful and
polish, and some of its elements, such as the structure of the meta play
and the customization of the player are fantastic. Nevertheless, it is
undeniable that the game is extremely disappointing and flashes of
genius that only serve to further highlight its mediocrity.
By dramatically reducing the importance of NPC and handing the
opposition and cooperation between players in the center of the system,
APB: All Points Bulletin was on track to revolutionize a genre now
entrenched in his beliefs. Unfortunately, the lack of open PvP, lack of
influence on the surrounding world and the instantiation of the universe
pronounced kill in the bud scale MMO yet promising. Realtime Worlds has
chosen to give birth to a set ambitious but less likely to get a dose
of fun immediately, while entrusting the player many customization
tools. We like it or not this bias, we cannot help thinking that in the
long term, APB is sentenced to falter. If we ignore its faults, APB is an action game friendly entertainment with friends occasionally.