E3 2010: APB Hands-On

APB is the newest MMO by Real Time Worlds (RTW), the same studio that brought us Crackdown. APB takes place in the fictional city of San Paro, where 2 rival factions, Criminals and Enforcers, are battling for supremacy. The Criminals are obviously the gang population of the city as the Enforcers are the “police” presence to combat against them. I say “police” because the Enforcers are not just comprised of police, but also of citizens who want to take a stand against the Criminals. Now with that said, we can move on the the good stuff.

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I dropped into the game as a Criminal member in the city. Right at the start I can see that RTW has made great use of the Unreal engine which runs ever so smoothly on their behemoth Alienware setup. Running amok in San Paro was seamless as the controls seemed very similar to any PC FPS, although you play in 3rd person. Instantly I was sent a mission acceptance request on my HUD from my teammates and was on my way to wreaking havoc. I hijacked a car in GTA-esque fashion and headed to my checkpoint where I was to battle with a rival gang.

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I stopped off to pickup a teammate on the way, whom after hopping into my car, was able to hang out the passenger side window and unload a clip into anyone who got in our way. As we arrived,  I ran around with an AK-47 and Desert Eagle, both of which are very effective weapons; you can throw grenades as well. The health system is similar to that of COD, where there is no health bar and you have to take yourself out of the action to heal. If you were to die, you would respawn nearby and rejoin the action within seconds, which is great because I hate having to run halfway across a map from a spawn point to regroup with teammates.

Once the carnage was done and my squad prevailing, I was on my way to creating more chaos. After a few more missions which included breaking and entering, stealing cars and delivering stolen goods, I was ready to check out the customization side of the game. One of RTW’s UI artists, Dani Roberge, was on hand to show me the ropes on the in-depth customization options that the game has to offer.

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First we took a look at the character modifications and all I can say is that the possibilities are practically endless. The character editing system is similar to that of Oblivion, where you can adjust almost every element of your character’s body, from facial structure, down to body tone. One cool feature is that you can make tattoos and scars appear fresh or weathered and anything in between.

Dani then proceeded to show me the logo creator tools; apparently the developers didn’t want to water down the tools to gamers, so they included the exact same creator tools they used in creating the game. The car painting tools are similar to Forza 3’s, which is based on a multiple layering system. Another nice feature the game offers is that a person can create custom logos in a free version of the game and sell them in a storefront to other players. Then, whatever monetary compensation that you get for your designs, you can use it to pay for a monthly subscription. So the game has the ability to pay for itself in a sense.

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In the 45min to an hour that I spent on the game, I can honestly say that I was hooked. This is one title that I would definitely consider buying AND paying a monthly subscription. The game has an official release date of June 29, 2010.

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Narvin Seegoolam
Narvin Seegoolam 712 posts

Narvin's middle name is FPS....ok maybe not, but he's like BOOM!! HEADSHOT!! I'm hungry...