DescriptionAPB: All Points Bulletin is an MMOG set in a the modern-day, fictional city of San Paro. Conceived by David Jones, the creator of the Grand Theft Auto series, it is centered around gang-based shooting and racing. It is based around two factions, Criminals and Enforcers, and the player has to choose a side, to either fight crime or to take a part in it. The title All Points Bulletin refers to how events are generated. If criminals for instance plan to rob a store, the game seeks out a small group of enforcers of equal skill and abilities (often four-on-four, but also with teams of ten players) to prevent the robbing by issuing an all-points bulletin. This is done by dividing the city in two action areas for up to 80 players simultaneously. The game's open city world can be explored freely, but the events depend entirely on the players' actions and are not driven by AI or pre-defined quests. As such it offers only player-vs-player combat (PvP). Not every player can be shot however, only when they are matched to oppose you in an assignment. Missions usually consist of different steps for both sides and both factions start at a similar distance from the objective so there is no advantage for either side. The game can be played alone, but a team-based approach is encouraged. Often assignments will be streamed to a team leader who can decide to accept a task or not.
Based on past performances the players are ranked with a prestige or infamy level, from 0 to 5, used for the matchmaking process. The level can also decrease when a player does not perform well, hinders the action or kills team members. At level 0 the city can be explored freely and no enemy players are dispatched. Each level comes with different rewards and objectives. At level 5 a bounty is placed on the character's head. At that point it is fair game for anyone: any player of any faction on the server can interact with the character and kill that person for a large sum of money. Level 5 status generally does not last for a long time, but comes with the best rewards. This generally also attracts bounty hunters not assigned to a specific faction. Criminals need to kill opponents, but enforcers have the option to stun and then arrest them. This puts criminals out of the game for a longer time and is rewarded with more prestige.
Completing missions is also required to buy new weapons, clothing, cars, accessories, upgrades and vehicles. These are sold by NPC contacts. Certain weapons are only unlocked after completing a specific task or by achieving a certain standing. Ammunition can be bought from a Joker vending machine. These upgrades and unlockables serve as what is commonly the levelling aspect of MMORPGs. In APB there are no level-ups for stats and abilities, but at higher levels upgrades provide more health, speed or damage, or less recoil, in addition to the new items and upgrade options. The shooting is done from a third-person above-the-shoulder camera perspective. That way it is possible to peek around corners. It is also possible to zoom and right click for a better aim. Health is re-generated over time without items.
The game puts an emphasis on the characters and provides extensive tools of customization. Players can define facial structures, age, makeup, weight and height, muscularity, custom clothing and even tattoos. The same is offered for the customization of cars with different types, paint styles, decals and various attachments, even with the possibility to play a short, custom music fragment when an opponent is killed.
Music from a hard drive can be synchronized with the in-game radio. When another player has the song as well, it will be played as ambient music coming from the radio when other characters board the car. If not, the game interacts with the Last.FM website and will match other players' music with similar artists to provide similar tunes.
The game needs to be bought and is also subscription-based. Players can choose to buy hours of game time for action districts, or opt for an unlimited playtime option for 30 days. The base game comes with 50 hours of game time by default.
There are no Windows screenshots for this game.
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The Press Says
|GamingTrend||2010||69 out of 100||69|
|PC Games (Germany)||Jul, 2010||64 out of 100||64|
|Eurogamer.net (UK)||Jul 02, 2010||6 out of 10||60|
|Meristation||Jul 12, 2010||6 out of 10||60|
|Gamereactor (Sweden)||Jul 05, 2010||5 out of 10||50|
|Level||Sep, 2010||5 out of 10||50|
|Play.tm||Jul 03, 2010||45 out of 100||45|
|InsideGamer||Jul 08, 2010||3.5 out of 10||35|
|Destructoid||Jul 06, 2010||3.5 out of 10||35|
|1UP||Jul 06, 2010||D||25|
|Topic||# Posts||Last Post|
|Last Chance||6||vedder (20147)
Sep 18, 2010
Australian releaseAPB: All Points Bulletin was denied an Australian release due to Realtime Worlds' inability to host local servers there.
Server shutdown & acquisitionIn August 2010, hardly more than two months after the game's release, developer Realtime Worlds was placed into administration. In September 2010 the company announced that no buyer had been found and the servers would be shut down. That happened soon after. In November 2010 the game was purchased by K2 Network for £1.5 million. The servers did not come back online, but K2 Network announced that its subsidiary Reloaded Productions would rework the game and launch it as a free-to-play title in the first half of 2011. It was eventually released in December 2011 as APB Reloaded.
Related Web Sites
- APB: All Points Bulletin (official game website)
- Wikipedia: APB: All Points Bulletin (article in the open encyclopedia)