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All Point Bulletin (APB) Guides & Reviews

All Point Bulletin (APB)

APB: Reloaded Review by RoflKnife

  • Author: RoflKnife
  • Last Updated: June 10th, 2011

Warning: This review is copyright of the review author listed above and reprinted by permission by ggFTW. This review may not be reprinted on any other site without express written permission from the review author. Game elements are copyrights of their respective developer and publisher.

APB: Reloaded is a modern open world MMO shooter. It originally debuted as a subscription-based game, but the game was plagued with problems, and failed, resulting in a shutdown of the game. Reloaded Productions picked the game up and brushed it up, offering it as a now free-to-play game with a cash shop.

System - 7/10

APB: Reloaded requires a modern computer to play smoothly, especially due to the nature of the game. Graphic tweaking options are all there, hotkeys and odds and ends are there, and the engine is decent, neither being a resource hog or being extremely efficient. Different servers for different regions, and tons of smaller instances of the game world to ensure smooth gameplay, bases are covered quite well. But there's only one giant, gaping, annoying problem. Every time you navigate an item menu in order to view a car, a weapon, and such, (A bit hard to explain...) the game wants you to sit there, twiddling your thumbs for a few seconds, while it loads the said item in a "new window". A lot of the in-game menus are slow and clunky actually, and this annoys me to no end. It's so damn frustrating...auugh!

Graphics - 8/10

Everything looks pretty nice, with minor quirks here and there, but nothing really noteworthy. What's very nice is the game's ability to display custom decals, sprays, designs, and other player-created content, which will be explained in more detail later.

Gameplay - 12/20

The best way to describe APB: Reloaded's gameplay, is with: "Grand Theft Auto". There are two opposing factions, enforcers and criminals. Enforcers are the "law", and criminals are...well, crooks. Players run around a city, driving cars, traversing the cityscape while completing their mission, guns a blazing. You can enter select buildings, climb ladders, kick down doors, and whatever else you can think of to get to your destination. Now of course, it doesn't give anywhere near the freedom a GTA game would give, but for a MMO, it's a good attempt.

The game emphasizes customization a GREAT deal. Extremely detailed player creation, along with clothes customization. You can customize nearly every aspect in aesthetics and bells and whistles in APB: Reloaded! Buy whatever car you want, paint it, put whatever decals, symbols, text, whatever on it you want. While the weapons selection is kinda lacking, there are many weapon modifications to change them to your play style. Did I mention, there's character and even car modifications as well? APB: Reloaded might possibly be the most customizable MMO out there.

APB Reloaded Screenshots

My god, the possibilities are endless!

Now let's get down to the main meat of the game. You will group up with other players and take up missions that involve stealing cars, raiding areas, delivering drugs, and others things, depending on your faction. These missions may go without a hitch, making the game a cake walk, purely PvE, or, the opposite faction may dispatch another group of players against you, which is what happens most of the time. The missions happen in stages, and a given group must complete all of the stages, which each have an objective, to win the mission. Now this, I find very silly, because if the opposing team is able to prevent the other team from completing their objective at ANY stage, be it the 2nd out of 5 stages, or the 99th out of 100 stages, the team that must complete the stages loses. There is no advantage whatsoever to completing the stages, it simply serves to give the opposition more chances to stop the other team, and win. Missions are attached to NPCs, and by doing their missions, you will "level" your relationship with said NPC, unlocking clothing, cars, and weapons.

On that subject, I find many of the missions quite flawed. One of them is a sort of king of the hill, where one of the factions must hold an area until time runs up. Here's the thing: it's the group that holds it when time runs out, there is no consideration given whatsoever to the time that group was holding it! Another mission may have one team hunting the other one down. The hunted team may simply get in cars and scatter, and make it very hard for the other team to kill them. In my experience, it's nearly impossible for the hunters to win if the hunted scatter in a car. Keep in mind, these missions all have a time limit!

Let's move on to weapons. I'd like to mention that there are no headshots, and you take the same amount of damage whether you were shot in the foot, or the chest. Weapons have a "rank" aka level requirement, NPC "level" requirement, and "role" requirement. Roles are pretty much your level with a given weapon type. APB: Reloaded takes place in a city, and very often in alleys and enclosed areas. Naturally, it favours close and maybe mid ranged weapons, which is disappointing. You have a primary and secondary weapon. Primary weapons include SMGs, light machine guns, semi automatics, assault rifles, rocket launchers, and "snipers". SMGs and assault rifles simply dominate the game. Given the environment of the game, and the sheer utility and damage of the two, they're simply the best choice, especially since it doesn't matter where you shoot someone.

Running and gunning is encouraged (Especially with the types of weapons that everyone uses!), and unless you're in a long ranged fire fight, or you're picking people off, which happens rarely, crouching and/or aiming down the scope has very limited use. Many objects that seem like they could be used for cover actually cannot, which is quite annoying, not to mention the collision detection of many things in the game is a pain. Jumping over a guard railing is far harder than it should be, and the game is very picky about how you jump over or on things. Snipers do not have scopes surprisingly either, which probably attributes to their relative uselessness.

Don't get me wrong, all of the primary weapons are relatively viable, but 9/10 times, the SMG and the assault rifle are the best choices in the given situation, and they're simply unbeatable in close and mid-range firefights respectively due to how the game is set up.

Secondary weapons include pistols, revolvers, and machine pistols. Honestly, I have hardly touched these, as I found it very, very hard to rank the role to unlock other secondaries with my terrible starting pistol. I'm skeptical to the usefulness of secondaries, as they just seem so terrible, and the most popular primaries reload quick enough to take away the advantage of switching to a secondary when your primary requires reloading. There are also "less than lethal" versions of weapons, which do not emphasize killing, but rather detaining. These can only be used by enforcers, and they stun their target, allowing enforcers to arrest the criminal.

Vehicles are usually quite durable, and tough to blow up with gunshots. There are a decent variety of vehicles with different mass, speed, durability, and so on, and all of them can run over people. The hitbox detection of running people over is a bit aggravating though, like much of the collision and hitbox detection in the game.

APB Reloaded Screenshots

Believe it or not, this is one of the funnest past times in the game.

The last few things I'd like to mention is that as you play, depending on how well you do, your "prestige" goes up. This is on a 1-5 scale. Once it reaches 5, you will be able to hurt anyone on the opposite faction, and anyone on the opposite faction will be able to hurt you. A bounty is put on you, and players are encouraged to kill you, as you are to kill them. This counter resets when you die. Normally, you cannot hurt anyone that is not involved in your mission, so it's not a true full-scale open world PvP world, but cases like prestige from above are exceptions. What's very annoying however, is the fact that other players can indirectly get in the way of people doing missions. They may ram people driving on missions with a vehicle, delaying them, or even killing them by ramming the car into a wall and blowing it up! Certainly very annoying, or fun, depending on which end you're receiving this at. Other players can also use vehicles to block players on missions, provide cover, or even move them ever so slightly with vehicles. I find this aspect absurdly stupid.

APB: Reloaded retains the fun of screwing around in sandbox games, but there are so many annoying details, and the combat follows the terrible, terrible generic flow every other shooter seems to have now, which is the pure superiority of assault rifles. The regenerating health does not help it step away from this stereotype, and the fact the game pretty much rigs it in favour of those that just want to run and gun and engage in close-quarter confrontations is very disappointing.

Audio - 9/10

Nice voice acting, explosions, gunshots, and a variety of soundtracks give APB: Reloaded a pretty good standing here, not to mention you're able to play your own music in the game!

APB: Reloaded has a great concept, and some good ideas, but it fails to deliver on many fronts. It doesn't completely screw it up though, and can still be a blast to play, especially with friends.

Overall - 36/50

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