APB, All Points Bulletin, was a great game concept launched by Real Time Worlds. The game was a MMO with third person shooter, and RPG elements. The graphics were amazing. The gameplay was initially fun, but quickly grew tiresome. Customization is where this game truly shined though.
As of September 17, 2010 Real Time Worlds closed their servers for good. They did not state why the servers were being closed, but it has been guessed that budgetary problems played a huge role. The lack of support and pay to play structure caused many gamers to leave. This review will stand as a record of what could have been a truly great game given the right support, and visionaries.
This is the initial statement given by Realtime Worlds APB staff:
“APB has been a fantastic journey, but unfortunately that journey has come to a premature end. Today we are sad to announce that despite everyone’s best efforts to keep the service running; APB is coming to a close. It’s been a pleasure working on APB and with all its players. Together we were building an absolutely amazing game, and for that, we thank you. You guys are awesome!
From all of the Realtime World staff we thank you for your continued support.
The servers are still up, so join the party and say goodbye!
– Ben ‘APBMonkey’ Bateman (Community Officer)”
The website apb.com and all subdomains have been removed to obtain the rest of the announcement thread.
APB was a massive multiplayer role playing game with third person shooter elements. It was highly anticipated, and the release was amazing. The structure of the game is simple. You choose to be an enforcer or a criminal. Enforcers were cops, and criminals were just that. The game would use a somewhat bugged matchmaking system to offer missions. During these missions a group from the opposite faction was “dispatched” to stop you.
This structure of gameplay caused many frantic hours of cops vs robbers virtual play. It quickly became repetitive however, and popularity dwindled.
The matchmaking system that was developed was flawed. It was intended to match equally skilled players, but often would match players capable of using much superior weapons and vehicles against new players with limited equipment. To level up quickly became a grindfest, but instead of killing a bunch of annoying NPC’s one was forced to deal with competent players facing them. If they lost they did not obtain the reward for the mission.
This structure of gameplay was an amazing idea. And the possibilities with this idea were endless. But ultimately the problems with the game were not addressed. This lead to the eventual downfall.
This is the one thing Realtime Worlds nailed. The system could have been better implemented, and user friendly, but if you are of the artistic type the possibilities were endless. You could create symbols at a kiosk dedicated to this. These symbols were then allowed to be put on virtually anything. Clothing, Skin (Tats), cars, if it was in the game you could customize it. This lead to a super competitive marketplace.
Many hours were spent in the social districts customizing everything, which made every player unique. Full tats, unique and interesting cars, and custom clothing ran rampant. No two people were alike, unless of course it was done by intention. The only thing Realtime Worlds could have done better here is provided a more photoshop like interface.
Realtime Worlds was just unable to deliver what they had promised, and did not garner the customer base to continue with their business model.
EA Games is reimbursing individuals who purchased APB. There is no guarantee what they will reimburse you, but there are rumors of any game in the EA store digital delivery area, 25% off coupons, and 20 dollars off any purchase. I can confirm the 20 dollar reimbursement for a steam purchase myself. Read my article on how to obtain reimbursement: