Rather than recap the sad tale of APB, I’ll simply point to this Massively.com article that explains what happened to the Realtime Worlds-developed title and its subsequent resurrection as APB: Reloaded by free-to-play publisher, GamersFirst.
APB: Reloaded is now in open beta, and I’ve spent a good portion of the week playing it. And I’m having a blast. I had played the closed beta of the RTW version, but I decided against purchasing it at the time, because I didn’t feel it had enough content to be worth a full box price.
In APB, you choose to play as either the criminals or the enforcers. Enforcers are like the city’s police, though really they’re criminals with badges. The game has two main district types: social and action. In the social district, you can customize your character, clothes, cars, and more. Much has been said about the customization in this game, and for good reason. It’s practically infinite. The action district is where the combat takes place. When you’re ready to fight, you set your Ready status, and within minutes (if not faster), you’ll be given a mission. Missions are really just a way to match you up into a PvP fight, though, so don’t go into it expecting a deep tale of society gone wrong.
It’s hard to explain what playing APB feels like. There’s the rush of adrenaline when you’re in the middle of a mission and you see the enemy ahead of you, and you carjack an NPC’s car and try to run the player over. The black humor of mowing down NPCs in your attempt to get out of the way of another player driving an armored truck full speed down the middle of the road. The awe at coming upon another group of players in a mission, seeing a truck fly over your head to flip and land upside down, and the players jump out with their guns at the ready and duck into a side alley. And the thrill at performing a perfect bootlegger’s reverse while your gang members hang out the car firing their SMGs at the guys chasing you.
Something is always going on in San Paro. You’ll laugh so hard tears will flow when you realize that a multi-car pile-up in APB means literally that the cars are piled on top of each other. You’ll cheer when that guy who killed you twice in a row jumps in a car, you give chase, and when he jumps out you ram him into the wall, finally collecting the bounty on his head. (Honestly, I couldn’t stop smiling for ten minutes after that).
I can’t say how long I’ll end up playing APB. It depends on how often they add new action districts. (Right now there are only two). But if you see CrazyMachine on the Colby US server, come over and say hi.