‘APB: All Points Bulletin’ Relodad is a video game for Windows PCs available for play online and – similar to the GTA franchise – is set within a city environment. Players are able to choose to control either of two competing groups, one involved in committing crimes, and the other tasked with stopping those crimes. This is where APB diverges from the GTA series, in that you can also control law enforcement agents in APB.
The gameplay consists of the two sides competing against each other in various missions. For example, the ‘Criminal’ players may steal a car within the game. The game will then appoint ‘Enforcers’ of equivalent ranking to halt the crime and destroy the ‘Criminal’ group. Players earn in-game currency and points upon completion of these tasks, which are then used for weapon’s upgrades, additional vehicles and advanced character attributes. It also differs from GTA in that it is available as a free-to-play MMO videogame.
The game is set within the contemporary conurbation of San Paro and is played in the 3rd person perspective. 2 of the districts within the city have, like the GTA series, their own daytime cycle and pedestrians with A.I. It is within these immersive districts that missions take place. The remaining district acts as a social area featuring auctioneers, garages, and studios. Within this district players, even if they’re from opposing groups, are unable to harm each other. In the other districts game-players can attack rivals during missions. But when outside of these missions players can still use weapons, however to prevent deathmatching and griefing, the ammunition is ineffectual. There are 2 further districts which allow for deathmatch action for experienced players.
The style of APB Reloaded means that it is often compared with the GTA series, but its online provision means that its surpasses GTA in at least this regard. Its free-to-play nature is also an attraction after it relaunch, however, it is not in the same class as the GTA series of games. It lacks the quality writing and fully immersive nature of Rockstar’s titles and as a result does not compare all that favourably overall. It may be a decent little game, but lacks the depth of any of the latter GTA titles.
Despite its failings, with missions becoming rather stale and repetitive quickly, the ability to team up with friends online, and the ability to choose your faction – as Enforcer or Criminal – means that the game is worth a play. The fact that it is now free also means that there is no risk involved, but it is not in the same league as the latter GTA games. As a result it is a decent time-filler, but will not take over your life in the same way as playing Rockstar’s games.
About K2 Network
The game was designed by David Jones and was published by Realtime Worlds. Realtime Worlds was a software company from Dundee, Scotland, founded in 2002 by Dave Jones, who developed Lemmings and the original GTA. By 17 August 2010, just 6 weeks after APB's release, Realtime Worlds suffered an insolvency event which led to redundancies from their Dundee office, and the closure of their Colorado office.
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