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APB: Reloaded

All Points Bulletin (APB) 

General Discussion  » 1st day in the game, my review (from a software engineer and gamer of 20+ years)

11 posts found
  HappyFunBall

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/14/06
Posts: 207

"Thank God I'm an atheist!"

 
OP  8/08/11 11:58:46 AM#1

In general, there's some stuff to like, but my overall experence left me wanting so much more and just frustrated me.  I feel that the game has a lot of potential, but it was held back by really strange design decisions, bad technology (lot's of delays loading things), strange GUI's, poor actually gameplay, etc.  I was confused as what to do to progress in the game most of the time.  I was fighting the GUI instead of using it or playing the game.  I design and implent GUI's for a living, as well as other types of programming, so I had a lot of issues with the GUI in this game (graphical user interface for those who didn't know).

The game is a strange cross between cops and robbers, and a fashion contest too.  I didn't really understand the mix, and why they designed it that way.

Yes, I know it's in "beta", but beta really means "Done, but with bugs to work out".  I'm a principal software engineer, take my word for it.  Unfortunately, the term "beta" is overused, and is applied even when most games are in the aplha stage.  I hate when a valid term is misused, thus changing it's meaning, and making it a useless term by doing so.

What I liked:

The character custimization was amazing.  There's a ton of it, and you can go insane with it if you want to.  You can even design tattoo's later on (I'll mention this later).  The city was cool... I liked the graphics, the cars, driving, the artwork, and so forth, to a point.  Combat was, well, so-so.  I wish I could list more things I liked...

What I didn't like:

The combat was, well, annoying.  When people have played much longer than you have, they have MUCH better equipment, thus, can kill you much easier than you can kill them.  This WOULD be just fine, and normal if everyone wasn't grouped together regardless of play time.  There's no "level" of your character, so you are mixed in with people that have much better weapons than you do, making some combat very frustrating.  I am used to all other MMO's that let you avoid PvP with characters that are 100 times stronger than you.  It's like bringing a knife to a gun fight.  Pointless.

Your character has no health bar that I could find.  I got sick of trying to figure out the strange interface to this game, and stopped looking for it.  It has that, greying of the screen graphics (and blood or such) that some other games use..like Crysis 2.. you know when you are hurt, but you have no idea exactly how bad off you are, EXACTLY how much more damage you can take, and you don't have this exact info when you heal up either... when the screen goes back to normal, you know you can fight again, but again, I couldn't find any indicator for this info.  I really, really, really do not like this type of not knowing my health rate...

It's worse when you don't know how damaged your opponent is either.  I absolutely HATED that.  In the real world, and I've been in plenty of fights, you always have a good idea of where you are at, as well as your opponent.  Losing this information makes combat SUCK, in my opinion.  I always felt like I was fighting blind.

There's no armor in the game at all, from what I've seen.  NONE.  I hated this too.  While it was funny, I was in a group fighting agains another group of bikini clad women, and they were owning us.  This seemed ridiculous because it made the combat ridiculous, when the combat in this game wasn't meant to be, especially if you look at how detailed the weapon stats are.  I would think cops and even criminals could get helmets, bullet-proof vests, kevlar, and other body armor.  Nada!

To custimize your toon, you have to go to a different channel, and use kiosks.  I didn't know this, and no one would tell me when I asked, which I found really, really annoying.  I didn't like having to not only change my zone, but use silly kiosks to change different things about my character.  They also load very slowly, and even each time you demo a piece of clothing, there's a decent delay to see what it looks like.  This should be a local file, if it isn't, and be IMMEDIATE.

There's a slew more I didn't like, but I'm just complaining now, so I'll leave it at that ;)  I guess I was let down because I keep looking for a game to stick with for a while, and I'm just not finding it (a multiplayer game that is).  Everything seemed to be so much better when I started gaming, and it's gone downhill since.  Sure the technology, sound and graphics and such are WAY better, but the game design is definately, NOT.  Luckily, most of you young gamers won't miss what you never had.

Games nowadays:

Now games just add the F-bomb, vulgarity and so on to appeal to, well, teens maybe?, who knows, but they then slap a Mature or 18+ label on it, when only teens would enjoy the constant swearing.  I don't know many 20-30 year olds, and I don't think they LOVE the F bomb dropped every 3 seconds like it is now in games, and well, TV and movies, WAY more than it ever used to be.  I swear, but I use it in moderation.  I don't like it in my video games, period.

I don't go to the mall, and hit the sales clerk at a store there and say "How much is this F***ing receiver?"  "Is it ever going to be on F***ing sale"?  This is how games and TV are teaching people and society (including children) how life actually is, when it isn't.  I drink at bars with BIKERS at times, and THEY don't even swear this much.

What's worse, is my son is a gamer, and 11 years old now, and he can't play ANYTHING now because of the excessive swearing.  I refuse to accept that this is the way games are now.  I'm a good parent, and I plan to keep him from things he isn't ready for, and things I find morally reprehensible, and things I don't want him copying.  Thanks to these moronic design decisions, he is kept from enjoying TONS of otherwise great games. 

  hanshotfirst

Novice Member

Joined: 11/13/07
Posts: 727

9/08/11 5:54:57 AM#2

IMO, they lost any legitimacy to call this a "beta" the moment they opened the cash shop for business (unless they're planning something radical, like refunding everyone's purchase prior to the game going "live").

Totally agree, customization is phenomenal. Having played everything from Star Wars Galaxies to City of Heroes (and even CCP's latest "Incarna" patch for Eve), absolutely nothing comes close.

I also agree matchmaking in this game is seriously flawed. However, I don't think items play quite as large a role as you may think. Yes of course, there are clearly weapons, mods, vehicles etc. only available to more advanced players that surpass the default noobie gear. But the bigger factor (IMO) is experience. A new player simply doesn't know the lay of the land as well as a seasoned vet. They're a poor judge of effective ranges, counters and so forth. Yet despite all this, as you've noted, the game does a horrible job in both teaching new players and easing them into competitive play.

What's more is outright cheating is also present in APB. It's quite possible some of those folks you assumed were 100x stronger than you were simply using aim-bots, wall-hacks and so on.

I'm kinda on the fence regarding the lack of a health bar. Yes, I can appreciate from a mmorpg background how disorienting it can be not to have one, but it's not uncommon for "shooter" type games (like Crysis). I think its absence serves two purposes: 1) it helps keep you focused on the action, rather than the UI, and 2) it adds an element of uncertainty/risk. Should you take cover from that opponent charging at you guns ablazing? Or can you gamble and try to shoot him dead first?

There is armor, both as a cosmetic option, AND as a stat-enhancing modifier. So yes, you can benefit from the attributes of a kevlar vest while appearing in nothing but a string bikini (or vice versa). Bear in mind however, the benefits are not extreme (a shotgun blast or RPG to the face will still kill you) and there are tangible penalties (kevlar, for example, slows you down considerably).

It took me quite some time as well to discover I had to change districts (instances) in order to further customize my character's appearance. And it took nearly as long to find all the proper kiosks needed. I agree this was frustrating and should have been more obvious for a newcomer, given it's arguably one of the game's biggest strengths (customization). However I haven't experienced any significant delays when editing. (You may want to double check your configuration; APB has unusually high system requirements.)

Regarding the excessive swearing… as someone raised on Richard Prior and George Carlin, this more or less rolled off my back and didn't offend me in the slightest. Heck, I'd argue it's fitting given the game's theme and somewhat added to the immersion.

What *did* catch me off guard however was the apparent tolerance of (player generated) Neo-Nazi and White Supremacist characters, logos, themes and so on. While yes, this too I'll concede falls within the realm of being thematically appropriate, it still surprised me. I mean I get it's teh interweb and a f2p title (with little-to-no barrier of entry). But wow, watching someone in-game driving a van adorned with swastikas and numerous racial epithets was not expected.

Ironicly, the prevalence of gay-bashing and rape/pedophilia-related "humor" (once again, player generated) did not surprise me. Those too are quite commonplace in APB as well. 

  Rhianne

Novice Member

Joined: 5/20/08
Posts: 58

9/13/11 6:27:12 PM#3
Originally posted by HappyFunBall

The combat was, well, annoying.  When people have played much longer than you have, they have MUCH better equipment, thus, can kill you much easier than you can kill them.  This WOULD be just fine, and normal if everyone wasn't grouped together regardless of play time.  There's no "level" of your character, so you are mixed in with people that have much better weapons than you do, making some combat very frustrating.  I am used to all other MMO's that let you avoid PvP with characters that are 100 times stronger than you.  It's like bringing a knife to a gun fight.  Pointless.

Well said, and this is one of the absolute worst points of the game. Technically, there IS a form of level for your character, your R rating, which is an indication of how far you've progressed through the NPC contacts, and, commensurately, how many weapons, vehicles, and upgrades you've unlocked. It's also a strong indicator of how much time you've spent in the game and how much experience you have, though premium makes your progression go faster.

This would be a wonderful score to use in matchmaking. But unfortunately, they ignore it utterly. In WoW, they had the basic sense enough to place characters into brackets for battlegrounds so that players of roughly comparable power could have a fun game. WoW also correctly decided that the highest level would be in a bracket by itself since, once you reach that level, all you do is amass more power to a degree that you completely eclipse characters just one level below you.

Nope, not in APB! In APB, you get to fight 195 R players, the highest rating in the game. These players have been playing a lot more than you have, have finished the whole game, and have access to the best weapons, the best mods, and the best cars available. These players should be put in a district all to themselves, but no. They will be constantly matched against low level scrubs with far less experience, far inferior weapons, inferior equipment to complete simple timed objectives, and slower vehicles. They will have weapons that you might earn, eventually, after months of play. But in the meantime, expect to face rocket launchers, grenade launchers, and light machine guns, all with level three mods (which you also don't have).

So much for fair.

  swatters

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/25/10
Posts: 6

9/15/11 4:23:20 AM#4

Some games are classless/level-less and the players that play them like it that way.  I like going up against the best players in a more open world even if it means getting my arse handed to me.  To me games set up like WoW frankly suck.

EVE Online is another game where everyone is fair game and it's been doing well.  Battleground Europe is as well (though not doing as well).

  trash656

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/18/05
Posts: 369

It is easier to Fight for Principles then it is to Live up to them.

9/15/11 6:33:51 AM#5

I agree with you about the swearing part. When I'm on ventrillo with my husband on some of these games I have to usually put them on ignore because of them constantly using the N word. People that swear constantly sound really uneducated to me, and sound like someone who was brought up in a trailer park with people that live like animals. (And please don't take this the wrong way, or get offended,  because I don't believe all young people are this way) but I usually notice, "Generally Speaking" it's younger people between the ages of (15 - 27) doing this and my only guess is that they are going through a stage in their life were they are still trying to find themselves after highschool. I try not to judge people, but it's pretty hard not too when you hear the way they talk in these games or even out in public. Kind of makes you wonder were all our Morals went?.. but its nice to see we still have good fathers like you happy that are teaching their kids morals and respect for others, and not just letting them play all those overly violent games meant for adults. The other night I saw a 9 year old playing Dead Island... what the hell is a 9 year old playing Dead Island?

  causs

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/16/10
Posts: 647

http://nl.twitch.tv/chazerx

9/17/11 5:30:48 AM#6

While I was a avid fan of this game (during RTW and G1), the game has become the ultimate money grab. I absolutely hate G1 for bringing in such a P2W cash shop. I think they're the definition of P2W.

While the game itself is such a great concept, it got ruined due to being in the wrong hands. Right now, I wouldn't recommend this game to anyone and instead try other F2P games.

causs Xfire Miniprofile
  Talonsin

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 7/19/06
Posts: 1027

9/29/11 11:09:49 AM#7

All good points.  The terrible matchmaking system that would put 2 silvers against two golds and the lack of action against hackers is what did it for me.  As a hacker, you get banned by account but since the accounts are free you just make a new one and start hacking again.  Many times in the banning report you see the same name with a different number getting banned three and four times a week, hacker1, hacker2, hacker3 and hacker4 all got banned this week.  Does it not trigger an idea with G1 that the same guy is just making new accounts?

 

Its too bad, the game has great potential.  If they could ever get the mathcmaking system and hacking under control, I would add this to my list of games to play each week.

  Niquity

Novice Member

Joined: 6/02/09
Posts: 32

10/04/11 10:32:16 PM#8

I played it for a few months. i was TL 8 gold. but started to see how meny ppl hack in this game in the Gold TL rang gets really annoying. 8 out of 10 games in gold TL was full auto snapping aim botters. i had more fun rerolling and messing around in the copper silver TL but that also did not last long, because i was much better than the ppl i was matched with and i felt like i was doing the same thing to the low TL, that the aim botters were doing to me. unfair advantage.

 

over all the game was fun if they banned the hackers i would come back. but i dont see this happening

  iToxiiCz

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/29/11
Posts: 37

if youre sexy and you know it...
YOUR NAME IS KAMRAN!!!
AGH BUNNY ATTACK

12/31/11 9:22:35 AM#9

This question remains in my mind, Should i play? i have a very sensitive laptop that breaks down on anything LAGGY and from the posts, im starting to think its sucks BALLS. im looking for a fantasy game and this says REAL LIFE and since it was in browser i decided to come on the forums and see what other people think before actually playing

 

Should i play?

 

~Kamran

  suprfake

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/31/11
Posts: 2

12/31/11 11:37:25 AM#10

Swearing,hmmm... don't get me wrong, but it's a game about killing people in a world gone mad. At least someone DID talk to you. I left the game after one so called mission with a team where four of six members did not show up, and the nice lady who drove me did not respond to anything. Well, shortly after that I was killed 10 times in 3 minutes due to the flaws mentioned above, so I*m glad you did not hear what I had to say about that;) I really liked it in the start, and that's why I really hated the game after that, finally something without pink dragons and women with green hair and oversized eyes and where you actually need skills to play it, and they screw it up so badly and so unnecessary.

Looking at the community I guess it will exist long enough to get better, so I'll take a look every now and then.

  twodayslate

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/04/11
Posts: 756

12/31/11 11:56:57 AM#11

Unfortunately this game was written off as a loss a long time ago, kind of sad considering that a dev like Realtime Worlds had some serious potential going for an MMO maker.  Crackdown never seemed right as a single player only game with some shoddy after the fact multiplayer thrown in.

Also, if your kid goes to any sort of a school, public or private, then he has heard more than you will ever know.  If the goal is to "keep him from things he isn't ready for" then why would you even consider letting him play anything where the main goal is murdering other people?  Is murder somehow more godly than not being deathly afraid of one's native language?