Editor’s Choice: All Points Bulletin (Realtime Worlds / EA)
All Points Bulletin does things differently on both the design and technological front. Whether it’s a success or failure, this game is going to challenge a lot of assumptions about how MMOs work and what can be accomplished within them.
The characters, cars and environments in this game are among the most polished, customizable and realistic graphics ever put into a video game, single player or MMO. Realtime Worlds achieved the balance between highly realistic graphics that don’t cross the creepy threshold, all the while maintaining a signature style that is distinctly their own.
Technologically, this game is going to be one of the first mainstream titles to try things like 3D directional voice and sound. It sounds simple, but it really is amazing to hear conversations of people as they wander by, or the thumping of a distant car stereo as it approaches.
From a design perspective, they deserve full credit for bravery. This is a huge game. Realtime Worlds has raised millions of dollars and recently signed on with EA to get this game to stores. It’s no small time independent project. This is likely one of the highest budget MMOs on the horizon and they’re trying a lot of new ideas.
Whether or not people like the idea of players as content, or the segregated, highly instanced content, their approach is completely off the MMO rails and will completely fundamentally challenge ideas of what an MMO is. Fans like to say no one takes risks anymore but here is a game, set to be published by EA, ignoring all the rules.
Players will exist in a city full of NPCs on servers of 10,000 or more. Each district can have up to 100 players, split between Forcers (cops) and Criminals (robbers). If an NPC sees a crime being committed, out goes an APB and players are seamlessly matched for some Grand Theft Auto-style mayhem. It’s new, it’s original, and it might even work.
While worries remain – God only knows what kind of rig will be required to run this – they deserve full credit for approaching this genre in a new way.
Next up, our final Editor's Choice winner.