APB Reloaded Screenshots Show Men, Guns

By Quintin Smith on February 1st, 2011 at 1:20 pm.

'Gun, you are a fine gun,' said David Gun.

And now, some guns! GamersFirst have released the first few screenshots of APB Reloaded, their upcoming free-to-play reboot of Realtime Worlds’ cops’n'robber MMOG. There are four of these shots, all showing a man enjoying a day out with his gun. The screenshots accompany a long blog post from designer Zak Littwin (previously the QA Lead at Realtime Worlds) detailing just some of the changes coming in the game. Not convinced? You might be after you read the quotes I’ve pulled from the post below.

Zak Littwin, he says

“Over in the Gameplay department, during Closed Beta the first thing you will notice is the change to weapon implementations. While previously the game was fairly well balanced (apart from a couple of weapons), the combat model wasn’t particularly fun in a lot of situations, with weapons not feeling very meaty (though the recoil addition in 1.4.1 helped somewhat). In Closed Beta to fix this, we’ve upped initial damage on all weapons, adjusted recoil for most weapons, and changed accuracy so the weapon very quickly blooms out to its minimum accuracy, but regains it very quickly once you stop firing.”

and

“During Closed Beta most vehicles have not changed dramatically, though a few vehicles have changed significantly. The biggest change is the removal of the “Han Cellente,” ie. the starting vehicle. We thought it looked pretty awful and handled terribly, leading many to concludes that cars sucked in general (when in fact, they had just been given a really badly behaved one to start with). Instead we have inserted another vehicle as the starter car that looks a lot nicer, and that has pretty decent handling. We have modified how this new starter vehicle operates and with a couple of tweaks we’re left with a cute little 2-door coupe that handles well, is stable and responsive, but not too fast (maybe not a very macho car, but that’s why you will be upgrading at some point).”

and

“We’ve done a lot of work with changing the progression system ahead of Closed Beta. Progression was really convoluted before, with rewards at seemingly random points, and it had some strange mechanics that needed a lot of explaining by game prompts. Additionally in-game money pricing structure on some of the game items resulted in massive run-away economy problems… The first thing we did was remove organisation standing. It was a fairly obtuse mechanic that didn’t really fit into the game very well. Then we adjusted the contacts so they each fall under the category of either Weapons contacts or Vehicle contacts. As the names suggest – vehicle contacts unlock new vehicles, vehicle upgrades, and vehicle components, while weapons contacts now unlock preset weapons and character upgrades. All contacts unlock preset and customisable clothing options.”

and

“In a future post I will discuss subsequent changes planned for Open Beta and Live (the maps and complete game system changes I hinted at in the top of the post – since THAT will be truly revolutionary to the overall game play for the entire game), but for now I’ll leave you with some screenshots of the updated game highlighting a couple of the weather changes we have added (plus some of the new weapons we’re adding).”

and plenty of other stuff, too. This might end up being an exceptionally clean resurrection.

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40 Comments »

  1. Kid_A says:

    …so, the hitboxes still don’t allow for headshots?
    I mean, this looks good, but so did the original game, and we all know how that went.

    • DeathHamsterDude says:

      Eugh! I (foolishly) bought APB when it released, despite the fact that I hate GTA since it went 3D. The combat was so so terrible in it, it was by far the most important reason why I gave up after a few days, although there were, of course, others. A shooter with no head hitboxes is pretty useless. I hope that is something that gets changed before release.

      Anyway, so I was invited to the Beta, and I’ll check it out to see what it’s like. There were some concepts from the original game that I really liked, it’s just that it was implemented terribly. Maybe things have changed.

      The F2P model is a rather an odd one isn’t it? It’s definitely FREE 2 play, but is it FUN 2 play? Most of the time a premium account or microtransactions are needed to not get ganked. I hate unlockables that mess with balance. In the blog he said that weapons ‘aren’t necessarily better than the ones you earn, just different, more specialized or has some other specific benefits’. If that is the case, then I won’t mind. They do have to make this profitable after all, and unlockables give a game longevity.

    • Kadayi says:

      @/kid A

      If you have variable players size and you introduce tight hit boxes to allow for head shots, then before you know it your entire player base will consist of skinny grey dwarves, and customisation becomes pointless.

    • Schmung says:

      Sounds at least like they’re moving in the right direction here overall though. The lack of proper hitboxes is something that really irked me as well, but it’s nice to see them addressing the core combat mechanics and it seems like they’re being pretty methodical about it.

      @Kadayi : Or you could just make player size a factor in health/damage calculations. Seems to work fine for plenty of other games.

    • DeathHamsterDude says:

      Or use the Brink model where larger players are slower and less agile, but get to use bigger guns, better armour?

      It probably makes the most sense imho.

      Also, if given the option to choose from different model sizes and proper hitboxing it’s proper hitboxing all the way.

    • Premium User Badge

      Duck says:

      They said:
      “At some point we want to introduce bullet-proof vests, and for that to work, we clearly need headshots also be something you can actually achieve.”

      Towards the end of the punkbuster post, fairly unambiguous.

    • Oculardissonance says:

      If I made a character with huge boobs and then got shot repeatedly in my huge boobs is kinda mea culpa. With such a great editor I doubt people will skip it and make a skinny dwarf just to have a smaller hitbox. I could be wrong, How was the community of the old APB? I’m all interested now.

    • Kadayi says:

      @Schmung

      That only holds up when you’ve a reasonable sized arena. With APB the maps are pretty substantial in size and often you’re engaging at considerable distance, which makes greater health far less of an advantage Vs a smaller hitbox.

      The only way you could work it, would be if the damage model was dynamic over distance also. So for example at 100m you’d require 4 standard hits to kill for the larger model, Vs 3 for the smaller framed, but at 50m the larger model could take 3 whilst the smaller 2, and then sub 30m both would be on parity.

      All fine and dandy in principle aside from the fact that it throws in a huge amount more calculation into the equation, which is not ideal for an online game.

    • Radke says:

      is no one taking into consideration making individual hit boxes is going to make aimbot unstoppable or is everyone just have that crappy aim they need individual hit boxes..and before someone says “oh well they have a anti cheat program” slap yourself and uninstall windows.there is no anti cheat program that can stop people from coding aimbots,3D boxes or anything thats not server sided

  2. JonClaw says:

    This game had/has so much potential. I’m worried it’ll become another “free to play, pay to enjoy” game though.

  3. Nullkigan says:

    The original was plenty twitch and gear based, now they’re making it moeso? Aimbots already ruined it once.

    Amongst other things, which they are at least trying to address.

    E: At least they’ve reenabled punkbuster. That might help a little.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Dolphan says:

    Zak had a lot of pretty decent ideas first time round at RTW, good to see him playing a strong role in this. Nothing about mission design so far though? The way missions worked (both in the lack of variety and the wild imbalances/poor structure) was one of THE flaws in the game, especially after the combat-improving patch.

    • Kadayi says:

      I think the managerial nightmare of RTW was the cause of many of the problems in terms of getting ideas pushed through. Sometimes a company can get too big. With about 40 staff on this, they are in a much better position to respond to problems.

      Pity to see so many doom mongers in the thread already though.

  5. DSR says:

    “but for now I’ll leave you with some screenshots of the updated game highlighting a couple of the weather changes we have added”

    “updated game highlighting a couple of the weather changes”

    “updated”
    “weather”

    Good to know they’re definetely moving into RIGHT direction with their product!
    Who gives a damn about aimbots and broken economy when you got pretty clouds?
    Not me!
    Woah! Double rainbow!

    • MrMud says:

      While what you say is true, the graphics people probably needs something to do.

    • Premium User Badge

      Stijn says:

      Obviously, it is possible to address both at the same time. I can imagine them putting the graphics team on, well, improving the graphics, and having a separate team for tweaking the gameplay.

      It’s also hard to make interesting screenshots of a new weapon damage falloff model.

  6. msarge says:

    I was so excited for this initially, but then I heard it wasn’t so great. Now that it’s F2P though I will actually give it a shot.

  7. Bhazor says:

    Really I just want to tootle about in character creation like I did with the COH trial so if they’ve made that micro transaction based then I’m afraid it’s not for me.

  8. Premium User Badge

    drewski says:

    Excellent, I’ve really been feeling like games have lacked men with guns lately.

    • DeathHamsterDude says:

      What are you talking about?!?!?! Every second game has men with guns in it, are you cr . . .

      Oh.

      Sarcasm.

      /Sarcasm

    • Shazbut says:

      The saddest thing is that it’s probably even more frequent than that

  9. Matt says:

    Screenshot #3 is everything that’s wrong with gaming nowadays, but the rest look good. As someone who enjoyed APB while it lasted despite its flaws, I’m looking forward to seeing what they do with it.

    Still very leery of the mention of “leased” weapons, though.

  10. Tei says:

    Nice. Night and day cycle could be a nice adition :D

    Good luck!.

    I miss you, APB!.

  11. Premium User Badge

    monkehhh says:

    For a game about driving and shooting in a city, I didn’t enjoy the driving or shooting or the city in the original (despite a looooong period of playing the various test versions). I hope they can make it feel right, and fix the interface to it all.

  12. fallingmagpie says:

    Not to be mean, but should we be worried that the guy who was in charge of QA on the original is so heavily involved? Quality wasn’t exactly assured, was it?

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      Hopefully he played the original enough to know what was wrong with it, and now he has a chance to fix it where before he could only recommend it be fixed.

    • Starky says:

      Indeed there is a vast difference between reporting the flaws/bugs and issues in a game (QA) and having the ability to fix them.
      QA could to an amazing job, report and document every single bug, issue or problem with a game but if the developers do nothing with that information, then there is nothing QA can do.

    • Srekel says:

      No, you don’t need to be worried about that. Zak is both interested and skilled in game design, and a lot of people felt that people should’ve listened to him much more during the development of the game.

  13. Premium User Badge

    tomeoftom says:

    Guns with men!

  14. DestructibleEnvironments says:

    Will this game have seperate sliders for breasts, hips and ass or not? Reloaded my posterior!

    Who cares about the shooty bang when I can play with video game clay all day.

  15. Premium User Badge

    JB says:

    The original had so much potential, I hope they at least get closer to realizing it this time round.

    Also, would love to see more use of the “men and guns: the endless love story” tag =)

  16. Oculardissonance says:

    So… I’ve been really enjoying Crimecraft, which just had a major update btw. The update isn’t going that well but hopefully it will get fixed in a few days. I haven’t played APB but the hitbox thing sounds awful. There isn’t much diversity in Crimecraft but at least they got combat right. Seems kinda dumb to make an unfun game FTP

  17. Zyrusticae says:

    I am bemused at how many commentators are posting without actually reading the article.

    I thought RPS was better than that?

  18. Songbearer says:

    I’m amazed at how seriously they’re taking APB. When I first heard the news of G1 turning APB into a free-to-play game, I just assumed they’d slap a cash shop on top and make you pay for every little bit of customisation and be done by with it.

    This doesn’t seem to be the case, though; judging by the things they’ve reported, they’ve already implimented a ton of changes that should have been in the game in the first place. Shoddy low-impact combat, awkward driving and unfair upgrade systems have all been pretty much gutted and replaced with improvements across the board.

    Instead of RTW’s lackadasical attempts to change one or two things, they’ve at least given the impression that they’re doing whatever they can to make the game worth playing. I couldn’t be happier, because APB should have been huge.

    I’m not afraid to say I clocked around 200 hours playing through beta and retail with three other friends and having a blast, but I also wouldn’t be lying if I said that in many ways APB was one of the worst games I’ve played. The thing is, all the good things somehow shone through and made me capable of ignoring the horrible mess that much of the game was.

    It’s a crying shame the game still has the stigmata following its first iteration and that a lot of people are going to overlook it due to its own reputation preceding it, but my hopes are high that they’re going to get it right this time round.

  19. Qwentle says:

    What can I say, I’m slightly invested in this project :)

  20. Juiceman says:

    The only good thing about APB was the customization. Unless they have completely overhauled every other aspect of that game, I seriously doubt it will be worth paying for.

  21. kravius says:

    I’m excited, I want to play APB…and its my favorite game =)
    GOOD LUCK WITH THE START OF APB RELOADED.