Why are people still playing APB Reloaded?

apb header

Why are people still playing APB Reloaded? I left that question unspoken when I wrote about Little Orbit picking up the cops and robbers MMO a couple of weeks ago, but you can bet I was thinking it. I bet that most everyone who read that post was too, and I bet you’re thinking it right now.

Then I remembered I was a games journalist, and that I should just go in and ask.

The first notable thing that happens when I launch APB is that it plops an advert into my browser like an unwanted, unexpected turd. The second thing happens when I press the random button on the character customisation screen, and instantly see a cop who resembles a slightly less beardy Bob Ross.

APB_1

So far, that’s one hit and a miss.

I’m playing in the middle of the day, but there are still eight or so full servers, each with 80 people in them. I wait for a spot to open up in one of then, jump in and send a message through the district chat asking for people to interview. When I get no reply, I decide I better get on with stopping some crimes.

When you tell the game you’re ready for it, APB assigns you a team of four and a random mission in a near-ish area. That might involve hacking something or capturing a control point, for reasons that are attached to crime committing or preventing that I didn’t care enough about to read the particulars of. You’re pitted against another random team, and the capers I got involved were all wrapped up in fifteen minutes or less.

While scooting over to my first mission, I’m struck by just how dated everything seems. The UI is clumsy and confusing, the graphics are painfully noughties, and the car I’ve just hijacked feels like it’s floating. The question that made me boot up the game and subject myself to all this perplexes me more than ever.

Then I actually have some fun. The mission is in full swing by the time I arrive – I think we’re supposed to stop some robbers from pulling off a jewellery heist – and arriving late lets me get the drop on them. I sweep in from an unexpected angle, and drop two criminals before they can notice me. They respawn, and as the fight goes on I’m subjected to a seemingly endless barrage of rockets and grenades. We lose.

APB_2

I leave and join a “chat and trade” server where I hope potential interview subjects might be more forthcoming, and they are. Someone named Morphological responds to my call, and tells me they’ve been playing since the open beta started, back in 2011. I’m keen to get down to brass tacks, and ask why he’s stuck with the game for so long. “I just like the gunplay. It feels nice, and I’m decent at the game. Right now, I just play it every now and then to stroke my ego. For me, APB is the kind of game where you can blast some tasty jams and just lean back in your chair, get comfy.”

The gunplay, for the record, is crap. Compared to games like Battlefield or Destiny, the weapons I tried in APB felt piddly and underwhelming. A large part of that is down to the way character models don’t really react when you riddle them with bullets: they just stand there, unflinching, then fall over.

I ask how Morph how he feels about the new dev team. “I’m cautiously optimistic about Little Orbit. I mean, they can’t be worse than Gamers First were”. It’s a sentiment he’s quick to expand on by telling me that he really doesn’t think this is the time for new players to get into the game. “The game basically is garbage right now. And playing it right now requires actual history with it, because as it is now it’s literally filled with cheaters. And the game doesn’t really ‘embrace’ new people, it more or less shits on them.” I ask what he means by that last point, and he says it’s due to “little to no fair matchmaking”.

I’d assumed I’d suffered that rain of rockets at the hands of someone who’d bought an unfairly large stockpile of explosives, though Morphological’s comments make me wonder if I was facing a hacker. I don’t have time to dwell on it for long before someone else pops up.

Yiera’s been playing the game for four years, though he initially struggles to put his finger on exactly why. “Well dunno tbh…there’s something about it that keeps me playing. Probably because it’s unique in its own way…PVP is unique from other games.” I know where he’s coming from – I definitely saw the appeal of being thrown into dynamically generated missions. The combat still seems far from good enough to be habit forming though, which is why Yiera starts to make a bit more sense to me when he says “I especially like the customisation this game gives you.” It’s the reason he finally arrives at that resonates with me, though: “mostly I keep playing because I hope to see some of my old buddies pop on and hopefully have a nice chat with me.”

APB_3

I’d asked Morophological if he’d played GTA Online and had any thoughts about how it compared, though he just told me he wasn’t interested in it and that he wasn’t aware anyone really cared about it. Yiera has a more considered response: “I think GTA has a lot more to it than APB ever has had due to the lack of effort from G1. Such as events and racing. But I’ve always preferred APB more due to the combat and the fun I have playing it.”

If I’d thought about it properly beforehand, I guess I wouldn’t have been surprised that the people who’ve been playing APB for years would be quick to dismiss GTA’s combat. I’ve only played it a little and can’t properly recall how I felt about the gunplay, which is the best evidence I can offer for it not being memorably good or bad. Not that my interviewees would agree.

The next person I chat to goes by Hyperoni, and he’s a big fan of emphatic short statements – “GTA online is just no fun really, too many hackers and loading screens. And ofc the aimbot. GTA isn’t competitive.” How long’s he been playing? “2 years.” Why? “The customisation system and fight clubs!” How does he feel about Little Orbit? “I’m really hyped about the new devs, yes. I expect a big change.” What big change in particular? “I really just want new content and a new competitive system”.

APB_4

The last person to get in touch is a little more… verbose. Szambi tells me he’s been playing the game for around four to five years, and regards uniqueness as its key strength. “It’s addicting. Once you get into it there’s no escape. You might take a few breaks but you’ll always come back. APB is like a unicorn, y’know? Maybe it isn’t sparkly n’ stuff, but it’s still a unicorn. It’s special and unique.” I press him for specifics, and ask what he spends most of his time in the game doing. “Missions. New people may find them repetitive but it’s not true, you will face many enemies with different weapons, different strategies. Also the creator. You can do ANYTHING with it.”

His opinions on GTA come as no surprise: “Character movement in GTA 5 and Online feels clunky, it’s not as precise. Combat is a bit chaotic. You can’t really personalise your stuff that much. APB has more of an e-sports like feel to it. But it also has its open world.”

When I ask for his thoughts on Little Orbit, he’s more reserved than the others. “All I want is the game to stick to its art-style and general feel. And I can’t really say anything about them yet, they haven’t done anything. Although I look forward to seeing some improvements here and there. “They need to prove themselves worthy of acquiring a game such as APB. It’s an unpolished diamond.”

It’s really not. Now that I’ve seen the game for myself though, I think I can see why the servers are still up and running. I’d vaguely assumed APB must have croaked a few years ago, given that I’d never heard a positive word about it aside from when people mentioned its customisation tools. I played for a couple of hours after I was done interviewing, and didn’t touch those myself – I never have more than a passing interest in changing my appearance when I play games, no matter how fancy the tools to do so are.

APB_5

It’s no diamond: the driving and shooting still feels too shonky at its core for a game that’s almost solely about driving and shooting. It’s more like a uniquely shaped chunk of Topaz, which I found fun to take a brief look at. I’ll never fully understand why someone might want to gaze at it for years, when there are so many actual gems on the market.

45 Comments

  1. Canazza says:

    I played APB since the start and lost interest when Planetside 2 came out. For me it was the unbridled creativity you could unleash on your characters and vehicles that kept me playing as long as I did.

    As the article said the gameplay itself is terrible, and GamersFirst added zero new content outside of adding slightly overpowered weaponry (like a silenced machine gun) as a cash-only weapon.

    It’s also *really* unfriendly to casual players. You don’t buy guns, you rent them. After 10 days you have to buy them again. If you wanted to get a decent array of guns you had to play the game excessively (or purchase a subscription). It had to be your *only* game if you wanted to keep a decent loadout. If you stopped playing, say, to go on Holiday, or to play another game, you’re back to the basic weapons.

    Really sad, I really really enjoyed the customisation. You could spend hours just making really cool looking stuff.

  2. Zorganist says:

    This is good wholesome content.

  3. KindredPhantom says:

    I played APB a lot from its early days, the beta and well before GamersFirst took it over and I really had fun playing it. This was in main part due to being part of an organised Enforcer clan who were known for using non-lethal takedowns on criminals, something which a lot of players really disliked due to non-lethal takedowns stunning the opposing player for a few seconds giving you time to cuff them which stopped them from respawning until they either died or were freed by another player.
    If I hadn’t joined a clan then I would have probably gotten bored and frustrated with the game and stopped playing a lot earlier than I did.
    The customisation part of the game didn’t really appeal to me that much, I would from time to time play around with different designs on my cars, keeping them in “brand” with the clan colours and logos (we even had our own customised uniforms with our character names on and everything!). I’m happy the game is still alive, it can be a fun game and I feel if Realtime Worlds hadn’t gone bust them the game would be a lot better than its current form. GamersFirst were never that interested in the game beyond what they could make from it. I do hope you come back to the game after Little Orbit has taken over and cover any changes they make, if any.

  4. Neurotic says:

    I remember my brief time with APB (before the first shutdown) as being ‘awesome character creator, so-so gameplay’.

  5. Kits says:

    I never played the ‘reloaded’, but I did enjoy the game for a few months back when it first came out. I do recall the driving being a little too drifty, compared to other games at the time, but it had its upsides too.
    I rather enjoyed playing a non-lethal enforcer. It was quite a challenge to sneak up, taze your opponent and keep them cuffed.

    I am not someone who sticks with any one game for a long time though. I tend to play through until I have seen more or less everything, then move on to something else. Having just one small city at the time did not hold my attention too long.

  6. Mangalo says:

    “I never have more than a passing interest in changing my appearance when I play games, no matter how fancy the tools to do so are.”
    So the entire point of the game is lost on you. Gotcha.

    • airmikee99 says:

      The game is a wardrobe simulator? Is character appearance really the entire point of the game? No wonder there’s only a couple hundred people playing it if the whole point of the game is to dress up your toon in outfits. Plenty of games allow customization, but usually there’s more to the game than that, to the point of making appearance entirely optional and nearly irrelevant to actual gameplay. Guess everyone has their own game preference, some like action games, some like role playing, some like sports, others like driving, but the entire point of APB:Reloaded is centered on playing dress up.

  7. lycaniz says:

    you know, it’s funny, i was thinking about APB earlier today, and i have not played it in a good 2-3 years through i purchased it at release and have enjoyed it plenty! Its customisation is the best in the world, there is no doubt about it. Atleast, i have never seen a competitor for it, for that alone it should be aplauded. The gun handling is frustating, it is cartoony, but its from a diffrent time than now, it is more fortnite than pubg (i think, i have never played either) and the car handling is indeed… messy, but it can still be pretty fun to drive around in a car chase. As some say, it is a very unpolished diamond. It is very fun when you get a good crew together and just enjoy it for the free game it is. As many of those you interviewed, i too, would rather play APB than GTA V online. When you get a balanced cheater free match it is pretty fun. If the new dev’s can balance the game, update the gunhandling, car handling, add some new base vehicles, maybe a new zone (one of the only added areas since release, the asylum, is one of my favorite zones!)

    idk, maybe there is a lot of nostalgia here, but i have always had fond memory even knowing just how messy the game is, never once have i regrettet my purchase.

  8. literally_a_ghost says:

    I worked on this game at RTW and at Reloaded. It’s had a pretty… challenging development, especially over the last few years. I’ve not been at the company since… 2014-ish. The development team was shrunk and shrunk and shrunk until there was basically nothing left but 2 guys attempting to do an engine upgrade that stalled out for literally years, and the publisher just kind of kept it rolling somehow. Little Orbit, I think, are trying to set up a development team but there’s so much cruft in the systems by this point that refactoring all of it would be a mammoth investment of time, money and effort.

  9. Reefpirate says:

    It definitely is an ‘unpolished diamond’ in my books. I played during beta and the early release. It’s the best available ‘cops and robbers’ multiplayer going at the moment.

    Just the fact that the missions pop up randomly while you’re driving around, and then the cops and robbers all come crashing onto the scene from different angles, creates so much drama on its own I didn’t really mind that the driving and shooting were a bit wonky.

    I remember a few different specific missions that were the closest I’ve ever felt to being in the famous gun battle from the movie Heat.

    Gameplay isn’t just about driving and shooting, it’s also about context. APB has one of the most memorable contexts for spontaneous shootouts.

    • Kitsunin says:

      Aye, unpolished diamond describes it perfectly. The problems it has are entirely a lack of polish. It is a game about driving and shooting guns, and both of those things feel quite bad. But those are absolutely not the things that make something a diamond, just what makes something polished and…well, fun to play.

      If they could only stick the shooty-vroom of GTA onto the creative freedom and cops-and-robbers mission format of this, that would be a true diamond far better than either game.

  10. SexyHomie says:

    Ok, so bottom line is that you don’t like APB and you really did not dive deep enough to answer why are actually people still playing this game. Reviewing 4 people is not really enough tbh.
    What is point of this article then? To prove that author dislike this game? You could have also come to unofficial APB discord where are people playing this game for very long time to have more interesting interview, but I guess that would require little bit more effort eh?
    I usually like RPS articles but this is poor journalism effort.
    Cheers.

    • Kolbex says:

      Oh, god, stuff it. This is about the level of effort of most of these articles, and it seems fine to me. You don’t like it just because it happens to be about something you personally care about and doesn’t have YOUR opinion of the game in it. However, I’ll tell you that this article made me remember this game and kind of want to play it, so whatever you think of it it certainly isn’t a disaster for the game’s community, whatever of that is left.

      • Umberto Bongo says:

        He’s right. That last line of the article seems to so flippantly dismiss the opinions of the people he’s just interviewed, and a game that is clearly still enjoyed by a not insignificant number of people.

        9 years is also practially an aeon for a multiplayer game to last for nowadays, and the fact that it’s still being supported, worked on and enjoyed is kind of impressive. That’d have been a far better and more positive note to end on.

      • SexyHomie says:

        Trust me I dont’t care that much about APB, I like the game and I think there is some kind of potential.
        I am being critical towards this article, not the game. I am content with author disliking this game, I respect that, but I came here out of curiosity for what reasons are other people playing this game, not to find out that he dislikes this game for x y reasons turning it into personal opinion.

  11. pookie191 says:

    I think every gamer has that game which a lot of people say is mediocre if they talk about it at all that we play and love for reasons that only really make sense to us

  12. trjp says:

    There’s a pub in town which is always busy – it’s an absolute dive and has nothing the other pubs don’t also offer BUT it’s always the busiest regardless.

    I’m not a pub journalist and I don’t need to ask the people who go there why they go there because it’s obvious.

    Can you guess?

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      Actually, no.

    • trjp says:

      I thought SOMEONE would guess!

      A massive part of going to a pub is social – people being there is the draw which brings other people to that place – people go where their friends go.

      People continue to play games long-supplanted gameplay-wise because they’re a comfy place to spend time doing stuff they enjoy with people they know (helps if it’s free, too!)

      People ‘invest’ time in a pub to build friendships/join the darts league and that hooks-them-in – 1000s of hours of levelling and experience is similarly hard to just dump and walk-away from…

      Simples

  13. Wardfobia says:

    I’ve made an account specifically to respond to this post. The most important thing that you should have been told or should have known before playing this game is that this game essentially came out in 2009 because that was when Realtime Worlds first launched it. Since then it’s been practically the same exact game with no cosmetic or underlying code changes. So comparing something that was released in 2009 compared to something like GTA V that came out in 2013 and has a massive team of support and millions of players also supporting more and more content updates is a little unfair. I understand everyone’s desire to compare APB and GTA but they’re just simply not comparable, sure they’re both over-the-shoulder TPS games with cops and cars but that’s the only similarity they have.If you were to put some real time into playing APB you will understand why the comparison is just so unneeded and unfair. There is not a single game I can think of that is even remotely similar to what APB is, even omitting the massive customization features which CANNOT be overlooked. It’s understandable having no desire in changing the way you character looks in games in general, but when you’re talking about a game where one of the biggest points of launching the game is the extremely vast customization tool you simply cannot ignore it. I’ve seen countless cosplay and absolutely stunning recreations of real life vehicles and some truly amazing creations of art through a dying F2P game with a garbage development team run by hyperbolic company, ‘GamersFirst’. Albeit the gunplay isn’t anything fantastic, it CERTAINLY is not something to compare to a title like Battlefield, I won’t even mention Destiny because I have personal gripes with that game that are not relevant to this discussion. Battlefield is a WELL seasoned title with hundreds of millions of unique players and billions of dollars at their disposal, not to even mention it’s a COMPLETELY different game in every single sense you could possible imagine, although I do suppose Battlefield: Hardline had cops and robbers and cars and guns so they’re comparable, eh? I don’t mean to seem like I’m just bashing the article because it disagrees with my opinion but there is so much information that was looked over, or simply not even seen and made aware of that truly makes me feel like you have missed out on a fantastic game and amazing experiences. I’ve been playing this game since 2012 and have been intermittently playing and the game has never really changed over the years, the only updates we’ve ever seen are lame attempts of content and, in fact a server DOWNGRADE. The servers used to be 50 enforcers 50 criminals totally 100 players per server but now we’re at 40/40. Not to mention when they put a soft lock on the districts which pretty much exclusively punished any gold players from playing the game. Honestly learning why people still play this game did not require you to download and try it out for yourself, or even to interview current players, our reason is as any reason for anyone doing something that seems worse in comparison to whatever would be better. If you truly want to know why we still play this game, actually put time into, actually play the game, actually enjoy all the facets of APB that make it one of the only games I’ve had to pleasure of playing and calling a true unpolished diamond.

  14. Rodrigues says:

    What i don’t understand is, why interview people if you gonna shit on what they think about the game.

  15. Mara says:

    Tried it out a few years ago. Spent a fun half hour in the character creator, followed by a frustrating half hour of trying to figure out what the actual game wants from me. Not a lot of handholding going on. If that hasn’t gotten better since then it should absolutely be the focus of the new team.

  16. Wauffles says:

    Oh get off it, you’re not a journalist

  17. K3i says:

    You’re setting your standarts way too high for a 10 year old game previously in hands of two failed companies and just can’t accept the fact that it still may have some hope left with the new company in charge. Most game’s populations drop in just a few years once the new ones come out, this one survived 10 and this jackass here is comparing APB with triple A mainstream titles like Battlefield Destiny or GTA 5 which have millions in their budgets from all the sales.
    You people only give good reviews to those games which you like or get paid from the most, do everyone a favor and fuck right off with your biased bullshit.

    • Premium User Badge

      kfix says:

      “You people only give good reviews to those games which you like”

      In a comment section full of inane defences of life choices and lame misunderstandings of the nature of criticism, this is the winner.

  18. Michael Anson says:

    I was in the APB beta and enjoyed it for the most part, even though the customization put a lot of demand on internet connections for the time. I went back to check out APB Reloaded and discovered that, while the game ran much smoother as tech had caught up, the game had a serious smurfing problem, making it really uninteresting to play for any real period of time. I hope that this can be fixed going forward.

  19. platypusfool says:

    An 8 year old relative got me to download Roblox on my phone at the weekend and we played Jailbreak together. It’s a similar game to this – prisoners, criminals and cops running about an open world city shooting one another, stealing, arresting etc. The game is terrible. The controls are inaccurate, cars feel like you’re driving them on ice, nothing is explained, icons and words float around the screen like a geocities site from the mid 90s – it’s an appalling example of game design. And yet it was a great laugh. He showed me how to escape the prison, steal a gun and then we went off and robbed a train together. There was antics around every corner. And it was easy to hop into a game, seconds before you were poking around at stuff finding out how it worked. There was no explanation for anything, and while that’s rubbish design as well, it helped cos you’re not following a path, but making your own.

  20. Sunjammer says:

    So the conclusion to “I went into a game the appeal of which I don’t understand and then talked to people who like it” is “They’re wrong”?

  21. Rathination says:

    People on this story sure are salty. This is a game review site. Of course the coverage is going to be subjective. And I think regardless of objectivity, the author’s initial premise is interesting. Like many of the APB fans have said, it’s a 10 year old game and he wanted to learn why some people really liked it. The author didn’t like some aspects of the game, so he wrote about them in addition to providing the views of some players. That seems fair to me, especially because he explained his opinions. Why would you hate on him for giving his opinion on a piece that is clearly not meant to be perfect objectivity? The site title for RPS literally has the word subjectivity in it!

  22. Linkblade says:

    I wonder if the chief editor of RPS or some other higher staff member has reviewed this article before release. Matt Cox, maybe you didn’t want to, but this article makes you look biased, ignorant of other people’s opinions and undedicated because you couldn’t answer your own initial question and what this article was intended to be about.

    Defending you I must say that I find, people here complaining about a comparison of APB to todays titles, is not justified, because he wanted to sort out why players did NOT take their opportunity to play a similar game of today. He nowhere states that APB should be as good as todays titles, he just wants to know the reason why they stay, which is totally legit.

    But Matt, you should have been more neutral to rather positive in your finishing words, especially when you have no clue about whats going on. After all this multiplayer game lasted for so long and still does! Not many multiplayer games accomplished this! There must be a reason why. Stating that it’s no diamond when you don’t got the appeal of it is highly risky, which was proven by these friendly posts here. Please try again next time.

  23. Talkchowder says:

    Asking why any game with the slightest bit of character customization and a social gathering space is still being played is a really low bar for a article headline and premise. I’m quite fond of RPS articles on most days ( I read you guys every day, with you white listed on my gosh darn adblocker ), but i felt compelled to sign up and respond to this article.

    I haven’t played APB. BUT the game is one of the most infamous mmo’s i know of. I doubt people remember Tabula Rasa in the same vein as APB despite its total closure. APB freaking closed servers in 3 months despite something like hundreds of millions of dollars in money being spent on it. The fact that it got revived is really just another notch in the unique story of that game.

    But asking why people are playing a game, thats also on steam, with working servers as if that is some sorta oddity makes you sound like the out of place person in this article. Its not a headscratcher. There is no mystery here. The way you frame your article and questions, and your responses with the people you interview is like youre trying to court around people playing a dying game like they are carnival freaks.

    See. What you could have done, is a write up on the history of the game and its ambition for its features, how it failed to live up to those in the public eye, development etc… and then framed interviews with the players in how despite the failures of the game it still managed to reach out to people in a meaningful way.

    Or done anything differently then go “I DONT UNDERSTAND THESE PEOPLE”.

    Gaming is in a state where governments are actually bringing laws down about how cosmetics and customization for characters is being sold to consumers, because customization in video games is itself a multi billion dollar industry, and the only question im left at the end of this article is….

    “WHY WOULD SOMEONE NOT CUSTOMIZE THEIR CHARACTER IN A GAME?”

    Doesn’t really sound like a good premise for an aritcle does it?

  24. HiroTheProtagonist says:

    I played APB back when it was done by Realtime Worlds and found it incredibly lacking even for its time. The customization tools were cool, but at the same time Saints Row 2 had just as much capability in that regard and better gameplay. Any company making a shooter where a character model has only one hitbox for the whole model seriously needs to consider their priorities. Then some years later I noticed that the game had been retooled under the subtitle “Reloaded”, so I figured I’d give it another go, especially since it was free. All I found was slightly better gunplay (in that they now had separate hitboxes for heads) but otherwise no significant improvements over the game that got shut down years prior.

    Sure, I’m not going to say that the couple hundred people still playing it are wrong for doing so, but I’ll admit it seems like some queer fascination that there are people who still willingly play/pay for a game that seemed so shoddily made.

  25. Slazia says:

    I played this quite a bit a few years back. I enjoyed the customization, the cars (the fact that they did float, but never warped like they do in other games), and the mission style. Interested to see what happens to it.

  26. KidWithKnife says:

    I do kind of like the honesty and candor of the article. I really do. I can see why some people are annoyed by it even if they themselves are getting off track carrying on about subjectivity and so forth, because frankly it’s a really douchey article. It’s possible to be honest and candid without being a dick, and someone who makes their living writing should probably make some effort to do that. Matt did not in this article. It’s douchey, and there was no reason for it to be. That’s the real problem with it.

    • SexyHomie says:

      He should not review this game in first place if he can’t stay competent.
      Dismissing opinions of people he reviewed, ignoring whole customization part which is so far one of best things in APB, obviously biased towards whole game secretly praising GTA.
      Probably last article I am gonna read by this guy, since as you said, he is acting as dick. If you want to act like dick, go write blog post or something.

  27. Nevv says:

    Why did you even bother interviewing players if you’re going to blatantly invalidate their comments with your own subjectivity? It makes no sense at all.

  28. Raichu says:

    The gunplay is actually very good and unique in this game. There is alot of things to control such as the accuracy bloom and recoil when you fire, as well as knowing when to tap fire or using the right gun in the right situation.

    Those games you are trying to compare the shooting to are basically just very basic fps games where you aim and spray mostly. The guns in APB take time to learn and the gameplay changes from gun to gun and are very satisfying to use.

    You probably stood at 70m range and just sprayed an enemy with the STAR and wonder why you arent hitting much like any typical bronze player. I bet you think the combat in dark souls is crap cause its not just hack and slash.

    Also you cannot compare APB with GTA V because gta’s movement is ultra clunky and not directional movement like APB has. And the shooting in GTA is just point and click.

  29. Rick167 says:

    I created an account on this website specifically to comment on this post.

    I have been playing APB Reloaded since the beta in 2011. The game, while having a difficult curve for new players, is not a chunk of topaz. It is a somewhat raw diamond that just needs additional work. The majority of the game’s returning community has returned at the prospect of the game becoming what we wanted it to be when GamersFirst had ownership of it.

    The only reason I know about Rock, Paper, Shotgun is because Steam associates their posts with some of the games I play. The only articles I have read were about APB Reloaded, and all of the articles bashed the game. It was clear that the authors of the articles, like Matt Cox who wrote this article, haven’t played the game for more than a couple hours and formulated their opinions in that little amount of time.

    For any critic of any game to be taken seriously, they should actually devote some time and effort into understanding a game and truly get into the content, rather than playing a couple missions, interviewing a couple players, then criticizing the players they interview.

    The comparison of APB Reloaded, a game developed in 2009 by a small company, to Battlefield, Destiny and Grand Theft Auto, all developed by multi-million dollar companies, is asinine at best.

    APB: Reloaded will never be a “main stream” game, like Battlefield or PUBG. APB players are actually happy that’s the case. We don’t want this game to turn into a massive franchised game. We don’t want the game filled with 12 year old fan boys like the main stream titles. We are happy with the community we have, and it is steadily growing with new players since Little Orbit’s take over.

    You are not a “journalist” because you write articles on a website that few people know about. Because you did not enjoy the game after barely scratching the surface does not make your opinion fact, nor does it make the people you interviewed, who know a lot more about the game than you, wrong. Your article is far from factual, you state your opinion as if it is fact, and all you’ve done is make yourself look like a pompous ass, all while discouraging people with what little sway your opinion has, from trying a game they might actually enjoy.

    If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you run blogs in your off-time trying to ban AR-15’s and promoting safe spaces.

  30. Saga says:

    As some before me, I also created an account here specifically to comment.

    I want to come out of the gates by saying that APB: Reloaded’s charm and its failures, in my eyes, are closely related. I have been playing the game since 2011 and have well over 1400 hours logged (I have issues). The article here seems to be written on a few premises that I think are fundamentally flawed.

    The first is the comparison of this – by gaming standards – ancient fossil the to the shiniest titles on the market. I do not think I need to explore the differences that 10 years of technological improvement and vast swathes of resources can make.

    The second is that a game has to be cutting edge with impeccable mechanics to even approach worthiness. Do not mistake me, graphics, polish, and fresh ideas continue to dazzle me, but they are not everything. Far from it. Why does Runescape continue to be played? Sure, it definitely gets updates, but people stay for the community, the memories, and so on. I’m not going to go on a spiel about the “heart” of a game, but its something that I feel is rarely even mentioned seriously when judging games, which is a serious shame.

    APB has issues. Take its physics engine, for example. What other game will toss your car spiraling clear into the air because you nudged someone else’s bumper in just the wrong way? The lack of polish is laughable. Its precisely because its laughable that makes it great. Some of my fondest memories (and most frustrating ones) in gaming come from playing APB. Its clunky, it has cheaters, the learning curve is a horrendous 100+ hour sink in some cases, and all of it is wrapped up in a dated look with an, up until now, apathetic company governing development.

    People play the game because they enjoy it. It is fine, especially when considering APB, to NOT enjoy it. Interviewing a handful of folks and being logged in for a day is hardly playing the game at all – it certainly isn’t investigation. Obviously I have my own biases for the game, but this article seems to be written as though the writer came to a conclusion, found some stuff to toss in after stating his conclusion, then agreed with his initial conclusion while disregarding the content of his interviewers. If that is the normal format of a journalistic article then screw all this postgraduate work I’ve been doing! Research and constructing “Scholarly counterarguments” is tough! I want to get paid to do this!

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