All points deducted
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
The story of APB is a twisted games industry tale that makes us all squirm with discomfort. Presented as Grand Theft Auto meets MMO it had neither the confidence of the former nor the lifespan of the latter. It was ambitious but also doomed. Poor driving controls, humdrum shooting matches and a lack of variety couldn’t save it from the ire of heartless critics, myself included, not even when Realtime Worlds collapsed and the game was bought and relaunched as APB Reloaded. Read the rest of this entry »
This is the latest in the series of articles about the art technology of games, in collaboration with the particularly handsome Dead End Thrills.
Not only can I straightfacedly say that I enjoyed playing APB, I even have this document to prove it. Being what felt like a voice in the wilderness back then wasn’t what was frustrating, though, it was knowing that the trolls so vocal in the game’s own chat channels weren’t wrong. Such were this MMO shooter’s problems – the anarchy not just of game, you felt, but production – that no amount of charity was going to save it from the bloodlust of gloating critics.
As someone who loves a good character editor and was floored by APB’s ambition, I had a hard time dealing with the bait-and-switch of the game’s customisation modes. (What you built in the editor looked next to nothing like who you played in the game.) Clearly the game couldn’t deal with it, either, which is why much of its landscape is wallpapered in the work of a concept art dream team assembled by Webzen and Realtime Worlds. Read the rest of this entry »