Founded by industry veteran David Jones, creator of Lemming’s, Grand Theft Auto 1&2 and Crackdown, Realtime Worlds’ latest project takes the universal theme of Criminals and Enforcement and brings it to a persistent, open world multiplayer setting in a modern, crime-ridden city: San Paro. The world is, at its core, hardcore player versus player with some storyline tossed in. Play as an Enforcer or a Criminal, depending on how you want to play the game. Customize your character to your heart’s content with wild hair, tattoos, scars, makeup, and face meshes to really bring him/her to life.
The customization engine used for APB is insanely sophisticated. I had the chance to play with it at E3. It allowed me to recreate myself in accurate detail through use of sliders, eye drop tools, and lots o’ layers. The beta version of APB is less robust; it’s not as complete as the full version turned out to be.
The graphics are hot. And the great thing is that even if you don’t have a top of the line system, you’ll still be able play the game at reduced graphic intensity. I run APB on my integrated graphics laptop and, although not optimal, it runs quite well.
I’m in the midst of getting my game on with the APB beta. So far, running around shooting people, causing mayhem, and driving insanely fast cars has an incredible appeal to it. It’s Grand Theft Auto meets Shadowrun meets Los Angeles: whole lotta punk with a whole lotta violence.
And if there’s one thing I don’t like about MMOs, it’s the subscription services. Subscribing monthly to a game I might pick up once a week is a waste of money. Good thing APB took that into account and will charge hourly instead. You can buy in 20 hour blocks for $7. They’ll still keep the monthly subscription model at $10. On top of that, when you purchase APB, you’ll get 50 hours included. Five. Zero. These guys mean business.
So does San Paro.
The full version of APB launches on June 29, 2010.