E3 2010: APB PreviewBy Joe Rybicki - Posted Jun 16, 2010
What We Already Know:
APB is an urban MMO set in a modern cityscape: the fictional city of San Paro. Players participate in the cops-and-robbers scenario by choosing between Enforcer or Criminal factions. The game includes lots of driving, lots of shooting, and lots of combinations of the two. Think of it sort of like a GTA MMO and you wouldn't be too far off.
What We're Seeing Now:
An insane amount of customization. We saw some detailed character models at last year's E3, but that was only the tip of the iceberg. Body-type customization is practically infinite, from height and weight to individual details of the characters' hair styles. Want a longer ponytail? Click and drag. Shorter bangs? Your call.
But the real complexity comes in the absurdly detailed design editor, which allows you to create logos and even full pieces of art and slap them anywhere -- on your character's body as a tattoo, on any article of clothing, or on your character's vehicle. On top of that, you can adjust minute details of, say, fabric texture and design. And similar depth applies to vehicle design, with players able to mix and match thousands of individual parts, and apply the same detailed design over the top.
As if that weren't enough, the game even includes a music studio. Via a simple sequencer, players can create their own themes -- played anytime they take out an enemy -- or songs, which can be blasted from the player vehicle so passers-by know who exactly is about to roll up on them.
And all of this customization -- all of it -- can be sold through an in-game marketplace, exchanged either for in-game cash or for Realtime Worlds points. See, the game uses a somewhat unorthodox subscription method, where players purchase play time within "action zones" (i.e., the design areas are free) rather than buy a traditional monthly subscription -- though those are available as well. So by creating really killer designs in the game, players can essentially bankroll their own play time. Seems like a smart way to ensure there are players constantly generating top-notch designs -- and to ensure the look of the game is constantly evolving.