Delayed Responsibility

I Shouldn't Be Gaming Right Now… But I Am!

PAX East: APB

Posted by deckard47 on March 26, 2010

It’s the game from the people (mostly) who made Crackdown, and a lot of people are really, really excited about it. I’m not sure why. We watched a bunmch of people demoing it while a totally excited guy talked about how exciting the game they were playing was.

What they were playingg looked like a high-res version of The Matrix Online or Fallen Earth, but in a modern, drab city. We watched as people activated timed meters and (while  a bar/circle filled) beat up a passerby. We watched as they crashed cars into each other. We listened as the excited guy explained the APB/bounty system (which admittedly sounds interesting).

Why is this so exciting? The world and characters look incredibly boring. The overarching mechanics and ingame rewards/impetus to play system might be interesting (no way to tell from this demonstration), but the world and the characters themselves look like less exciting, more gray and brown versions of Saints Row 2.

Let me remind you: Saints Row 2 was not a visually exciting game, beyond really bright cars and hair. I can’t see being interested in this game for the world its characters inhabit. It looks as static and unappealing as any other “real city” MMO (like City of  Heroes or the aforementioned games).

What’s exciting about this? To beat up an NPC, you start a timed meter. You don’t just punch them a bunch. How do you go from the ludicrous punching of Crackdown to this? And how does this barren wasteland of a an MMO grab the press’ attention in this way? They must be seeing stuff I haven’t (easy to do, I should point out). It’s an open world where the only attraction would appear to be the mechanic by which players are matched up with each other.

It’s a giant, faceless city full of carefully designed thugs wearing (I’m sure) sweet tattoos and customizable bodies. Shouldn’t the world be  somewhat interesting? Is a neat matchmaking (’cause that’s what it is) mechanic enough to sell bloodless Saints Row 2 squad play? Apparently it is.

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One Response to “PAX East: APB”

  1. I’m very much looking forward to it mostly for the customization, of which there will be loads. For me, maybe, it’s just an artist/art-dork thing, but I do lose it quite a bit for any game that has loads of customization.

    I also enjoyed the team-based multiplayer modes in GTA4 (which puts me in the minority, I know) and the matchmaking/groups in this sounds interesting. But again, I’m a customization nut.

    Not sure why everyone else is so crazy about it. Is it just because it’s another GTA-style game but polished? The bland urban decor and gang-theme is like tofu to me: So long as they don’t muck it up by making it incredibly distasteful it’s just “there”.

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