Saturday, 8 September 2007

No Crackdown 2: Sad Face

A statement on IGN says that Microsoft missed the boat, not telling them that they wanted a sequel in time, leaving Realtime Worlds to go ahead with other projects. As shitty as this sounds, let us not forget what one of those projects is - the "cops and robbers MMO" better known as APB.

I'll happily say that Crackdown is one of the best games that I have played in years. It always felt like a true playground, one that I could explore at ease with my superhuman agility and strength. I never once wondered what lay beyond the horizon of that game, I was, and still am on occasion, more than satisfied with the amount of freedom offered to me. Whilst the open-ended nature may have left a few scratching their heads, those who embraced it were rewarded with a surprisingly engrossing experience. On the surface, it is an incredibly shallow game, but the hours that I invested in it speak volumes. From experience I know that this is the kind of game that your friends borrow for 3 months at a time.

APB will take the form of a Massively Mutliplayer Online action game. You choose between the directly opposed Criminal Gangs and Police Enforcers, undertaking specific missions and defending your idea of what is 'right'. As a criminal, you will be seeking to gain territory, make money and gain power. As the long arm of the law, you will be charged with the task of maintaining stability and control in the city. Details are still thin on the ground, however the potential is glaringly obvious. As a player, it seems that you can potentially control part of an online city, make it your own and defend it from the rival faction. How difficult will it be to actually maintain control of a specific part of an online community? Is this too ambitious? Surely the more hardcore gamers would simply dominate, leaving casual gamers out in the cold. I doubt very much that this is the case, but I look forward to hearing about the actual structural details of the game and seeing them in practice. We just have to hope that Realtime Worlds get the balance right.

To say that APB sounds ambitious is a massive understatement. If they manage to pull off what the blurbs suggest, then we could be looking at one of the most engrossing games of all time. I've been put off by MMO's before, as I'm not a huge fan of wizards and warlocks and Knights Of The Realm. It's just not my cup of tea. But stylish criminals? Busty sniper cops? Count me in. Right now, all we really have to go on is some character artwork, all of which look superb. As to whether these designs will be reflected in the finished game is yet to be seen and in my experience, its usually a let-down. Nevertheless, the prospect of controlling turf and the potential within that idea is what should carry this game. Imagine holding a section of an online city, controlling its commerce and maintaining its prosperity. Or better still, abandoning the more traditional goals and set out to be nothing more than a vandal. Personally, I would take great satisfaction in purposely causing shit for the more prosperous areas and their gangs. I'm accepting applications for my "faux-terrorist" group now, so get on it.

I have every faith in Realtime Worlds and I believe that APB will be a truly important game. Watch this space for more APB updates as we fully intend to follow its development. Until more details emerge, tide yourself over with this:

Sorry about the small pic. I'm beyond caring now......

More info here:

The Faux-Bot

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