Shoot it! With the gun! That’s what the bullets are for!

As APB careers inevitably towards release (29th June in the US, July 2nd for Europe) and the unannounced Open Beta looms even closer. While I don’t have any more Beta Keys to give away, I do have something to say about it.

It isn’t an MMO.

Honestly, this should be no surprise to anyone who’s read any of the FAQ, and it’s certainly not a bad thing. I really just want to clarify the points the FAQ brings up and point out what exactly they mean by some of it. Outside of customisation (which has little bearing on how you play), you buy weapons and guns, go on PvP Missions -and it is PvP only – to increase your standing and rating, with small but crucial differences between the two sides. Think of it like Counterstrike, or Battlefield, (in3rd Person) but instead of fixed small maps you have a huge 1.5km wide city map with hundreds of smaller set-pieces. Imagine having to drive a car between de_dust and de_aztec, passing through de_dust2 and de_cbble.

Because of it’s heavy instancing and focus on different mechanics than normal MMO’s Realtime Worlds, the creators of APB, have tried tried out a few acronyms to describe the game. Persistent Online Shooter was shot down due to the acronym, while Persistent Online World seems to be their favourite.

The mantra of APB is “The player is the content” – which basically means they’ve given us a big shiny sandbox to play in. New players will be at a slight disadvantage, but not much, as a Rating 10 person can hold their own against a 140 rating if they drop their guard. It won’t be a cakewalk, but this is a game where tactics can easily triumph over gear.

Again, if you want to know more about the game, check out the full FAQ on the official site or go to the homepage and watch some of the videos.

They’ve not updated their payment scheme on the main site yet, but as other sites have reported on it, I am confident it’s safe to talk about it.

They’re doing a dual payment scheme, you either pay a flat monthly rate like a normal MMO, or you can pay in 20 hour chunks for substantially less. What this will likely mean is that until you hit maximum rating, or just start to level off, or want to take a short hiatus, you can switch to the other payment scheme, pay for 20hrs and you could easily stretch that over a couple of months if you’re playing a couple of hours a week. (say, at the weekend) It’s a smart move, and will encourage new players to stick with the game and come back to it even if they only play for a few hours at a time.

It’s fair to say I am excited about the game. It’s not flawless. No game is. Until the NDA is removed I can say no more. If you like Multiplayer Shooters, you’ll like this game. If a more traditional MMO is what you’re looking for you might not.

I’ll keep a lookout for more Closed Beta Keys, but considering there’s a month till release and the Open Beta is likely to start in a couple of weeks I doubt they’ll be giving more away.

You can pre-order the game from most online stores, and from the APB website itself

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