Video Game: All Points Bulletin
APB: All Points Bulletin
was a Massively Multiplayer Online Action Game, clearly inspired by the Grand Theft Auto
series and developed by Real Time Worlds, creators of Crackdown
. The players can play either as Enforcers
or as Criminals
of San Paro
— for each side there are two factions (Prentiss Tigers and Praetorians for Enforcers, and G-Kings and Blood Roses for Criminals), each with its own bonuses and unlockable content.
One of the most important features is customization. During a presentation on Game Developers Conference, the creators showed lookalikes of Peter Molyneux
, Richard Garriott
, Warren Spector
and Shigeru Miyamoto
, complete with logos of their respective companies (or, in Miyamoto's case, the Mario sprite and boxers with the 1UP mushroom pattern
) on their clothing. In a later gameplay, Mark Rein's
character sports the U logo
on his back.
Due to a disastrous launch phase and lackluster sales that fell far below predictions, Realtime Worlds was placed into administration in August 2010, and on September 16, 2010, the future of the game was sealed when Realtime Worlds announced that the servers would be shutting down soon after. However, GamersFirst has picked up the game and has put it in Open Beta,
under the name "APB: Reloaded", and in December 2011, released the beta on Steam
as well.Not to be confused with
arcade game of the same name.
This game provides examples of:
- A.K.A.-47 - Both the cars and weapons are fictional, but you can recognize at least the AK47, H&K USP, G36, MP7, Desert Eagle and fifth-generation Ford Mustang (named "Patriot Jericho" in the game).
- And Your Reward Is Clothes - In the original gaining standing with organizations and spending time in the clothing editor gave you customizable clothes, while gaining standing with contacts gave you preset ones, in case you're lazy and don't want to fiddle with the editor, but still have something decent-looking on. Preordering also granted you two different sets of clothing, one for Criminal characters, one for Enforcers. Beta testers also got a special shirt called "The Lousy Shirt," which says "I was in the APB beta and all I got was... MULTIPLE BULLET WOUNDS". In the Reloaded version all clothes, predesigned and designable are now unlocked via contact standing, forcing you to grind hours to get access to things like boots.
- With 1.8.0 you can also now give your guns some preset skins for cosmetics. Almost all are cash-shop only, but a few can be unlocked through ranking progression or finishing a weapon role.
- Armor Is Useless - The game offers bullet proof vests for both sexes as cloth items and the ARMAS shop offers a full suit. They are purely cosmetic and offer no real protection ingame.
- Arms Dealer - Tyron Sennet and Grayson Fell. Since the introduction of the Joker Shop in the Reloaded version, the eponymous Wilde, creator of Wilde Designs. Her family also owns Obeya.
- Artificial Stupidity - and how! The civilian NPCs have a tendency to run straight in front of your car, your firefight, or call the police... when you are the police.
- Author Existence Failure - Real Time Worlds went under in August 2010, and the game followed briefly.
- Awesome but Impractical - The OSMAW rocket launcher can one-shot virtually anything if it hits, but it only carries 4 rockets, and features a lengthy wind-up time upon firing. Very few vehicles in San Paro can withstand a rocket, but its epicenter radius of 2 meters means you'll essentially need direct impacts to kill soft targets normally. This is... not easy due to painfully slow projectiles.
- The LTL weapons might also count. They are harder to use than the regular weapons but there is nothing more satisfying than arresting a crim. Not to mention the standing and cash bonuses.
- Ax-Crazy - Lilith Bloodrose. An interesting Beware the Nice Ones example, as she often tells you to kill people in an eerily calm voice.
- Bag of Spilling: GamersFirst allows you to import your character from the retail version. You keep your clothes and some other customizations, but lose all your gear.
- Which happend because several gameplay aspects were changed. For example damage enhancing mods are gone completely and the mod that increased stun recovery became a permanent ability of player characters.
- Big Bad Wannabe - Seung Bloodrose. He's constantly rambling about how he's better than his cousin Jeung and how he's gonna build his own empire one day.
- Jeung himself has shades of this aswell, since he thinks he is leading the Blood Roses, completely unaware of the fact that Simeone technically displaced him in hierarchy, and Simeone himself is being manipulated by Luke Waskawi.
- Bling-Bling-BANG! - Most guns can be equipped with a gold skin, complete with either wooden or black synthetic furniture. The cash-shop ACT44 Golden Marksman established the trope before the skins were introducing, being a Desert Eagle clone with an extended barrel, scope, and gold finish.
- Blood Knight - Tiptoe. She simply loves fighting the Enforcers and causing mahyem, what prevents her from being Ax-Crazy like Lilith is that she is completely sane and well aware of what she is doing and causing.
- Blown Across the Room - All player characters are subject to ragdolls upon death. Also, bullets have a set force that will affect ragdolls (but not living, breathing players). Shooting and killing someone in mid-air with one of the sniper rifles will send the body flying several meters. Other weapons can do it too, but just not as often.
- Boring but Practical: The Joker SR15 carbine and Obeya FBW pistol. Both are semi-auto firearms with reasonably high fire-rate caps and above-average accuracy, allowing for versatile usage. The humble starter STAR 556 is also far from useless.
- Break Out the Museum Piece - The Colby M-1922. The one you get from Tip Toe is even stated to be stolen from a museum.
- Bribing Your Way to Victory - APB has "G1 credits" you can use to buy neat stuff with. It's not really needed though, as a player with decent marksmanship skills can take on any foe with the starting rifle.
- The "pay 2 win" debates have been going on in the G1 forums for quite some time. For the most part, premium weapons in G1's cash shop play differently than its closest non-premium counterparts (ie. STAR 556 'LCR' versus STAR 556, N-HVR 223 'Scout' versus N-HVR 762), and they mainly provide advancement for the cost of money instead of having to grind through contacts and roles. Also, you get a unique weapon that most people don't have.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer - Many player characters look rather weird or hillarious, however this doesn't stop their players from being good at the game.
- Car Fu - For a good start of Mark Rein's video, someone gets run over for the lulz. The same thing happens in The Stinger for PAX'09 trailer. This can be surprisingly difficult to pull off due to the flighty driving physics (think Halo 3), but merely touching someone with a speeding car can kill them.
- City of Adventure - San Paro.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience - Enforcer characters on the concept art usually wear white and blue, Criminal characters - black and red.
- Subverted in the full game in which the colors are more diverse and more of a backround theme. Bloodroses still keep to the black and red theme, however G-Kings have an acid-green theme, Praetorians olive green (with occasional dark blue and black) and Prentiss Tigers mixing in varsity forms of yellow, navy blue, and white.
- Also subverted for most players who will just use what ever colors they want, making the red or green name and the faction tag the only way to seperate Enforcer players from Criminal players.
- Cool Car - Muscle cars, sports cars, SUVs, take your pick.
- Cowboy Cop - A Cowboy Cop Is You if you play as an Enforcer.
- Crapsack World - San Paro might be sunny all year long, but the world is not pretty to live in. When murderous psychopaths are displayed on the covers of fashion magazines for their stylish clothes you know something is definetly wrong.
- Creator Killer - The game's commercial flop caused Real Time Worlds to shut down.
- According to interviews the game did well enough, but not good enough to save the company from it's debts.
- Curb-Stomp Battle - Matchmaking can easily result in new players with little experience and just the starter guns to face well coordinated well armed veterans, resulting in this. The steep learning curve doesn't help either and the developer have on multiple instances admited that this is a problem.
- Dark-Skinned Redhead - Pagan Bloodrose.
- The Ditz - Britney Bloodrose. Said to be talentless, clingy and not very bright. Also speaks with a Valley Girl accent. Veronika Lee is another Valley Girl, but marginally smarter and much more badass. She is also more self-aware of it than Britney.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Double B, as well as any player character if they so choose.
- Do Not Call Me Paul - "Don't call me Clarissa! It's Britney! BRIT-NEY!"
- Drives Like Crazy - Mark Rein's driver in the gameplay mentioned above. The city, as you may see, is designed just so the players can Drive Like Crazy: ramps to jump off from, gaps in highway barriers allowing you to drop to the street below, all sorts of random trash to be run over like in those '70s movies and drainage canals for that Terminator 2 Judgmentday-kind-of chases.
- Dude, Where's My Respect? - Subverted. Contacts will regulary send you E-mails when you level them, which indicate them warming up to you. This can go from simply inviting you to parties, to telling you secrets. Gaining their respect is actualy necessary for them to send up to the more important people.
- Dummied Out - Pagan Bloodrose and Simon Tran were removed a few patches ago. They used to deliver 'experimental' missions that G1 wanted to test out, but practically no one used them due to a lack of rewards and unlocks.
- Original there were also two additional factions and one extra district planned. The Red Rain and the SPPD in the Midtown District. Reverences to them can still be found in the character bios.
- Every Car Is a Pinto - Every car catches fire and then explodes if sufficiently damaged. It can be cleverly used to take out enemies taking cover behind one.
- Flavor Text: The pre-designed clothes all have small descriptions about who designed them and in what context. These can range from being just informative to funny to squick-inducing. An example of the latter, one Bloodrose skirt apparently became popular after a woman wearing it gave birth during a TV show, live on camera.
- Flashed Badge Hijack - What happens when you jack a civilian car as an Enforcer. Criminals just unceremoniously toss the civilian out.
- Firing One-Handed - An odd example, only the criminals will fire the small-caliber pistols one-handed. Enforcers will always use their other hand to brace the same weapon. Played straight when firing out of cars - both factions will wield their pistols, SMGs, and even assault rifles one-handed.
- Funny Background Event - Being an open world MMO game these can be all over the place either on purpose or by accident.
- Gas Mask Mooks - With the newest patches the players can now look like this. Also, TipToe of the criminals wears one.
- Germans Love David Hasselhoff - In universe, apperently the Prentiss Tigers are big in japan, including having their own anime series, with Devil Dog even being offered a spin off. In turn the Tigers preset clothes often have a stereotypical anime element.
- Generic Graffiti - Don't be surprised if you see a Pedo Bear, Shinra logo, The Joker or the Awesome Face sprayed on a wall or billboard up high.
- GIFT - This game seems to attract a good deal of whiny teenagers, trolls, idiots and "hardcore" "bro" gamers.
- Girlish Pigtails - Two kinds of selectable hairstyle for female characters. Britney Bloodrose has pink ones.
- Glasgow Grin - Double B. Britney Bloodrose has one drawn on.
- Good Feels Good - One part of the appeal of playing an Enforcer and arresting enemies rather than killing them.
- Guide Dang It - Figuring out which contacts and activities unlocked what was a major pain in the ass since the official guide (known only to the betatesters) was outdated anyway and the new version was still "coming soon". Thankfully the Reloaded version fixes this. You can hover your mouse for a second to see what rank in contact/badge you need. Also, when talking to contacts you have a list of what you can unlock at certain levels.
- Car parts however are still not displayed, the only way to know which contacts reward which parts is to look which type of car they unlock.
- Hated Hometown - A lot of dialogue involving the civilians will mention their hatred of the city (or at least, the ongoing conflict) and their desire to move away.
- Heel-Face Turn - Violet Prentiss, known earlier as Violet Bloodrose. Also, Wilson LeBoyce.
- Hot Scoop - Terri Quan.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes - With the right amount of customization, they can be impossibly cool.
- In-Vehicle Invulnerability - As long as you don't stick yourself out of the window to shoot enemies, you're completely protected.
- Itasha - With car customization, you can get impressive effects or abominations of various kinds. The latter are more common, although there are some gems in the marketplace. Formula D and FIA GT liveries are unusually common.
- Jerk Jock - The Prentiss Tigers take it up a notch. Those guys look like jocks and cheerleaders... and they are The Law.
- Law Enforcement, Inc. - The City Secruity Act has essentialy opened the door for this in San Paro. The city itselfs hires anyone willing to help them against the Crims as long as they finance themself. The Praetorian are private military contractor trying to become the new regular police of San Paro and the the Prentiss Tigers are turning law enforcement into a franchise.
- Level Grinding -
- Level grinding is now the standard in GamersFirst incarnation as clothes, weapons, cars and car mods require leveling up contacts, no longer being rewarded for certain activities. Ranking up 'roles' with weapons meanwhile is now required to unlock better mods for them.
- To unlock the basic model of Charge Cisco in the RTW version, you had to achieve Level 2 in "Wheelman" rank, which required bringing no less than 48 cars to chop shops scattered across the districts (to say nothing that some documentation and in-game text referred to it as the "Car Thief" rank). Every chop shop had a cooldown that disabled it for a couple of minutes and to top it off, when you stole a car, the FARTHEST chop shop from your location was highlighted on the map - but if you knew the city well, you could dump the car in any other chop shop closer to you. And that was the Criminal path - Enforcers had to find vehicles that already have been stolen and bring them back to impound lots. Wanted a better Cisco? Well, you had to steal even more cars to unlock the slotted versions...
- Some clothes, car parts and decals forced you to spend (lots of) time in vehicle or clothing editor respectively. Of course you could leave the game running and go to lunch, just as a lot of people did. Unlocking other cars, car parts, clothes and decals was even more of a pain in the ass due to having to gain standing with either particular NPCs or factions as a whole. To add insult to injury, no info was available how to unlock particular elements of clothing or decals. Real Time Worlds promised to update The Vault after changes to unlock progression during thebeta, the official unlock database, but didn't do it before nor after release.
- Lethal Joke Item - The Hohoho-PGL and Snowball from the Christmas Event 2012 are this. The Hohoho-PGL is a reskinned O-PGL which instead of deadly grenades fires snowballs and has a 1 second timer making shots with it incredible hard to pull off. The snowball meanwhile is a grenade replacement which can only damage upon direct impact. However both weapons can one-hit kill players depending on how far they fly and in most cases at least stun the enemy making a second shot easier. Making both Difficult but Awesome.
- Lost Forever - All gear earned from the original incarnation of APB. The game was thought to be this until GamersFirst picked it up.
- The removale of the gear however makes sense since several key aspects had been changed including the removale of certain mods for balancing sake.
- Mama Bear - More like Little Sister Bear: when Double B was a kid, some punks killed her brother. She ran away, came back with a Sawed-Off Shotgun and killed every last one of them.
- Manipulative Bitch - Charlotte Bloodrose.
- Mini Dress Of Power - Lilith Bloodrose, Charlotte Bloodrose, Akiko X and Violet Prentiss, and considering the female player characters are Action Girls by the virtue of jacking cars and running people over alone, their minidresses can be considered a power element.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast - Pagan, Lilith, Sabbat...
- No Export for You - Australia is screwed again, but this time, the reason isn't Moral Guardians - it's Money, Dear Boy, as the cost of renting servers and high-speed connection in Australia is tantamount to extortion.
- Not So Different - Mayor Jane Derren and Luke Waskawi. From what we learn from in-game emails covering lore, they both want a 'better' San Paro. The difference between the two is that Derren wants to root out corruption and save the current city, while Waskawi wants to tear everything down and start anew.
- Obfuscating Stupidity - Tiptoe. Her entire e-mails are barebone, full of spelling errors and make her look like a violent imbecile. However fully leveling her and recieving her final E-mail reveals that she made those on purpose and wonders if you really fell for it.
- Of Corsets Sexy - Charlotte and Lilith Bloodrose. Also, most players wear one on their female crims (if not decked out in military-grade tactical gear).
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping - Grayson Fell sometimes speaks with an odd Scotirish accent. Also, the supposedly Korean-American Seung and Jeung (especially the former) slip in and out of variously exaggerated generic Far Eastern accent.
- Outlaw Couple - Charlotte and Jeung Bloodrose, the founders of Blood Roses.
- Pretty in Mink: Aces wears a fur jacket, Foxtail and Sofia wear a fur-lined coat, and one of the female designs wears a white fur wrap and red dress with a white fur hem.
- Private Military Contractors - The Praetorians.
- Put on a Bus: Pagan Bloodrose with the newest patch.
- Rebellious Spirits - The G-Kings. Poor ghetto kids who decided to stick it to the Man. And they're backed by the owner of a garbage disposal company. Well played, Mr Benjamin.
- Rage Quit: An interesting variant due to the 'threat system'. Some high-threat players, who want to keep their high threat, will often kick most if not all of their teammates right before a game ends to prevent their threat from dropping too much or to super-inflate their threat. Threat is directly affected by how many people are on your team and the enemy's, as well as the threat levels of everyone, and threat change is only calculated at the end of a match. There are some cases where a high-threat party leader kicks the entirety of his friendly team (which could be as much as nine people in a 10-on-10) just so their emblem could stay a certain colour.
- Ramming Always Works: Mostly subverted since vehicles that one faction has to defend are invulnerable to said faction, so the defending players can't just blow up the car to change the car location right before they get overrun. However, it's still possible to push the car around with an SUV or truck, forcing the other team to stop your car before they can break in.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning - Britney Bloodrose, although she's an Affably Evil Ditz. Also popular with some players.
- Retired Badass - Chiro. Ex-gangbanger who now owns a tattoo parlor and tips players off about new missions.
- Byeong Lee of the Prentiss Tigers as well, former Deputy Commissioner of the SPPD who was ousted 20 years ago. His at-the-time suggestions for a more hardline approach to crime got him chewed up by the public* . He was also commander of San Paro's SWAT for 8 years.
- Rich Bitch - Bonita Benjamin. The Bloodrose gang also has plenty of those.
- Rummage Sale Reject - One of the results of giving players such a wide customization option with their clothes.
- Screwed By The Devs - The game was released by Realtime Worlds already in high waters due to the prolonged development time, in an Obvious Beta state, and they did little to fix the kilometric list of problems it had, like they knew they were going belly-up already (mostly because of disastrous financial model of the company, as one of the ex-employees pointed out on his blog). The game had great potentialities but no time to reach a state to really express them, and people have basically paid to be beta-testers for a cancelled product. The game's servers were shut down a mere three months before release. The game has now been acquired by GamersFirst with a new Free To Play model.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here! - Byron Bloodrose has this planned out with various backup plans should the luck of the Bloodroses end.
- Also Birth's reaction when he found out the people who wanted to sell his newest shirt designs were the same who produced an anime about the Prentiss Tigers who fight Bloodrose vampires and ugly G-King mutants.
- Self-Made Orphan - Lilith Bloodrose.
- Soundtrack Dissonance - When you'll hear songs like "Brindisi" and "Night on Bald Mountain", you will most probably ask yourself why the hell did the devs include those songs. Can be invoked if you upload your own dissonant tracks to play in-game.
- Split Personality - Strega Bloodrose. She often says that "Strega is out" while referring to herself by her real name, Jocasta, and calls the player "her own private ninja Strega shouldn't know about".
- Spoiled Brats - The Bloodroses. They hang around in trendy clubs and commit crimes for laughs and just because they can.
- Bonita Benjamin also has elements of this.
- Standard Status Effects - Enforcers can use Less-Than-Lethal armaments such as a taser pistol and a bean-bag rifle. These weapons can stun Criminals, leaving them helpless for a few seconds and able to be arrested by an Enforcer, giving them more than triple rewards compared to a kill and taking the Criminal out of the game for a longer period of time. Criminals universally consider these weapons Game Breakers, despite the fact that the lethal counterparts to many LTL weapons often do the job faster with fewer rounds spent. This also has more irritation as the criminal is forced to kneel for several seconds helpless, allowing the enforcers plenty of time to abuse the game's numerous emote options.
- Stripperiffic - Well, for starters: Pagan and Lilith Bloodrose, expect the players to roll with it as well. There are CrossPlayers out there after all.
- Tattooed Crook - Lots of them, both players and NPC Contacts.
- The Mafia - Michael Simeone, the Bloodrose boss, is an ex-mafioso turned state witness. He's running a successful club and slowly getting back into "business"...
- The Man Behind the Man - Luke Waskawi is this - and the Ultimate Evil. He doesn't appear in the game directly, but is responsible for what the city became. After assassinating the mayor and spending twenty years in the slammer, he escaped and started manipulating both the G-Kings and the Blood Roses for his own gain.
- The Smart Guy: Byron Bloodrose for the Crims, with a bit of The Strategist mixed in. He is the brain behind a lot of the Bloodroses operation and their hacking expert. Also while he likes to tell you about the things he does for them in secret without ever becoming famous for it, he seems to be rather happy that way.
- The last email he sends you states that he's preparing to leave the Blood Roses for other endeavors, recognizing that the gang's continued success (and existence) is a fluke, and that luck is about to run out.
- Ernst "Mule" Templeton is also this, considering his extensive military background. He basically manages all the gear that gets shipped to the entire Praetorian force.
- Uncanceled - APB has been released into a Free To Play game under the title Reloaded by GamersFirst.
- Unusable Enemy Equipment - Not actualy weapons or mods, but clothes. Charlotte Bloodrose, Zombie, La Rocha and Sofia, unlike every other contact or NPC in the game, are not made with the character creator but direct copies of their concept art. As a result their unique clothes can not be used by players.
- Vanity License Plate - Fully customizable, with 13 different backgrounds and allowing up to eight characters. The plates on Criminal sports car in the concept art actually say "STOL3N".
- Vice City - And how! Wander through town and you'll have people diving vans into store fronts, stealing cars and engaging in massive gunfights and demolition derbies in the streets.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential -
- Some Enforcers have a nasty habit of stunning, arresting, then executing Criminals* . Inversely, some crims will mug random civilians and then shoot them afterwards.
- There have been reports of one particular group of enforcers who have choreographed entire dance routines using the game's varied dance emote options, all solely for the purpose of dancing in front of arrested criminals to piss them off. It varies from well choreographed, flashy routines to being grinded upon/tea-bagged by seven grossly obese bounty hunters.
- Virtual Paper Doll - ...is you, again!
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy - Arlon Benjamin is this towards his son Harmon.
- Witness Protection - Michael Simeone. See above.
- Wrench Wench - Chiza. She liked boosting cars for joyrides (and not profit) prior to the formation of the Prentiss Tigers. Ophelia is another, entering in a self-modded car into San Paro's biggest race and winning the whole thing. Her brand, Ophelia Customs, produces the premium-shop cars.
- Wretched Hive - San Paro, apparently. Not full-blown as many other examples, but most of the high-level criminal contacts are considered as celebrities by the rest of the public.
- A World Half Full - Main mentality of the Prentiss Tigers.
- Surprisingly, also the mentality of the G-Kings. They really think they can change something to the better.
- Yandere - Charlotte Bloodrose. She's so possessive of Jeung that she set up her perceived rival, Violet Bloodrose, to be killed by another gang. Violet's not at all happy about this now. Neither are her new friends from Prentiss Tigers.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair - Chung-Hee and Double B have blue hair. Most Criminal characters also have outrageous dye-jobs in other colors.
- Zettai Ryouiki - Akiko X and Lilith Bloodrose.