Player Immersion in APB

Despite having 60 hour work weeks lately, I’ve still managed to clock a lot of time in APB since it was released at the start of the week. I’ve already written a review on the game, and you can read it by clicking on the APB review link in the “Reviews” column to the right. Or click here if you’re lazy.

I’ve checked out a few professional reviews that gave APB scores of 5 and 6 out of 10, which conveys a very different message from the 8.7 that I scored APB. Despite the fact that the game isn’t actually that outstanding, I’m sticking by my score. For me, the reason why APB deserves a good score, is because of the immersion that the game provides us, the players, with.

As someone who used to play Dungeons & Dragons in my teenage years with my friends, and as someone who has taken part in online RP, I was quite impressed with the immersion provided by APB. Don’t read into this wrong, I’m not approaching APB as something that I would use for any sort of RP purpose, because the game is just too PvP oriented for such a thing to off easily. No, I’m talking about a different kind of immersion here. I’m not talking about the kind of immersion where players pretend to be their characters and roleplay them. The type of immersion I am speaking of is the kind where players are aware of what their characters represent and enjoy emulating the roles in a realistic fashion in order to increase the fun had in the game not just for one specific person, but for everybody andI intend on going over what some of these things are. Since I predominantly play as an Enforcer, the things I mention from here will be biased towards that faction.

Stop in the name of the law!
I only witnessed this once, sort of in passing. I saw some Enforcers bugging Criminals via VOIP, which is voice identification. They were hassling the Criminals to get out of their stolen vehicle and were using real police phrases to do so. It was really exciting, because the Enforcers had their sirens blasting while shouting at the Criminals. Eventually, the Criminals did surrender the vehicle and the Enforcers made off with it, presumably to turn it in for some cash. It was really great to see players enjoying themselves in such a way, and I really do hope to see more of it.

Obey the rules of the road.
This one I see each time I play, perhaps once or twice. I’m guessing that these people aren’t on missions when I see them, since they always appear to be taking it so easy. What are they doing, you ask? They’re obeying the rules of the road, that’s what. They make all the proper turns, drive at a respectable speed, stop at intersections, and allow pedestrians to cross the road. I’ve done this once or twice when I wanted a few minutes away from missions, and it was somewhat enjoyable. It makes you feel like a part of the city a little bit more, and provides passing players with a neat sight. “What? That guy is driving the speed limit and not ramming other players? I can hardly believe it!”

Officers on patrol.
This one is neat, and I’ve engaged in it a few times while looking for crimes to witness. Some Enforcers, rather than driving around the city or even running, will walk. Yes, walk. Some players may have overlooked the walk option in the control menu, but it’s there. It adds a hefty amount of realism to APB, because surely these characters can’t run everywhere they go! Aside from just making you look like a part of the city, walking can be very beneficial. It is a great method of being able to get a glimpse of potential crimes for longer than the two or three seconds you might get with a vehicle. It puts you on the street and gives you presence. Criminals beware!

A good Criminal never rests.
I’ve only heard stories about this one from Criminal players. According to them, it’s a lot of fun to rob stores and such – which is a gameplay mechanic for Criminals that awards money. However, from what I’ve gathered, a few Criminals like to plan their robberies out and really coordinate them like a real team committing a real crime. They’re not roleplaying, but they’re really getting into the game and what Criminals do, and it’s great to see them becoming so immersed in the game. If I play Criminal more, I may very well try this out.

And that’s about it for now. APB is a very enjoyable game for those who like to feel somewhat immersed in their faction’s duties and roles. The game is also fantastic for Grand Theft Auto fans, as there is a whole city to explore and have fun in while also blowing people up. I’ll be playing until my 50 hours are up and probably afterwards as well, so for those interested, I primarily play on Zombie. My Enforcer character is named Boulder, and I’m more often than not out on vehicle retrieval runs, turning in stolen vehicles for a few quick bucks so that I can play around with my character’s appearance. I’m definitely not the best shot around, but my driving skills aren’t too shabby! I’d like to think that this is because I’m addicted to racing games. Hit me up if you need a driver for a mission.

Return to July 2010 Articles

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