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Potentially good game ruined by chaos and hostile environment

In a gaming world filled with sci-fi and war-themed multiplayer games, APB seems like a breath of fresh air. It takes place in modern times more or less, in a city torn apart by criinal activity. You have the choice of playing as a Criminal (gang member) or Enforcer (law enforcement) and basically have to carry out missions depending on what type of character you're playing. Often you will have to team with other players and take out "enemies" as you carry out your mission.

When you first play around with APB: R, it's actually kind of fun. It's like a lite version of GTA mixed in with a little Saints Row. As the action unfolds, San Paro's NPC citizens react to the action as it enfolds, sometimes crouching, screaming, diving for cover, or cursing, making the city come alive. Players have complained about the driving controls but I actually got the hang of it and found it really enjoyable. Character customization was also great.

Once you actually start playing missions, however, all the fun goes out the window. As a newbie, the experience is pure chaos, frustration, and confusion:

There's absolutely nothing to help you understand how to "mod"your character or weapons.

Go on the PvP missions and you will get blasted again and again and again relentlessly by extremely high level players or hackers/ cheaters. Slaughtered doesn't even begin to describe what happens.

"Teaming" isn't at all like co-op, where you and a bunch of ppl interact and help each other out. Usually, it's more like a bunch of random people thrown together with no sense of teamwork who just "do their own thing" while carrying out a mission and ignoring you and other teammates. Ironically, while keeping silent throughout the entire mission, they'll suddenly grumble in chat about how much the team "sucked" after the mission is lost, and then angrily leave it. Team leaders will similarly keep quiet during gameplay and not give any guidance throughout, then kick newbs off their missions when things go wrong.

Expect to be kicked/ abandoned during or after a mission a lot if you're a newb. If you're not sensitive, you'll just become angered by the "kicking" because by being constantly dumped, you never gain enough experience to get better at the game or meet new friends who you can play with in the future. But if you're a sensitive player, the endless round of being dumped makes the game feel hostile.

The chaos is out of this world! You'll be on a mission minding your own business and suddenly a player who isn't part of your mission will just keep ramming the crap out of your vehicle over and over again or running you over. Sometimes even your own teammates will kill you by running you over with a car or shooting you for no reason.

This is exactly what the first few days for the newb will be like-- slaughter, griefing, uncommunicative teammates, team leaders angrily kicking you off missions, teammates whining about how much their team "sucked, being abandoned by teammates during missions. Fun, huh?

Of course the early days of being a newb at any game is never, ever easy, but the fact is that they do get easier if one plays long enough. APB:R takes the "growing pains" of newbdom and brings them to a whole new level. The game has been boasting "3 million new players" for December but given the level of frustration to adapt, I doubt it will be able to keep even 5% of them. The rest will just be replaying GTA, ordering Saints Row III, or trying out other FPS PvPs like Crimecraft. I know I will.

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