A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Players choose to play on one of two sides in the game: Criminals and Enforcers. Obviously, living the life of crime does not send positive messages; and in this game, neither is being an Enforcer because those players are really more vigilantes than law enforcement and can kill criminals at will. Deciding to stun a criminal rather than kill him is only possible later in the game because a stun-gun is a higher-level weapon and requires higher skill to use.
Positive Role Models
On the streets of this city where government has broken down, neither the Enforcers or Criminals are positive role models. The Enforcers are really vigilantes rather than law enforcement. They can arrest someone, cuff them, and then kill them.
Ease of Play
The controls are simple and once players learn how to move and shoot, it's a matter of practice and skill to play this game. The character customization is similarly simple to learn. Mastering the game -- learning the nuances of the types of missions, figuring out what roles your character can play -- is a lot harder as they aren't explained in the tutorial. Plus, driving a car with a keyboard is never an easy task.
Violence & Scariness
Violence is the name of the game. Pedestrians can be run over and mugged. Players can gun down others or be gunned down themselves with accompanying cries and bloodletting. Players use realistic-looking guns, rocket launchers, and grenades to kill opponents and blood splatters can "hit the screen." When playing on the side of the Enforcer, you can arrest someone and then decide to simply kill them.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Player characters may be scantily clad and hyper-sexualized as are many of the female characters within the game. There is also a size and placement controls for female breasts within the character creator.
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In game dialogue contain frequent use of the words "f--k" and "s--t."
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Products & Purchases
There are in-game items that are sold for real cash. Buying them can improve your play experience.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Missions in game often involve drug-running -- transporting packages of drugs -- or the stopping of said transport. Drug names "crack" and "heroin" etc. can be heard in in-game dialog.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that All Points Bulletin, a massively multiplayer online game for mature gamers, is similar in style to Grand Theft Auto and Crackdown. Full of intense violence, players use realistic looking weapons to take out other players with blood spraying. By contrast, players can visit a social district where they can exercise their talents in creating designs for tattoos, decals, cars, and clothing. This game requires the use of a high-end computer system to properly run the game. The game has a hybrid monetization system which works as follows: The game box costs $49.99 which includes 50 hours of game play in the active districts, and subscriptions are available at $6.99 per 20 hours or $9.99 every 30 days for unlimited play. The developers also sell currency which can be used to buy in-game items.
Is It Any Good?
All Points Bulletin is an "Open World" game. Unlike open Sandbox games such as Eve Online where almost anything and everything goes, players have a narrower "open" playing field. Players on each side are matched against each other by the computer when they enter active districts. Once players take on an action such as accepting a mission or Mugging / Reporting, they can expect that an opposing player or players will soon be dispatched against them. Players can also team up for missions, and call for assistance if they feel they need help.
The game plays well and the graphics and sound are outstanding for an MMO. The character customization is second to none, but as the game has only just launched, it still requires balance. Shooting in the game does not have headshots so that takes away some of the skill aspect, making the equipment aspect of the game more important (i.e. the person with the better gun has an advantage). Further, driving a car with a key board has never simple; but here, the controls have been oversimplified, with only WASD or arrow keys, and no acceleration control.
Online interaction: This is an mature MMO -- an online game with in-game voice chat which is required to communicate with others. It also has player vs player fighting. Players will be exposed to profanity and quite possibly experience verbal taunts.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.