A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What 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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
In ALL POINTS BULLETIN (APB), the City of San Paro has legalized vigilantism to combat the new breed of criminals. Citizens have been empowered to pick up the burden of law enforcement from the city's out-gunned police force. In this game about shooting others and driving in an open world, players choose to play either as an Enforcer or a Citizen. In the pursuit of status, Enforcers seek Prestige and the Criminals desire Notoriety. For Enforcers, Prestige is raised by taking on missions to bust-up gang hideouts, break-up drug rings and the like, and by reporting Criminals in action or taking more active steps by attempting to arrest them or kill them. For Criminals, Notoriety is raised by mugging ordinary citizens and taking on missions to run drugs, steal cars, and kill Enforcers who are on the prowl. How it really plays out is you shoot and run down everything in your way to your objective. In the meantime, you need to look cool while doing all these activities and the game has an excellent character customization where creative players will excel in creating and selling designs on the market place.
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the game world of All Points Bulletin. Do you think this game fairly depicts the pros and cons of citizen law enforcement?
Families can also talk about the hyper-sexualization of male and female models seen in the media. Why do you think think game characters are designed to be super sexy? Do most people actually look like that?
- Platforms: Windows
- Price: $49.99 + monthly subs $9.99/$6.99
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Electronic Arts
- Release date: June 29, 2010
- Genre: Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG)
- ESRB rating: M for Blood, Drug Reference, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Violence
- Last updated: June 20, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.