Defending APB • Page 4

Realtime Worlds' Dave Jones hits back.

Eurogamer: One of the criticisms of APB is regards the vehicle handling. Is that criticism fair? Can you tweak vehicle handling post-launch?

Dave Jones: No. I think this is a black and white thing as well. I don't think we need to tweak the vehicle handling. For every person who says,'‘Oh my God, I just don't get the vehicle handling in this game', I can find people who say it's quite realistic and it's skillful and you have to plan ahead a little bit. But it's not an arcade-style driving game. It was specifically meant to be fairly realistic and fairly challenging. However, a lot of players come to this game unfortunately with PCs that aren't quite up to spec. That's one of the reasons why we had the open beta as well.

This is a high-spec PC game. Handling is one of those things that, if you have a fairly poor internet connection, or if you're running the game at... I saw one review, the guy said he got 15 frames per second, and I thought, well, I can tell you right now you're not going to have a good experience with this game.

They're not going to have a good experience with any action game at 15 frames per second. You need a good spec PC. And you need a fairly good, stable connection. A lot of people have experiences from the beta, where the game wasn't finished, who haven't come back, and said, 'Oh I remember trying that game'. And then a lot of people are not used to what a beta is. MMO players are. They understand it's an unfinished game and there are a lot of things being tried out. But a lot of people who maybe have never tried an online game before had no idea what a beta was, and didn't really understand. They just felt they were getting to try out the finished game.

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To be honest, in terms of the handling, no, we actually enjoy it. If you have a good connection, some of the car chases are some of the best moments in this game. But you have to be pretty good. You have to understand the use of the handbrake. You have to plan ahead. It's more realistic. It's not Burnout style driving. It takes skill to weave your way through the city and to keep on somebody's tail.

Eurogamer: Regarding the weapons, you mentioned it's a misconception that some weapons are more powerful than others and that gives an unfair advantage. You're saying that's not the case. Explain exactly what is the case.

Dave Jones: We have a broad range of weapons. When you start the game we give you an assault rifle, it's called a Star. And then we unlock weapons as you go through progression in order to build out your arsenal of weapons. However, the Star that you get right at the start is balanced in exactly the same way as a weapon you get at rating 200. Rating 200 unlocks things like rocket launchers, so it's different weapons. But there is no progression in the damage they do. It's exactly the same as Modern Warfare.

But when people die, they see he's using a weapon they don't have access to, and assume that's a more powerful weapon. What they don't realise is every weapon is situational. It's actually a very strategic game. If you get in too close range of somebody with a shotgun, you will die. If somebody takes you out from a hundred metres away with one of the long-range sniper rifles in the game, then that's just a situational awareness thing. But the very first gun you get, the Star for example, is a very powerful, good, medium-range weapon to use. Even some of the guys who have played 300 hours still use that weapon.

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Eurogamer: Do you believe that people are playing the game wrong?

Dave Jones: I always feel that's a cheesy thing to say [laughs].

Eurogamer: Even if you believe it?

Dave Jones: No, I don't think it's that they're playing the game wrong. Like I say, it's just some misconceptions in some respects from the people who aren't quite getting it, that's all. It's very strategic. You have to flank people. You have to get the high ground. It's not just about running in there. If the guy's weapon that you're running into the situation has the longer-length range on it, then of course he's going to drop you. If you think, I keep trying running in and he keeps killing me from range and I can't kill him, it's probably because you may be running with an SMG and you don't have the range.

You can't just keep running in. You'll have to try and flank him. You'll have to get into the sweet spot for your weapon. That's strategic then. Know your weapon. Know your surroundings. Use the environment to your advantage. The good players are the ones that do that extremely well. To be honest, the difference in skill between somebody who's played the game can become quite different, because they understand the game well. It's nothing to do with the weapons.

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