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Second Wind: All Points Bulletin Reloaded

Screenshots, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, PvP, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Races, All Points Bulletin, Crime, MMOFPS, Humor, Livestream, Second Wind, Player-Generated Content

APB reloaded screenshot
I could make this a very short piece by saying that APB: Reloaded is simply as fun now as it has ever been. The game is a blast in more ways than one. Heck, I could close it right now by telling you that not only was my return to the game well worth the effort but also that it also served to slap me on the side of the head to say, "Hey, dummy, remember how fun it is to run over people?" I'd rather give you more details, though, especially for those of you who might not have played the game or haven't played it in a long time.

APB: Reloaded is essentially a lobby-based shooter. The lobby -- or social district, as it is called -- and the instanced battle arenas are massive places. While I livestreamed the game last week (you can watch the embedded video after the cut), someone accurately commented that watching it was like watching "GTA Online." I agree, but it's also so much more than that. Join me past the cut and I promise not to run you over.

(EDIT: I was able to order an APB: Reloaded box from Newegg.com for $7.99 USD which contains "over $50 value" like a permanent Magnum gun, a Cisco car, 500 G1 credits and 30 days of premium. I paid no shipping fees at all and received it within three days of ordering, but after this article went live.)

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MMO Burnout: Yucking it up with Saints Row The Third

Real-Life, Game Mechanics, Opinion, Crime, Hands-On (Massively's), Sandbox, MMO Burnout

MMO Burnout - Saints Row The Third
So how would you feel about running around in an open-world action title smacking enemies with a giant dildo? The answer to that question will go a long way toward determining whether or not you'll dig Saints Row The Third, which is, naturally, the third installment of Volition's sordid sandbox saga.

If that question made you laugh, utter some version of "hell yeah," or type "Saints Row 3 dildo" into your Google image search box, you and SRTT will get along famously. If you shifted uncomfortably in your seat, grumbled about kids these days, or fired off a how-dare-you email in the general vicinity of the Massively tip box, well, you can probably skip the rest of this week's MMO Burnout.

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MMO Burnout: Do yourself a favor and play Sleeping Dogs

Real-Life, Game Mechanics, Opinion, Hands-On, Crime, Sandbox, MMO Burnout

MMO Burnout - Sleeping Dogs' Wei Shen
This week I thought I'd travel to Hong Kong as an undercover cop, infiltrate the Triads, enter a few street races, sing some karaoke, and generally kung fu fight my way through another jewel of an open-world sandbox actioner.

You're welcome to come with me, but you'll need a copy of Sleeping Dogs to make it happen. Square's 2012 gangster opus got a new DLC injection this week, but it'll be a while before I can report on it since the rest of game is so large and involving.

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MMO Burnout: Second time's the charm for L.A. Noire

Historical, Game Mechanics, Opinion, Crime, MMO Burnout

MMO Burnout - L.A. Noire
I don't know about you, but I really wanted to like L.A. Noire at release. I mean, come on. It was Rockstar. It was also a gigantic open playfield based on the 1947 incarnation of a real-life town that's spilling over with sordid, sultry characters all looking to make their mark on post-World War II America.

Alas, something about the title just didn't jell with me at launch. In fact, I didn't even finish the original campaign on my Xbox 360, which is rare when it comes to personal gaming habits. Equally rare is the occasion when I repurchase a game that I didn't really like on a different platform, but that's what I did thanks to yet another ridiculous Steam sale this past December.

My second tour of duty as hard-boiled detective Cole Phelps has been decidedly more enjoyable than my first, and while L.A. Noire is still a flawed video game in some respects, it makes for an engaging vacation from massively multiplayer convention while riffing on some of the genre's new-school charms.

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APB: Reloaded dev blog talks optimization

Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, All Points Bulletin, Crime, Dev Diaries

APB Reloaded dev blog talks optimization
Devs say the darndest things. In APB: Reloaded's latest dev blog, optimization of the live game is likened to changing your car's oil while speeding along at 65 mph. While not an admission of actually attempting the latter, this fact-filled dev diary does get into the nitty gritty of the optimization process; it offers a view (literally, with graphs and pictures) of both the software and hardware optimizations that are in the works.

A new OTW (Open Test World) called Overkill will soon come online to test a new bit of hardware developed specifically for the game to help improve performance. Those who are current OTW testers can expect to see Overkill in the next two weeks, while all players can expect to see release 1.10.2, with its performance improvements, very soon.

If you want to see exactly what is being done to improve your FPS in game, this is the blog to read.

MMO Burnout: Two weeks in the valley with Multi Theft Auto

Real-Life, Galleries, Screenshots, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Roleplaying, Crime, Hands-On (Massively's), First Impressions, Sandbox, MMO Burnout

MMO Burnout - Multi Theft Auto
OK, you know that guy who's always going on about how bloody awesome it would be if someone ever made a working multiplayer mod for Skyrim? If you don't know him, well, you do now, because he's me. Back before I was bitten in earnest by the MMO bug, I spent quite a lot of time messing with private servers of both the Jedi Academy and Neverwinter Nights persuasions. And when I say "messing with," I don't mean I logged into them, I mean I hosted them, made mods and skins for them, and generally wasted significant portions of my youth serving as a GM.

Needless to say, it was a blast, and the thought of having that experience again in a larger game world is just short of orgasmic. Alas, no one has made much of a multiplayer Skyrim mod yet, and while private servers for NWN and Neverwinter Nights 2 are still running and serving their niche communities quite capably, those are topics for another edition of MMO Burnout.

I'd like to tell you about something similar that I've been playing lately, though. It's called Multi Theft Auto.

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APB: Reloaded celebrates Steam success, teases new content

Free-to-Play, All Points Bulletin, Crime

APB Reloaded celebrates Steam success, teases new content
GamersFirst can enjoy a new bragging right today in the realm of free-to-play MMOs as APB: Reloaded has held steadily to a top-five position for most-popular free-to-play MMOs on Steam for a year. Currently ranked in the number four spot, APB:R has expanded its reach to Brazil and Russia in that year, while adding new content including Fight Club, Asylum, tons of new weapon and clothing packs, and more.

As the team looks forward to 2013, players can expect a new update entitled Settling the Score in the just a few weeks and rumors of an "all-new APB experience" being revealed in the coming months.

[Source: GamersFirst press release]

DCUO's Home Turf launches today

Video, Patches, PvP, Free-to-Play, Crime, DC Universe Online, Housing

DCUO's Home Turf launches today
SOE's sixth DLC pack for DC Universe Online has launched today, bringing with it a customizable base system that allows players to build their own lair. Appropriately named Home Turf, this content update bring a housing system that players have been anticipating since launch.

Lairs are much more than housing, though. The Lair's Mainframe allows players to unlock and access new combat abilities, and level 30-or-higher players can duel it out with Lair PvP battles.

Be sure to check out all the details in the latest DLC patch notes on the DCUO forums and skip past the cut for the Home Turf launch trailer.

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Previewing DC Universe Online's Home Turf update

Super-hero, Expansions, Patches, Previews, PvP, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Crime, DC Universe Online

DCUO Header
Over the last couple of days, we've seen some pretty cool clips and snippets of DC Universe Online's Home Turf update. Due on January 29, Home Turf brings an innovative system for player housing, new challenges for heroes and villains, and a 1:1 PvP matchmaking system that lets players duke it out in the comfort of their personal lairs. Don't let the focus on housing fool you, though; Home Turf introduces a host of new features that have the potential to change DCUO as you know it.

We sat down with creative director Jens Andersen for a closer look at Home Turf and the many ways in which it deepens and expands upon DC Universe Online's existing content. Put simply, this latest batch of DLC offers more than just a place to hang your cape.

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APB locks and reloads for Christmas

Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, All Points Bulletin, Crime

APB locks and reloads for Christmas
All Points Bulletin is preparing for a bloody Christmas siege -- and if you can get through this holiday event without saying, "Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho," then you are better people than we. The game is kicking off its holiday festivities on Wednesday, December 12th, and has a few twists from last year's event.

During the event, players will need to seek out Elves for a few new missions. These Elves aren't messing around, either; they're prepared to hand out weapon skins and cool threads for the street-tough. The studio also floated the rumor that there will be a snowball grenade launcher up for grabs.

The studio has a 12-day promotion starting on December 13th for shoppers. Each day, the cash shop will hand out a different surprise gift to those dropping money on the title.

[Source: Reloaded Productions press release]

APB celebrates Steam anniversary with free cigars

Free-to-Play, All Points Bulletin, Crime, Promotions, Anniversaries

APB celebrates Steam anniversary with free cigars
There are anniversaries and there are anniversaries. Steam anniversaries are apparently a thing now, as Reloaded Productions is celebrating All Points Bulletin's debut appearance on the digital distribution platform, as well as its official relaunch day. According to the studio, APB has proven incredibly popular on Steam during its year run.

Chief Marketing Officer Rahul Sandil conveys the company's appreciation: "We want to thank our player community and our friends at Steam for all the support and love they have shown APB Reloaded for the last year. With over three million downloads delivered, APB has established itself as one of the hottest game franchises in the online games industry. Over the next few days we will be making other exciting announcements about the expansion of the APB franchise, so stay tuned."

To celebrate the anniversary, the studio is discounting the ATAC 424 NCFP 3 weapon in the store and handing out free cigar and celebrate emotes to all players.

[Source: Reloaded Productions press release]

APB: Reloaded's version 10 to feature car surfing and more

Real-Life, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, All Points Bulletin, Crime

apb version 10 dev blog
GamersFirst has taken the wraps off APB: Reloaded's next patch. The version 10 update, otherwise known as New Breed Part Three, will appear "in the next few weeks" according to the latest edition of the APBR dev blog.

The patch introduces two new T5 contacts, Birth and Templeton, both of whom bring a laundry list of new features to the game including vehicles, weapons, and modifications like Spotter and Car Surfer. The former is about what you'd expect given the name, as it allows players to paint enemy targets and display them to teammates (even through walls). Car Surfer, naturally, allows you to ride on a vehicle's roof. Check out a couple of quick example videos after the break. You'll find more like them on APBR's official site.

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Fallen Earth and APB: Reloaded go trick-or-treating

Sci-Fi, Fallen Earth, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, All Points Bulletin, Crime, Promotions, Post-Apocalyptic

Fallen Earth and APB Reloaded go trickortreating
GamersFirst is bringing scary back to two of its biggest titles for Halloween. The publisher announced special events and seasonal sales for APB: Reloaded and Fallen Earth, some of which are happening at this very moment.

Players in APB can get a preview of the upcoming Asylum District as they go there to compete in the Fright Club. A costume contest is scheduled for October 31st as well, and GMs will be present to lead a grand parade through the streets. Finally, the pumpkin-happy devs are throwing another Pumpkin Head Customization Contest with even better prizes than last year.

In the vast wasteland of Fallen Earth, survivors are encouraged to go trick-or-treating with the devs for exclusive items. The location of said trick-or-treating will be hinted at in chat. Fallen Earth is also selling its cosmetic gear for half off starting tomorrow.

MMObility: Find yourself in this updated list of location-based MMOs

Fantasy, Real-Life, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Browser, Mobile, Casual, Crime, Post-Apocalyptic, Miscellaneous, MMObility, Sandbox

Life is Crime screenshot
Location-based MMOs have a long way to go. I can only imagine how the genre will appear in 10 or 15 years and how common it will be to load up a virtual world on our mobile devices. Even with the advances that still need to be made, location-based gaming is pretty darned impressive. Think about it: These are games that use the real world as a playing field. While most do not employ the literal square mileage of the Earth in exact scale, most of these games can boast a very large map. These titles can also utilize the weather and other events that happen on it at any given time, blending them with our real world so that it appears there is a secret, veiled world right beside us.

I wanted to recap some of my favorite location-based MMOs for those who might need some advice on which ones to try. My favorites are marked with a "latest update" marker, but all of them are worth checking out. So pull out your phone or tablet and get to it!

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Why I Play: APB Reloaded

Screenshots, Game Mechanics, Opinion, Free-to-Play, All Points Bulletin, Crime, Why I Play

Why I Play APB Reloaded
Those of you who have followed me on this quaint little internet of ours for any reasonable amount of time know that I'm a sandbox guy. I love freedom, choice, and the leg room to explore and build to my heart's content. I'm not a big fan of PvP, general chat, bored griefers, or people acting like idiots. But in direct contrast to this claim, APB: Reloaded is one of my all-time favorite MMOs.

APB: Reloaded is one of those games that I happily jump into when I'm feeling bored with other games or just miss real action. When I'm solo, it's a bit of an outlet for any stress or frustrations I might have because I can just be a complete jerk and it's part of the game. But when I'm with a group, the dynamic changes completely. Sure, the game has its problems and is notorious for the lag and cheater issues, but that doesn't really affect why I play the game.

Then why do I play APB: Reloaded?

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