Sunday 20 September 2009

Assemble, Police of Britannia!

APB has been on my radar since footage of the oh-so-lovely character creator emerged over a year ago. Since then Realtime Worlds have been keeping things fairly subtle, mostly focussing on the character creator at various industry shows and in their official podcasts. With the prospect of an early 2010 release and imminent beta, though, more gameplay details are starting to emerge (from unwize’s previous comment, Massively and Rock, Paper, Shotgun amongst others), advancing the interest-o-meter from “hmm?” to “oh!” and prompting that most important of debates six months before game release: what sort of guild to form.

The seeds were sown on Van Hemlock’s podcast, when he suggested a guild based around 1950s and 60s British bobbies, a la Dixon of Dock Green or Z Cars. Under discussion at the International Symposium Of Advanced Gaming Thought (or “the pub”), one potential issue was whether a small truncheon would be sufficient weaponry to take on criminals armed with large quantities of automatic weaponry, the scene at the beginning of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen film cited as a case study, where Victorian Peelers unsuccessfully attempt to beat a tank into submission. Bevis proposed this could be solved with “truncheon-fu”, a martial art allowing police officers to wield a truncheon in a similar fashion to a Jedi wielding a lightsaber (yet subtly different enough to avoid legal action). Batting incoming bullets from the very air, hurling the truncheon with uncanny accuracy to provide a ranged attack, the truncheon-fu-ist would be a deadly opponent indeed.

Of the array of weaponry depicted in APB promotional footage so far, though, machine pistols, assault carbines and squad automatic weapons are much in evidence, wooden batons less so. Doesn’t look hopeful for a squad of truncheon-fu-ists, so we thought Dixon could call in a bit of backup from the 1970s; the Sweeney and the Professionals might be just the sort of tough, no-nonsense coppers to bring justice to the streets of APB, and they’ve got shooters. They’ve also got some distinctive vocabulary, so if you want to join in here’s some handy phrases to start practising:
“The blaggers are on the move!”
“You slaaaaag!”
“Shut it!”
“Put yer knickers on and get me a cup of tea”
“We’re the Sweeney, son, and we haven’t had our dinner!”

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