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Deep Silver and Reloaded Games announced today that APB: Reloaded will be arriving for the Xbox One and PS4 this June. CEO of Reloaded Games, Bjorn Book-Larsson, also provided a bit of insight into what we can expect from the game as it makes its way onto Sony and Microsoft's home consoles.
The press release went out early in the day, indicating that the open-world, 50-vs-50 MMOTPS would be ported in part by Reloaded Games and former Treyarch developers who formed a new studio called The Workshop.
Peter Akemann, CEO of The Workshop commented about the game making the hop from PC to home consoles – something that was originally planned for APB back when Realtime Worlds was behind the development helm and EA was distributing the packaged renditions of the game – saying...
“On a technical note, because APB is such a technically complex game, featuring thousands of destructible objects and heavily customized players and vehicles in every scene, we are thrilled to help make APB a reality on these brand new high performance hardware platforms.”
APB was scheduled to land on the Xbox 360 and PS3, but the limited specs on the seventh generation consoles meant that the game had to be delayed until more powerful hardware came along. Well, more powerful hardware is now available.
Getting in a few questions with CEO of Reloaded Games, Bjorn Book-Larsson, he confirmed that the team's effort in porting over APB: Reloaded to a newer version of Unreal Engine will not be done just for the sake of PC gamers. Larsson acknowledged that the newer version of the Unreal Engine is what will power the game on PS4 and Xbox One.
Over on the GamersFirst forums, a more detailed explanation of the engine upgrade is rolled out, where they state...
“Going forward the PC, PS4 and Xbox One versions will be using the same upgraded engine. Of course there will be differences; UI and several other systems will be radically different on console, but in essence the PC and the console versions will be running the same unified engine. This finally completes the process of stripping out a lot of the pre-2008 code, which has been a monumental task for the last 18+ months.”
The team has been tirelessly working through the code to make the necessary changes to get APB: Reloaded working in the newer version of the Unreal Engine, which opens up faster performance, more optimization, better graphics and the potential to expand the player-count. Speaking of which, I asked Larsson about how many players console gamers can expect to flesh out the action districts, and he responded saying...
“Because console hardware is so much more uniform, we fully expect to have 100 players per district on console.”
That's good news for PS4 and Xbox One owners.
Additional features are also expected to make the leap, but some things may be missing at the start. The music editor won't be making the cut at launch. This will probably make a lot of gamers sad given that one of the big parts about customizing characters and creating custom content was making theme songs and remakes of popular themes and songs from other games, television shows and movies. Although, maybe it's the potential copyrighted content that may play a part in the music player possibly not making the cut right away. I'll ask about that later.
Anyway, Larsson further explained about what would be in the console versions and what would be changed as the game makes the leap from PC to the closed-off ecosystem of the home entertainment systems, saying...
“On Day 1 the products will look very similar, but there will be a few unique features on the PS4 and Xbox One. Some feature changes are tied to the input method, and on console the possible inclusion of some mild “assist” mode (given the difficulty in aiming with a stick). Part of the strategy is to try to keep all three versions synchronized so that all three versions will benefit from the same new improvements and content.”
The game will continue to be free-to-play across all three consoles, however Xbox One owners will be required to have Xbox Live Gold subscriptions if they want to get in on the action.
I asked if this was a requirement for players registering for the first time or would the Xbox Live subscription be mandatory at all times to play the game. According to Larsson...
“MS has started by demanding everyone have XBLG to play (for “free”). It’s really their decision. On the PS4 everyone can play, but PlayStation Plus members will get additional items and features added to their accounts and characters. I leave it up to players to decide what is the better strategy.”
I guess we'll find out which is the better strategy when June rolls around. Larsson also notes that the closed ecosystem of the home consoles means that there will be fewer cheaters and less worry about aimbotters and hackers. I'm sure competitive and casual players alike are pleased with that news.
You can learn more about the console port of APB: Reloaded by paying a visit to the official Reloaded Games website.