Version Reviewed: 1.1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad Mini Retina
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APB Retribution is a top-down tactical shooter and a spin-off of the divisive desktop MMO game APB Reloaded. The game takes place in a dystopian future that’s suffering at the hands of a ruthless criminal empire, run by the ‘devil himself’ - Old Harry. After being cast out and left for dead, players will assume the role of a gang-banger whose only goal is to bring Old Harry’s criminal empire crumbling down around him. The result is a dark, violent, intense story of brotherhood and revenge.
Taking influence from a guard system akin to something from the original Metal Gear series, APB Retribution is all about stealth and tactical play. Since it’s a one-shot kill affair, the last thing players want to do is alert the other guards to their presence. To avoid this they must stick to the shadows, staying out of the guards' cone-shaped line of sight before taking them down while their back is turned. There's also the option to take them head-on of course, but players will need to be packing some serious heat for when backup comes running. They can even use some questionable reading material as a distraction, because everyone knows that bad guys will halt their super-important patrol for the chance to read a racy magazine. That’s just stealth 101.
It follows then that gameplay feels appropriately tense. This is in part thanks to the dark and dingy hand-painted levels, and in part thanks to the witty exchanges between the charming gang members. Set over 11 locations, the race for revenge is a short but tough journey that has the potential to frustrate a few players due to a distinct lack of checkpoints. Starting back at the beginning of a level after repeatedly dying can certainly knock one's confidence and motivation. This is easily done too, since the sensitive controls can often initiate a loud, unplanned and ultimately deadly jog towards a freshly-startled enemy.
APB Retribution is definitely a game for adults, but it’s one that’s engrossing, challenging, and nerve-wracking enough to make it a worthwhile download all the same.