Is there anything better than a good old-fashioned grudge match? There's a good reason why Three Leafed Clover is at the top of almost everyone's GTA IV 'favourite mission' list. Pitting one team of 'goodies' against another team of 'baddies' is a timeless formula...
Multiplayer-only games rarely succeed on console. Shadowrun and Unreal Tournament III died the instant they arrived while Quake Wars barely even did that. Weighing up all this information should make for some grim reading for Realtime Worlds.
While nothing has yet emerged from the rumour that APB was being groomed as GTA's official step into MMO territory, the game's premise, with or without Rockstar's logo in tow, is a winner. Bundling the progression system of an RPG with the instantly gratifying shooting of, say, Realtime World's own Crackdown, it should hopefully please fans of both camps.
Starting off as a low-level robber you're given small smash and grab tasks to begin with. Snatch the wanted items and an all points bulletin is fired off to all roaming cops who must then try to track you down. Progression is based upon performance, not just time invested, so better players will quickly gain new gear and access to more demanding missions. Become adept at stealing and evading the police, or at taking down the thieves, and tougher jobs will be made available.
It's all set in a constantly evolving city which bears the battle scars of past jobs and stars gamers of all skills. An Endwar-style battle is constantly being fought, with territories shifting every 24 hours ensuring no two days in APB are ever the same. The GTA MMO in all but name is destined for great things. It'd be criminal for it to fail.