All Points Bulletin: The Mechanics of Escape

(Originally posted to my Guild forums…)

I love to drive in this game, call me insane given the state of steering. Needless to say my favorite mode of play is Escape. It also is an often misunderstood mode so here’s the mechanics of it to clarify winning conditions on both sides.

In Escape it is the criminal’s job to, well, escape! They can win by two methods.

  1. Filling up the escape bar prior to the time running out.
  2. Killing 3 enforcers for the largest number of people on a side. So if the enforcers have 2 then it is 6 deaths.

The enforcer’s job is to prevent the criminal from escaping. They can win by two methods.

  1. Preventing the criminal from filling up the escape bar prior to time running out.
  2. Killing 3 criminals for the largest number of people on a side (see above).

Now, lots of people on both sides treat it as a death match of some sorts. Hopefully I don’t have to describe how to out-kill the opposing side. However the kills-per-side is really the secondary objective. Notice that both sides are operating under a time limit with the enforcer’s (the escape bar) possibly far shorter than the criminal’s. This is the true objective of the game.

The mechanics of the escape bar are as follows:

  1. When the enforcers are not close the bar edges forward at a fairly decent pace. It can fill up in about 2 minutes.
  2. When the enforcers are close (on the mini-map at least) the bar crawls or stops completely.
  3. Whenever the criminal commits any act which will get them noticed they suffer a penalty time during which the bar does not progress. It can be from as low as 5 seconds for dinging your car up to 30 seconds for running over pedestrians.
  4. The penalty time is not cumulative. So running over 4 pedestrians in a group is the same 30 second penalty as running over 1.

As a Criminal:
If you can drive well, the best way to win Escape is simple. RUN. The act of shooting at the enforcers stops the bar for 30 seconds! That means if they can contain you they don’t have to kill you, just run out enough time that your bar cannot fill before the timer runs out. Since they always know where you are (all of you) you’re at a severe disadvantage in any combat. You can’t surprise them, you can’t sneak up on them. So trying to engage, while not a sure-fire way to lose, stacks the odds against you so harshly that you’ll most likely lose.

Also, backup is pointless in Escape. All it does is bring in another target for the enforcers. On top of that, until you meet up and merge cars it just provides 2 criminals driving around town with the potential of hitting obstructions, causing penalty time. Bad, bad idea.

Finally, never forget that the Enforcers can see where you are on the map. Avoid sections where you only have one exit. This is doubly important when you have Enforcers in 2 cars. They can, and will, box you in.

As an Enforcer:
You don’t have to go for the kill. You just have to get close enough and stay close enough to keep their bar from filling up. I have lost 1:1 Escape missions because the Enforcer had a decent enough car to pace me and skills to keep up with me. Remember the criminal has to worry about hitting anything in the world. You can plow through obstacles he must avoid. So you can cut corners tighter and ram through post boxes, light poles and such that he has to avoid. On the other side you can pull your turns wider and mow down a row of parking meters. The criminal will have to slow down to tighten his turn.

Remember you can see where he’s going on the minimap. The largest challenge is to get the criminal in sight. So try not to go where he was (constantly chasing) only where he is going. Once in sight, just keep him in sight. If he loses you, move quickly back to taking alternate routes to get ahead.

If you happen to have a team of 2 Enforcers against a lone criminal consider two cars. This is especially frustrating if you can communicate. Keep one on his tail and have the other take alternate routes to cut him off. Especially if they can get ahead, drop their car off in the road and plink bullets into the criminal’s car as they go by. Damage does slow cars down.

On the other hand if you have an Enforcer who has two left feet when it comes to driving having a gunner might be better. If you can get close enough they can start shooting. But getting close is the trick.

Hope this helps out. I used to think that this mode was for the dogs for Enforcers since it seemed like you had to force the criminal to either hit enough stuff to prevent his bar or get 3 kills. But once I lost in a 1:1 just by the Enforcer never leaving my tail I’m looking forward to my next chase Enforcer side.

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3 responses to “All Points Bulletin: The Mechanics of Escape

  1. Yeah, you’re insane 😛 Just kidding. But I thought it was funny how Massively compared driving in APB to portable whales on wheels, and I’d say that’s a pretty accurate description of how I felt. I’m a maniac when I drive, so that never goes over well. Lag also complicates driving, so when I played I also preferred to team up and have my buddy take the wheel while I handled the shooting.

  2. I didn’t know that as an Enforcer, you could stop the bar by simply staying in close proximity to the criminal. Cool! That definitely helps my appreciation of this mode.

    As it is, my escapes often devolve into out-and-out shoot ’em ups. I mean, it’s boring to chase or be chased for 15 minutes. Might as well man up and just end it, one way or another.

    • Depends, really. Some of the best moments in the game, for me, come from chases. Three come to mind.

      1: I was an Enforcer chasing a criminal on Waterfront. We were on the west side of the map heading east. I was taking alternate routes to try to cut him off and ended up on the freeway section mid-map. I noticed the criminal was going under freeway. So I bail off over the edge, nose down, crash into the trunk of his car and flip it end-over-end backwards. One of the best stops I ever made. 🙂

      2: As a criminal I had an Enforcer chasing me in Financial. He just would not get off my tail. I took the tunnel. On the far side just as I crested the top of the hill I bailed out of my car so he couldn’t see what I was doing. Crouched down, broke out the LMG (which I had just gotten) and plastered his car as he came sailing over the top of the hill. He blew up before he landed.

      3: Not an escape but still a chase; one of the missions where both teams try to get an object and take it to their respective point. Other team had the object. I maneuver myself to be in front of them & hop out before they get into view. Hopped out and peppered their sports car with an Obeya. Before I finished my clip they had blown up. I had the object free and clear.

      I grant it is boring when people don’t ever seem to get close. But it’s even worse, to me, to just give up and go for the loss in a fire fight. A great chase beats a horribly stacked firefight any day of the week.

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