Didn't see this coming. Crackdown developer Realtime Worlds has shown off its next project at GDC, a "multiplayer online game" called APB that seemingly has a shot at reinventing the entire MMO "thing".
From the sound of this gushing 1UP report, the game is a PC action title in which teams of cops and robbers - all players, natch - are matched through a system of APBs, which are issued when people commit crimes. The setting's contemporary, from the look of it, with play being third-person, in a similar style to a powered-down Crackdown.
There's details of a character creation system that "doesn't just rival the celebrated detail of say, City of Heroes... It surpasses it by an order of magnitude," and other stuff, such as being able to dynamically stream music via LastFM.
There'll be no grinding against NPCs in the game, with play instead taking on a form similar to Counter-Strike's structure.
Take a look at that article right now. It's got videos and screens as well as words.