PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Review

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PUBG has finally made its way to the Xbox One after incredible success on the PC platform. Find out what we thought in our PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Review!

Release Date December 12, 2017
Genre Battle Royale
Platforms PC/XBO
Developer PUBG Corporation
Price $29.99
ESRB Rating Teen
Players 2-100 Players

 

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds made a big splash this year becoming the most played PC game on Steam. That’s no small feat for an established series, but it’s even more impressive considering that it came out of nowhere to take the world by storm. I never had the chance to play the PC version, but I was excited to finally get a few games in with the Xbox One version despite it only being a Game Preview and not fully representative of the final product. There are some technical issues in the Xbox version, but the unique nature of the game still manages to shine through.

For those of you who haven’t heard of this game or just don’t really know what it’s about, I’m going to bring you up to speed. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is an online-only 100 player fight to become the last person standing. Players choose where to parachute out of a plane on a remote island. Each player starts unarmed and has to gather supplies to help themselves to survive against the other 99 players running around the map. The map starts off large, but a blue energy field starts pushing players towards a smaller area as time goes on. If you don’t get into the safe area, you start losing health until you eventually die. 

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Review
A fellow player can be lurking behind any object.

If this game sounds very much like The Hunger Games, that’s because it very much is. You feel like you’re a part of someone’s twisted game show where only the strong survive. It’s a stressful feeling at times and an exhilarating one other times. You never really know what you’re going to get in the game. Sometimes you might parachute in and be ambushed by someone right away. This happened to me one game. I dropped in and there happened to be two other players nearby. I let them fight it out, but I couldn’t find a weapon so eventually, the other player found me and killed me. Another time, I went into a house and closed the door only to hear somebody running around upstairs. I hid behind a door and they ended up leaving before discovering me. Those encounters could have been very different depending on how I handled the situation. That variety is the beauty of PUBG.

The weapon selection in PUBG is actually a big part of your strategy. Early on, you’ll find yourself looking for shotguns and close range weapons that will allow you to clear houses easily. You’ll also be looking to get some good armour as you prepare for the inevitable battles that await you. Later on, when the map starts getting smaller, you’ll be looking for longer range weapons that will allow you to take out enemies from afar a bit easier as you start to see people more frequently. It takes a little while to develop a way to get into the top-10, but after a few nights, you’ll start to have a go-to strategy.

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Review
Shoot first or you’ll be dead in an instant.

PUBG really gets intense when you get down to the last 25 people or so. The map starts getting a lot smaller and you have to keep moving to keep up with it. In addition to that, you have to keep your eyes peeled for anybody that could be creeping around in your vicinity. I was running to the safe area in one game and another guy went by on a motorcycle right beside me and we ended up having a quick firefight. I ended up taking him out only to be shot 10 seconds later by someone who watched the whole thing from a nearby window. It’s easy to get paranoid when everyone is ready to take you out.

As good as the actual game is, not everything is smooth sailing in the Game Preview release on Xbox One. The game suffers from a very inconsistent framerate that can be particularly frustrating because of the fluctuations. It never hindered my gameplay to make it unplayable, but it was much worse than I expected with this being a timed-exclusive on the Xbox One. I also felt like the textures were pretty subpar for a game like this. It could easily pass for an original Xbox game at times or MAYBE an early Xbox 360 game. This stuff is easy to forgive given the fact that they have heavily marketed this as a Game Preview, but I have to stress that this is very much a work in progress.

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Review
Crossing a road is one of the most stressful things in the game. You’re wide open for all to see.

Despite the technical shortcomings, it’s hard not to recommend PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. It’s one of the most interesting game concepts in years and I had a great deal of fun playing it. I’m looking forward to seeing how the game shapes up over the next few months and how much progress the team makes to polish up the game. If you can get past a wonky framerate and some texture pop in, this is definitely a game you’ll be playing for a long time and it’s only going to get better. I recommend it to everyone, especially at a $29.99 US price point.

*A copy of this game was provided by Xbox to FYIG for review purposes*

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