PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) is a 100 player Battle Royale game where they are dropped onto a map and are forced to explore, loot, and kill each other. The game ends when only one player remains. PUBG is an interesting game because not too long ago, it was the most popular Battle Royale game on the market, until Fortnite overtook the crown.
PUBG has been out for over a year on PC, Xbox One and mobile. However on December 7th, the PlayStation 4 version was finally released world wide retailing for $30. After installing the game, which took me roughly an hour and a half, I was finally ready to play. Once I was in the game, I was greeted by my avatar, standing tall in a barren wasteland with five text options: Start, Customization, Rewards, Career, and Leaderboard. Overall, this starting menu was clean and concise and made me feel excited to start my first game. When pressing the start option, I was given multiple game options such as Solo (a team of one), Duos (team of two players), and Squads (a team up to 4 players). Once I chose my game mode, the load time was quick and I was put into a lobby. Instead of placing me in a text lobby like most online games, I was placed into a small starting hub where I could freely move around and interact with other players who were also waiting for the game to start. I found that this unique lobby system added to the competition aspect of the game as I was able to talk and goof around with my opponents before we started killing one another.
At the start of the game, you are placed into a flying plane. All 100 players then get to choose when they want to jump out and skydive towards the map. PUBG currently has 4 maps on PC and 3 on consoles and mobile. These maps are enormous, yet vastly empty. Aside from the loot-heavy towns, the map is populated with rocks and dingy sheds. If you do not land near a town, you will spend a lot of time walking through nothingness. Aside from the emptiness, the game is not pretty to look at. PUBG has the graphics of an early 2000s game. Halo Combat Evolved, released in 2001, had better graphics in my opinion. As I was walking, the game seemed very empty for 100 players. I saw my first player when there were roughly 50 players still alive. When I did see them, our interactions and kill times were brief. Most weapons seemed to wipe out half your health with just a bullet. As the map shrunk, I was forced to walk closer to the middle of the map. If you like walking, this game is for you. I spent roughly half of my time playing just by walking. The plus side is that the developers added an auto-walk button, which I did find helpful. I ended up dying when there were only 20 players left. PUBG does not incentivize combat, so you could easily make it to the top 10 if you just hid somewhere until the map shrunk.
Overall, PUBG is a mediocre game. It has fast load times, but every other battle royale game does everything else better. As the pioneers of the battle royale genre, PUBG has lost its touch.