PlayerUnkown's Battlegrounds (PUBG)
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: Brendan Greene
: Chang-han Kim
: Brendan Greene
: Unreal Engine 4
: Q4 2017
: Battle royale
Please note: This review was written while the game is in Early Access, so the final release will differ massively.
PlayerUnknows's Battlegrounds is a multiplayer only online battle royal game based on the extremely popular ARMA 2: DayZ Battle Royal mod and also somewhat inspired by the movie Battle Royal (2000). Up to one hundred players parachute onto an island with only one goal, survival. Scavenging for weapons, armour and health regen packs whilst trying to stay alive is not the simplest of tasks, made even harder by constantly moving zones which the player has to stay inside otherwise the players health is slowly degraded, but more on that later. The game was initially released on Steam's Early Access Program in March 2017 selling well over 6 million copies in under 4 months! Xbox one and Playstation 4 versions are rumoured for a late 2017 release!
PUBG is a single life, large-scale last man standing deathmatch, where up to one hundred players fight to be number one. Players can choose between playing alone, in a 2 man duo or squads of up to 4 players. Either way, the last man standing will be the victor. Each match begins with parachuting from a cargo plane that flies over the 8km x 8km island, the flight path of the plane varies between games, so there is no point of entry that is guaranteed for any game. This requires players to determine which is the best place to jump out and which is the place that hopefully no one else will go because fighting for loot when both of you have nothing isn't fun. Once the players are on the ground, it becomes a scavenge for who can collect the best equipment and armour in the shortest time, the faster you get fully kitted out, then better chance you have of being the last alive.
Every few minutes the playable area of the map changes and decreases in size, which is random so you are never truly safe and constantly on the move. If you find yourself outside the player zone after it has contracted, your health takes damage until you are safely back into the zone, but it will kill you if you leave it too late to move out. Players can opt for either first person mode or a third person mode making the FOV much higher and give you a slight edge in seeing any enemies that could be lurking around. At random points in the game certain positions on the map are covered by a huge red zone, followed by a huge bombing run posing a huge threat to players that are not in cover when inside it, killing anyone who gets hit by one. This can be massively annoying if you are playing solo.
Every few minutes, a plane will fly over the island and drop 1 or 2 care packages, these include items from the game that are otherwise unobtainable during normal gameplay, the care packages emit a highly visible red smoke, drawing in interested players nearby and creating further confrontations as sometimes the gear inside the packs, are just too good to give up on so easily. Matches usually don't take more then 30 minutes on average to complete. Watch out though, friendly fire is turned on through out the game. So you better watch where you shoot, or you might just make your team a man down.
After the match is either won or lost, the player is rewarded with an amount of in-game currency points, this is based on how long the player survived, how much damage the player dealt and how many kills they got. The currency is used to purchase crates which contain in-game cosmetic character customisation items.
The game does offer the ability to drive a few various vehicles around, such as Cars, Jeeps, Boats, Off-road buggies and Motorbikes. Although the physics of the game have significantly improved from the initial release, there is still a long way to go before they are perfect. But I am hoping more and more vehicles are introduces to suit the new environments with new maps as they are released. But nothing has been confirmed about that yet unfortunately.
PUBG is using the game engine Unreal Engine 4 which is the engines 4th version developed by Epic Games. This means the in-game visuals are pretty amazing, especially for a game in early access. Although the game is not finished yet, the game is pretty well optimised from the experience I've had personally, few FPS and lag spikes here and there, but nothing out of the ordinary for a Early Access game, but it's very playable. The in-game settings give you control over the basic things like texture levels and draw distances, but lacks a few key features that I'm sure the game on release will have.
At this current point in time, there is only one map built into the game, so it's hard to say what it will be like in other environments, but the current map has a few integrated already, from woodland areas, built up towns and vast stretches of beach, the engine seems to do a pretty good job of transitioning from one to the other. A new desert map has been announced but is a WIP with no release date as of yet.
Standard controls for the game are pretty decent, I personally only had to change a couple to suit my needs. But for the most part, the stock control layout is fine. Although there are a load of different commands and binds, everything is where it should be. The game offers free look while the player is in 3rd person mode, and it's a wonderful feature, without it I would not have half the kills i do in game. I have binded this to my mouse buttons from the stock Left+ALT, but like i say, this is all down to personal preference. You can change almost every in game key to suit your needs, but I honestly don't see the need to as the stock ones are pretty standard.
System Requirments (PC):
: 64-bit Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
Intel Core i3-4340 / AMD FX-6300
6 GB RAM
nVidia GeForce GTX 660 2GB / AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB
: Broadband Internet connection
30 GB available space
In my opinion, the game is great. It has a very good concept that has been put into practise very well. Gameplay being fun and relaxed when you play with a group of friends, and serious when you want to sweat it out and go for the win. The final release of the game will be late 2017, so who knows what the future will hold for PUBG, but as of now, the game is in a very good place being one of the most played games daily on Steam after 4 months of being on sale.
So, if you're looking for a game to play with friends, I would definitely recommend you picking this up, as you will not be disappointed at all. With the release coming soon for both Xbox One and Playstation 4. Maybe we will see cross platform play just to spice up the gameplay that little bit more.
But this is just me speculating, nothing has been confirmed about that as far as I'm aware!