Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds or the short name PubG released 12.12.2017 on the Xbox One with alot of hype surrounding it.
For months prior Xbox’s own Hardware Vice President Mike Ybarra (Qwik) had been playing it on PC, leading to some speculation
it would be coming soon to Xbox, and so it did.
With 30 million + players on PC to date, and over 4 million players on the Xbox platform the success has been imminent.
But is it all that good on Xbox? is the hype real? In short words, it’s good fun and the hype is real, but maybe it is not a game
for everyone. Why you ask? the Battle Royale genre is growing rapidly, and there are other titles out there that might suit you better
in terms of pace and other variables. I will elaborate on that below.
PubG is the most realistic depiction of a Battle Royale game so far, with bullet trajectory to take into account on long shots
and here you also have vehicles to be roamed around in due to the sheer size of the map.
Where as other titles have perhaps a more fast paced style of combat, sci-fi feel, and or building elements for instance.
So it’s a matter of taste, when it comes to picking up a Battle Royal title. But if you prefer guns that we all recognize,
A large island (initially) lots of looting and heart-stopping adrenaline fueled action when it all goes down, there is only one option PubG.
PubG if you are not familiar with it, is a 100 player Battle Royale, where the last man / squad / team is standing.
Let’s talk about solo play first, so the start of the game is that you drop out of an airplane over the island map at any given instance the airplane door opens.
Once you are in the air, you can head for any place you like by diving towards it and opening that parachute in the last instance to land.
Here is where it gets intense, once you have landed… there might be other players that had the exact same idea to land in the same area as you,
now the looting begins, besides finding a weapon to defend yourself with, you would preferably want to find some medikits, bandages, and armor such as a
vest, helmet for protection. Oh and don’t forget about to loot those bullets if any are around, you’ll want those and alot of them.
All the looting is done simply by a press of a button, X to pick up stuff, hold X to reload your weapon.
By pressing the start button (or hamburger bars as I call it) you also get a full view of your character
and his inventory, here is where you control all those Scopes, bandages, energy drinks etc that you have picked up. PubG Corporation got some help
from the Gears Of War creators (Coalition) with the design and implementation on the inventory side of things, and they have done a good job to
simplify it to this extent. It’s quick and easy to use, as you can see from the screenshots it’s more or less self explanatory how to jump between
what is on the ground and your inventory to use / and or equip.
I’ve added some screenshots from within the game, so you can see how the character setup is and what the game generally looks like.
Now that you have presumably looted your self the best gear around and tons of ammunition you will notice that game is moving forward.
Areas are designated with time markers for you to move into, fail to do so within the set time and the blue gas wall starts moving towards you,
this will eventually kill you, if you stay too long in the “wrong” area, forcing players to go towards the objective. I’ll explain a bit about the circles
you will see in the game, Red Zone is an area that pops up randomly over the map and not the best place to be situated in, if it appears ontop of you.
The red area is an artillery bombardment zone, and there is the chance you will get killed if you are in the open, so best to find some cover inside a house if you can.
The white circles are the safe zones, and this is your objective to head into. Timers will mark when the area for you to head to is getting smaller, so besides
worrying about other players potentially shooting you, you have to keep your eye’s open on the UI Map to see what’s happening in your surroundings with the circles.
Sometimes if you have dropped into a certain area, you could be unlucky and the safe zone is on the other side of the map, you can’t out run the blue gas wall,
so finding a vehicle is your last resort to try and get out of that area and into the white zone for safety.
Also during the course of the game, there are random airdrops happening with a crate falling from the sky, this crate could contain anything from top level armor to
some of the more rare weapons in the game. The airplane makes alot of noise, and usually attracts alot of interested players in aqquiring the crate, so choose wisely
if you want to engage or just observe what is happening around you for later stages in the game.
So it all starts with a 100 players, and usually when the final circle shows up there is less than 15 players in that small area to duke it out for that sweet
sweet sweet winner winner chicken dinner 1st place.
Each match that you complete provides you with BR points, that then can be used to purchase cosmetic loot crates within the game. Fancy a new t-shirt to wear from the start
of the game? better save up those hard earned BR points as the crates don’t come cheap.
Also I mentioned in the beginning that there is solo, duo, squad play in the game. The mechanical difference between playing Solo and Duo/Squad (4 players) is that you have the ability
to pick up a team mate if he is knocked to the ground injured by an enemy player.
So what are the graphics and sound like in the game?
I’ve played myself PubG from the very start on an Xbox One X, and have to state that the game is gorgeous in 4K with HDR enabled. It runs very well now after the patches have
started to roll out somewhat regurlarly squishing and squashing bugs. Initially I had some issues with the game crashing, but that has definitely been improved upon
and it’s a rarity that the game crashes atleast for me now. Sounds are very important in this game, and everything from the gun sounds, to vehicles and footsteps are superb.
You would want to play this game with a headset presumably unless you have a great home theatre system and can crank up the volume, so you can hear those footsteps when someone
is entering the house or running around the house in circles where you are.
Jumping briefly back to the graphics on the Xbox One X, 4K 30fps and HDR enabled is the current graphical setting for the game, there is always the chance down the line that the game
could receive an optimization that would enable 60fps, but we will have to wait and see.
Also you should keep in mind that this game is a preview release game, which means in it’s current state it is not a fully finished product.
Issues do occur and by providing feedback to the developers on issues encountered helps them polish the game even further towards a finalized stage.
Here is the official forum for Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, where patch notes are released and where you can also submit feedback to the development team.
So my final words on it?
A little bit more than a month since it released and I like it, I like it alot. It can be a bit slow sometimes, but if you make it into the top 20 you are guaranteed to have had some adrenaline infusing moments.
And that’s what drives me to the next game, gotta get that rush again and hopefully make it to take home that chicken dinner.
It is worth the 29.99 USD / EUR it costs on the Xbox Store, with future improvements to make the game run even better, and more weapons / map(s) coming at some point.
This is a game for the long haul, it will be around and it will be popular for a long time being.
I won’t give the game a score as it is Preview Release, but I will give my recommendation to pick it up and give it a try.
Can you nab that Chicken Dinner?
Copy of the game provided by the Publisher.