Video Game Review: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

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After garnering immense popularity with PC gamers, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, commonly referred to as PUBG, was released as an Xbox One exclusive on Dec. 12. PUBG is a last-man-standing multiplayer shooter and is based off a common game-type called Battle Royale seen in games like H1Z1, DayZ, Arma 2 and Arma 3.

PUBG made its PC debut on the Steam game marketplace in March of this year and has exploded in popularity ever since. Over 25 million copies have been sold, safely securing its spot as highest concurrent player count on Steam.

The concept of PUBG is simple, up to 100 unarmed players parachute down into an eight kilometers by eight kilometers map. They search for weapons, armor, medical supplies and vehicles. As the game goes on, there is a safe zone that slowly shrinks, forcing players into a smaller and smaller region of the map. The last player or players alive wins.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has really taken the Battle Royale genre popularized by games like DayZ and has boiled it down to the best parts. The developers of the game have made it a quick, accessible round of pure survival-based action. The game can be played solo, in pairs or in squads which allow for up to four people.

PUBG adds a realistic and simplistic feel to the game that has yet to be done in any previous Battle Royale game. PUBG has taken the essential parts of a typical Battle Royale game, and has created a fast-paced, enjoyable and heart-pumping experience.

PUBG is still in early access which means that the game developers are not yet ready to release a stable version, although they are actively updating it and fixing bugs and glitches. They plan on directing their focus towards optimizing the game and fixing any lag related issues before they leave early access. Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene, creator, designer and director of PUBG, expects to have a full release, called 1.0, by Dec. 20.

The 1.0 build content was recently released to the PUBG Test Servers on Dec. 8 which introduces a new map called Miramar along with three new guns, three new vehicles and new desert themed skins.

I was initially recommended to buy the game by a close friend and didn’t necessarily understand what I was getting myself into. After my first round, I kept wanting to play more. The game quickly became addicting and exciting.

PUBG is by far one of the best Battle Royale games I have ever played. The game simply offered something that neither H1Z1 or Arma 3 could. Unlike any other Battle Royale titles on the market, PUBG has realistic gunplay, a variety of weapons, a bigger map, quick matchmaking and amazing graphics.

When I had played my first round, I realized that the game didn’t require a lot of experience or skill. Although, at times I would often get killed by someone who had a top-tier weapon because of the random item generator. Right now, the current PUBG Beta relies on luck and very little strategy when it comes to finding the best supplies in the game.

The game forces you to be patient and always be aware of your surroundings, giving the player a sense of excitement while at the same time, a sense of fear. For me, I had my best matches when I was playing with a friend. I often got tired after a few rounds when I was playing by myself because there wasn’t anyone I could talk to or strategize with.

Playing with friends not only gives you that sense of security knowing that you have a second pair of eyes, but it also makes it more exciting and interesting. If you plan on buying this game, I would recommend having a friend to play it with.

Nonetheless, every game has its downsides; especially ones that are still in early access. For starters, this game is poorly optimized and uses a lot of memory. Don’t expect to be running this game at 100 frames per second even if you have a high-end PC. A good portion of my losses in-game were a result of frame drops and lag. I would be running a steady 60 frames per second and all of a sudden when I get into combat I would drop down to 10 frames per second. However, I don’t entirely blame the game itself because I know that it is still in early access and their are many bugs and performance issues that need to be fixed.

Despite frame drops and lag, I really do think that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has great potential. The developers of the game are definitely heading in the right direction. If you are someone that enjoys fast-paced, heart-pumping and exciting games, I would definitely recommend this game for you.

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