Review: Player Unknown's Battlegrounds.
With the Battle Royale genre being as big as it is right now, especially regarding Player Unknown's Battlegrounds & Fortnite, was there ever any doubt of a Battle Royale game review popping up on my website? Not at all. Microsoft/PUBG Corporation were once again nice enough to send me a review copy of Player Unknown's Battlegrounds to review the full 1.0 version of the game. I've now played the game for quiet a bit and I definitely have some things to talk about. Let's go!
Platform: Xbox One S. Introduction There's not really an introduction other than first getting to customize my character to my liking. I can change the face's type, the gender, the hair style, the hair's color, and the skin color. I notice that the first time I customize my character, it's free but if I want to customize the character again, it costs 3000 BP (BP is the game's general currency used).
As soon as I'm done customizing, I'm free to dive right into a match if I want to. To be honest, a battle royale game like PUBG doesn't really need a complex introduction, so I approve of it. It's simple and quick. The main menu is simple, too (play, customization, store, career, leaderboard & settings). Visuals/performance If you know what Player Unknown's Battlegrounds is, you probably already know that at least in its past (Xbox version), it has had a rough time in its development. I played the game on its preview program launch and it was far from perfect, but that NEVER stopped me from receiving an endless amount of fun. Me and my brother played it a lot at launch and we really didn't expect the game to be this addictive. I'm pretty certain that it has to do with the fact that each match that you play has a chance of being entirely different than the last match. You never know what's going to happen. At launch, it suffered from issues like rubber-banding, textures loading very slowly, and in general, unstable gameplay. When I remind myself of how the game ran at launch (as well as looked), while I play a match in its current state, I can't believe how much work the developer's has done, and how far they've come. The game runs a LOT better now, in terms of everything, actually. I rarely experience rubber-banding issues anymore, the textures (mainly the building's textures) load way faster, and it's very stable overall. Sure, I might experience a small bug from time to time, but what game doesn't have bugs?
If we think of what the game's been like before, I think we can survive the current state of it. When it comes to the resolution and framerate, it's running in a resolution of native 1920x1080p at a 30fps framerate. Now, the framerate and the Xbox One's settings (graphics, texture resolution & effects, for example) is something that has always been bugging me, since we all know that the game could've looked SO much better, and could've had a 60fps framerate, but due to the developers not optimizing the game correctly and fully, it didn't go all the way. It's a sad thing, definitely, but the game still looks and runs great. The sound design doesn't really have any problems, all weapons sounds very authentic and realistic, with vehicles and general sound having a great ring to it, too. In short, the game runs, looks and sounds great, compared to earlier in its development phase, but could've been executed way better. Gameplay There's a good chance that you're familiar with the battle royale genre and its sudden increase of popularity, with Fortnite being the most popular of the two, but Player Unknown's Battlegrounds being the better one. There's a high amount of battle royale games out there right now and typically, it's a big battle of 100 online players all trying to be the sole survivor (as well as essentially, the winner, of course). In Player Unknown's Battlegrounds, you're one of 100 online players, with one goal: winner winner chicken dinner. In case you're not familiar with that phrase, WWCH is actually the reward for being the winner (as well as some BP, obviously), and it's pretty much what everyone is grinding for. Player Unknown's Battlegrounds, at least in my opinion, is the game that gave the genre its popularity. Before PUBG, it wasn't this popular, at all. When entering a match, I'm first placed in a warm-up area where I'm able to meet the fellow winner winner chicken dinner enthusiasts currently in the match.
When the timer stops, the match begins and I'm seconds from jumping out of an airplane carrying 99 other participants. I get access to a map, which is vital if I want to decide exactly where I want to land. Pressing B let's me jump out of the plane and start my mission to get a chicken dinner. I usually don't land in towns since that's where most of the action happens, which would also only increase the chance of getting killed. I mainly use my own tactic, where I wait until the plane is at the end and land at a place that is a bit out of place when it comes to the plane's route. This is in general what PUBG is all about. You start a match, you try to survive long enough to get that sweet chicken dinner, while trying to find the best possible weapons and equipment that you can find. Speaking of weapons, I have to say there is a varied amount of different weapons and equipment. For example, there's the AKM, M16A4, M416, SCAR-L, M9 pistol, M1911, S12K, Sawed off shotgun, M249, UMP9, Kar 98k, melee weapons like the pan (which can deflect bullets, actually) & crowbar, and lastly weapons like the crossbow. There's of course a lot more, with more being added with every new map that releases. Regarding maps, there's currently three of them: Erangel, Miramar & Sanhok (with a snow map releasing later this year), each offering different enviroments. The latest map, Sanhok, does things a bit differently due to its smaller size. I think it's great that there's small maps, too, to spice things up a bit. Each map also features its own set of vehicles. There's the byggy, UAZ, motorcycle, Tukshai, Scooter, Dacia 1300, Mirado, Van, Pickup, Rony, PG-117 & the Aquarail.
I think there's a great amount of vehicles in the game and they're vital to the game's core gameplay since the maps are pretty big. With the launch of 1.0 (the full version), there was some new things introduced, such as: the ability to customize weapons & buy weapon crates. There's also event passes that sometimes are featured in the game, as well as a new game mode called War mode (basically, it's like team deathmatch). I think that these new additions to the game really gives it a bit more character, and only makes the game more attractive to me. In case there's ever a feeling of being lonely, I can also choose to either play duos (me + another player) & squads (me + three other players). I join a match and jump out of the plane. I land at a place where there's no other players. As I look in the distance ahead, I truly understand how gigantic the map is. I enter a house and find a M9 pistol, as well as a shotgun with some ammo to go.
I look at the map to see where I am, in order for me to know if I have to move closer to the circle. I notice that I'm in the circle and that I can rest here for a bit, but suddenly I hear footsteps outside. I immedietly enter a room to defend myself but the player is already inside the house. He/she opens the door to the room I'm inside of, and as soon as I see movement, I immedietly open fire. One shell used, one player down. This is pretty much what happened the first time I killed a player in PUBG. I sadly did not get far, as I died later on. This is just one of my many unique matches played. That's the thing with PUBG that I mentioned before, every match will be different. There's so many awesome scenarios that can happen. I think that's amazing. All in all No matter what, Player Unknown's Battlegrounds will always be the title that made the genre as popular as it is today, and it will also always be the best one. I know what the game ran and looked like at launch, but I also know that it's nothing like at launch anymore. PUBG Corporation has done an amazing job at creating the best battle royale experience that you can find, and they've clearly shown us that they're not stopping there. There's still work to be done and they could've executed the Xbox One version a lot better but it's also still a great experience. If you're looking for the ultimate battle royale game, PUBG is the right choice, by far. I've loved every second spent in the game and I've had endless amount of excitement through it all.
Player Unknown's Battlegrounds is available digitally for the Xbox One and is priced at $30. A review copy was provided for review purposes. This review is written by Jesper Ingemansson and is based on his honest opinion of the game.