PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds also known as PUBG is one of the first successful battle royale games to ever exist where your goal is for you and your squad to be the last man standing. It originally released back in December of 2017 and it was arguably the spark that started the fire for the battle royale genre which paved the way for other games such as Fortnite, Warzone and Apex Legends.
The combat of PUBG is more realistic than Warzone or Fortnite for example. The controls were a little bit confusing at first but with the help from the training ground mode we were able to play with every gun and attachment in the game at a shooting range in order to get your bearings. They even help you out by giving you an on-screen display of the controls that you will mostly need while you’re playing the game but this can be turned off by the press of a button once you get the hang of it.
When you have the basics down, the combat feels really good and yes when people have lots of armor, they do have that bullet sponge effect you start seeing in games like Fortnite and Apex Legends where the time to kill is quite long. However, they do offset this by allowing skilled players to bring the time to kill drastically down through headshots. A good example of this is the Kar98k which is a one-shot headshot to anyone without the absolute best possible armor.
The gun play on the other hand is easily one of the best aspects of the game and it doesn’t do things like show little flashes to warn you a sniper is looking in your direction or allow you to build massive towers out of thin air in seconds. Guns kick like they should and really feel powerful to fire. The audio cues in this game are great as they easily do it way better than any other battle royale I’ve played before. It really makes you feel like you are part of the world but more importantly it can give you subtle hints as to what is going on around you.
An example of this would be if you’re sitting inside a building and all the doors are shut on the bottom floor and in order for someone to come in they must either vault through the glass and thus break it making a very loud noise or open the door making a very specific noise. This acts as an alarm system for you and can easily save you and your team. That is not the only way that sound can be used but if you were to play the game enough and listen very carefully you would be able to memorize the sound of each individual gun and what distance it is at.
That way you are prepared as to what kind of gear your opponents may have. PUBG’s loot system is interesting compared to some of the other battle royale’s out there as your armor plays a big role in how many shots you can take without dropping to the ground. This is most unique because it doesn’t use a system such as shields in Fortnite where you have to just fill up a bar in order to have more HP, instead it is actual armor that reduces damage taken and breaks with repeated use.
All in all, there are three tiers of armor in the game which drastically vary in their effectiveness and if you only have a tier one helmet and take a shot or 2 to the head you might just die on the spot however having a tier 3 helmet would make dying significantly more difficult and nothing more than the rarest and most powerful sniper in the game has the ability to take you down in a single bullet. Attachments in this game will drastically change the effectiveness in your guns performance as a fully kitted out M4 with all attachments equipped can fire full auto with almost no kick whatsoever.
If you try to fire full auto with one that has no attachments you will find yourself shooting up at the clouds in just a couple of seconds. The game also has a variety of other things that are available some of which are map specific for example you can get a key on the newest map in the game which will allow you to open up a secret room with tons and tons of equipment in them. On the other hand, there are some maps where you can shoot an NPC truck that will spit out loot boxes as you shoot it.
Meds in PUBG are pretty straightforward in this game as they work just like most other battle royale’s and heal your health pool for different amounts or in different ways based on what kind you are using. The first aid kit will heal you for 75 percent of your HP almost instantly while bandages will do the same thing and heal you for the same amount but are much slower. They also go a step further though and add things like pain killers and energy drinks which will heal you to full but heal very slowly and over time.
Game flow in PUBG is quite different from some of the newer battle royale’s. It is usually a lot slower and more tactical than something like Fortnite or Apex Legends, considering some of the maps go all the way up to 8 square miles. You can find yourself in some very long-distance firefights and in fact I would even say that more often than not you’ll be using your single shot or burst instead of full auto as it is very difficult to shoot something from a distance with it.
Now the maps in PUBG will drastically change the flow of the game as playing on one of the smaller maps that is only 2 square miles in size will go way faster than one of the larger ones. This creates a refreshing experience as it changes up the pace of the game from being too fast or too slow and finds a nice middle point. They also have bots in this game and my goodness the bots are stupid. I get why they have them but it is frustrating to get 10 kills in a game and just think you’re so good just to get demolished near the end by people who are actual players and are way better than you.
We’re not opposed to having bots necessarily being in the game but man they really need to just re-evaluate the option to turn them off. That is because currently the only way to turn bots off is to play ranked mode. I’m glad there’s a way to not play with bots but it is rather annoying that I can only do it if I’m willing to play in sweaty ranked. If you are a newer player then maybe have some option for you to queue in partial bot lobbies or even completely bot lobbies but at least give us an option.
The gun play of PUBG is solid because it feels smooth and you can actually see your shots make contact which feels really good when you compare it to things such as Call of Duty that uses a sound effect or visual for you to actually tell. The multiple maps and biomes make each game feel unique in a genre where most games just recycle the same map over and over. The game also allows you to play in third person mode or in first person mode so you can select which one you prefer and that’s something that no other battle royale offers.
The graphics are not the best for this genre and I mean they’re not absolutely horrid but I think they could have done a much better job here. PUBG still holds up as a good game when you compare it to all the new battle royale’s of today. The game is still really good overall but there is still a few things that bring it down such as the bots being mandatory in normal mode and the graphics being a bit poor for this day and age however if you do enjoy battle royale’s definitely try it out as it is available this month on PS PLUS.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds manages to differentiate itself from other battle royale's but if you take the time to immerse yourself in its stress inducing battles you’ll find yourself involved in epic engagements that are awesome especially if you get the coveted chicken dinner. It's gameplay is where it shines but the graphics lets it down a little but overall it is one of the best battle royale's out there.