PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Review in Progress

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Posted December 19, 2017 by Sean Capri in Video Games

This is a literal Review in Progress. As in, the review isn’t completed yet. Sentences are incomplete or contain grammatical errors, ideas haven’t been fully fleshed out, and most importantly, my opinion is far from final. Enjoy!

It’s broken as all get out. Laggy. Buggy. Framey. It is completely undeserving of any 2017 Game of the Year consideration but this Battle Royale garbage-truck-on-fire will be on my Xbox One forever as I continue to fool myself into thinking a Chicken Dinner is in my near future.

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So You’re Saying There’s a Chance?

With one mode and one map, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) pits 100 bloodthirsty maniacs against each other in a last man standing murder fest. The lone map on Xbox One is diverse and enormous. Sprawling fields, a separate island with a Military Base, School Zones, Shipping Yards, and many, many other identifiable regions all with their tactical advantages. Those so inclined can research which areas are more or less likely to spawn vehicles, weapons, and other high risk/high reward areas.

Blue Circle mechanic and the strategy of waiting.

For most of us, the closest real-world equivalent is paintballing. A vast open space with deserted buildings and environmental cover offer a high-stakes playground.

I have never waited more than a minute for a match gather 100 players. 100! This is a truly phenomenal accomplishment made even more apparent after playing a few other online-only games which require far fewer players. Sure, more than a million players purchased the game in its first 48 hours on console but no matter when I’m playing or how quickly I am eliminated from a match, I can fire up another and be playing within moments. And its this focus on gamer-focused fundamentals that has me hopeful for the eventual v1.0 release and beyond.

Vehicles

Depending on where you land, finding a vehicle – car, buggy, boat, or motorcycle – can make the difference between life, death, or just a jolly good time.

Play With Friends

More fun with friends and party chat.

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It’s All By Sound Design

For all the discussion surrounding visuals and other more obvious shortcomings in the Early Access build of PUBG, sound design should be lauded. Bullets wiz by with adrenaline-inducing directional accuracy and impact. Skirmishes off in the distance provide an audible warning, like a rattlesnake, that maybe the field past the hill is a bad idea.

Final Verdict (For Now)

By most measures, it’s truly awful. Game-breaking bugs have kicked me out enough to mention here. Funny but not-funny visual glitches are a regular occurrence.

But the gameplay is rock solid, vehicles are a riot, banter with friends is unmatched, and the thrill of the chase for a Chicken Dinner is life-altering.

Pros
+ Speedy matchmaking
+ Sound design
+ Vehicles are hilarious and game-changing

Cons
– Bad framerate
– Game-breaking bugs
– Visual pop-in or pop-never


About the Author

Sean Capri

I am a beady-eyed Canadian. I play video games and feed/walk my three dogs.