Screen Critics Jack takes a look at the state of PlayerUnkown’s Battleground – looking at what improvements the game has made, and what needs to be done.
Let’s talk about PlayerUnkown’s Battleground. As I jumped out of the plane, I spotted a potentially fruitful location to land with my trusty parachute. However, as I approached my chosen landing space – I could see another player landing at the some location as me. I landed as fast as I possibly could and quickly ran into the nearby building. I searched it top to bottom in search of a weapon to take the other player down. On the floor lay a beautiful, shiny, shotgun, with multiple rounds.
Without hesitation I picked it up, along with the ammunition. My heart filled with joy as I loaded my shotgun to start the ‘Battle Royale’. Feeling prepared, with a subtle amount of excitement, I heard the downstairs door creak open. I kept my cool. I stood by the door and guarded the door with my faithful shotgun. The player ran in, and without any reaction from myself shot me dead in cold blood. Yes… I just realised how godly awful I am at this game.
PlayerUnkown’s Battleground, which is commonly referred to as PUBG, is a last-man-standing style ‘Battle Royale’. It was published by Bluehole studios, under the guidance of Brendan Greene and a hole host of community feedback. Greene, who started his career making similar ‘Battle Royale’ mods for the Arma series and assisting in the development of PlayerUnkown’s Battlground’s main rival, H1Z1: King of the Kill. He is currently ‘creative director’ of the standalone game, which currently available on Steam.
All players start in a warm-up zones, and a maximum of one hundred players are dropped into the abandoned Russian island of Erangel (I must admit I used the wiki for that one). Erangel is a massive 8×8 kilometres in size. All players must fight to the death, in what appears to be one of the most exciting, and suspenseful games on the currently ‘stagnated’ gaming market. Once the player has ejected from the large transport plane they parachute to their desired location. Loot such as assault rifles, shotguns, and backpacks must be obtained in order to survive the onslaught of the opposing players.
As time goes on, the map decreases in size, by the use of an oddly looking blue electrical force field. The game is at its most tense at the first moments, and the very last, but can get a boring mid-game when no other opposition players are apparent. Moreover, the way the map has been designed is very clever. It is clearly obvious that the developers have put trees, and grass on the map, but have not quite enough of them. This makes the game challenging when in exposed outside areas.
I was pleasantly surprised with the high quality graphics, the clever map design, and minimal bugginess of the game. In addition, it beats its main rival (H1Z1: King of the Kill) in pretty much ‘all’ areas. Firstly, it is much easier to shoot, the game also feels much sharper compared to its rival, and the looting is more balanced. Moreover, the game is really fun to play, both solo and with friends. In addition, the game runs on the Unreal 4 engine. It is also the same engine TEKKEN 7 runs on. The game is still in early access, and has a lot of time to improve in key areas.
Players of both the Arma series, and H1Z1 will see the similarities in PlayerUnkown’s Battleground, but despite it’s heavy criticism by other reviewers for this issue – I must strongly disagree. I like to think of this genre (Battle Royale) as a set of cars produced by Volkswagen, Skoda, and Seat. Before you question my unique logic, if you keep up to date with your cars you will have heard of the Up, Citigo, and Mii. They are all different brands of car, but are exactly the same inside and out. This is my point exactly about Arma, H1Z1, and PUBG. However, the Up, made by Volkswagen, just seems the best, despite being identical to the other two. The UP feels as if it has more class, and elegance, which is the case for PUBG. If you don’t believe me – try it out.
I like PlayerUnkown’s Battleground – it has a lot of potential. The game is available on Steam for £26.99, and remains one of the best-selling games on Steam, and remains in the top five games streamed on Twitch. If the developers get it right it could be one hell of a game.