Over the course of a nine-month early access phase, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds transformed the last-person-standing formula that has made it one of the most phenomenally popular PC games in history. Fight to the death with whatever weapons you can find in a diminishing force field on a huge area. Most difficult survival simulators include a lot of fluff and require a lot of time to master, but our stripped-down version focuses on quick, accessible action instead. Because of the tight focus and no-frills nature of the gameplay, no two games are ever the same.
At only 8×8 kilometers in size, PUBG drops you and up to 99 other players from the back of a huge aircraft into one of the game’s two 8×8 km regions. The match’s storyline is ingenious in that it considers every move you make, and it all starts with the crucial choice of where to land. ‘ Jumping early in the plane’s randomized flight path gives you a head start on the competition, but it puts you in a position where the action will likely funnel away from you as the arena shrinks. You may be able to forage for treasure in peace before engaging in the battle if you jump in late, allowing you a chance to get away from other players. Jumping straight into the heart of the action might put you smack in the middle of some of the most trigger-happy opponents, particularly in huge towns and other loot-heavy areas.
Find weapons to survive
Everyone (no matter where they land) is scrambling for weapons and gear as soon as they touch down, and the slaughter begins as soon as they get out of the plane and onto the ground. It’s a good strategy to learn the locations on the maps where military-grade weapons and attachments are likely to spawn, either on your own, with a team of up to four, or by using the many fan-created resources that already exist thanks to PUBG’s strong run in Early Access. Item distribution is partially randomized. However, unlike comparable games like DayZ, where you may theoretically go for lengthy periods of time without finding any kind of weapon at all, there’s always going to be something of value to be picked up no matter where you fall. Weapons, including backpacks, helmets, and police jackets as well as a variety of other protective gear and medical supplies are readily available in the event of an emergency.
Even if you don’t have the best equipment, you can still enjoy a thrilling sense of unpredictability in PUBG since the game creates a stable and streamlined environment. Assault rifles like SCAR-Ls aren’t out of the question for someone carrying a pistol, as superb hardware is just half the battle—the other half is wit.
Cat-and-mouse games of death are played out in a lethal, decreasing force field until only one or a few players or teams remain. As thrilling as the “Winner, winner, chicken supper!” screen is, it pales in comparison to the exhilaration that comes from battling for it. Even if you lose your life early in the game, resuming play is simple and fast. Consistent combat and an intriguing range of choices are provided by a lethal, moving force field and periodic airstrikes highlighted with red on the minimap. There are a number of ways to cope with this situation, including focusing on getting closer to the center of the circle, moving slowly around its perimeter to catch stragglers as they rush into the open, or hiding in a building until you really have no choice but to leave. It’s enjoyable and easy to go about in a vehicle like a motorcycle or buggy, a solid closed-top UAZ, or a slow-but-durable van, among others, and it may lead to some amusing and explosive interactions along the road. Both ways, you’re urged to keep moving, but you still have a variety of alternatives that allow you to determine your own speed. Both aggressive and cautious defenses are possible, and the pragmatism of both playstyles is refreshingly freeing, providing new difficulties that are just as exciting to plan around and overcome as the next.
To avoid becoming mired down by other players or distractions, players are encouraged to keep moving no matter what speed they choose, which leads to progressively deadly confrontations with increasingly competent (or fortunate) survivors. This results in a shorter match duration of roughly 20 minutes. You may easily locate action if you’re willing to search for it, but the game manages to retain the quiet periods of careful investigation intact by placing adequate distance between confrontations.
They may not be among the most visually appealing landscapes in gaming, but they do add much-needed diversity to the battlefield. Miramar and Erangel, two desert islands, each includes a variety of villages, cities, and rural industrial areas that are suitable for looting. In order to give you as many alternatives as possible when you’re put into either map at random, there are some similarities between the two (the server picks for you). High-risk gamers who want to battle for high-level equipment right from the beginning will find their match on an island off the coast of Erangel in Miramar’s secluded military camp.
Both maps, on the other hand, offer their own distinct advantages. For parties of four, Erangel has a lot of covers, but Miramar’s sparser, rockier terrain makes it difficult to traverse open regions on foot or in vehicles. Despite the fact that some parts of Miramar are more isolated than even the most secluded parts of Erangel, the varied topography, more interesting city layouts, and some fantastic map-exclusive weapons — like a sawed-off shotgun that fits conveniently in the sidearm slot — more than make up for it. It’s part of the pleasure to adjust to new situations and make last-minute judgments depending on each of these elements. It doesn’t matter what you’re up against, since even the tiniest structures on both maps have a wealth of treasure, which keeps the playing field level and interesting, but also ripe for all kinds of exciting encounters.
On either end of a dangerous city or town chase, you may find yourself caught up in a frenetic gunfight in the woods. Shotgun in hand, you may even find yourself cooped up in an attic, listening for the smallest creak or vibration as an indication of an approaching presence. To keep you aware and tactical rather than treating every round like a fast-paced shooter like in Call of Duty or Battlefield, PUBG makes use of sound to generate suspense and alert you to surrounding adversaries. Whether you’ve been playing long enough, you’ll be able to determine if someone else has been there before you by looking out for open doors or particularly dense or sparse piles of mismatched stuff in a room. It’s a shooter that’s committed to building smart, nuanced survival and understands how the tiniest parts of your tale add together to make the broader adventure.
When you form a party in the pre-game lobby, the dynamics of exploration and fighting are completely altered. Playing with a partner doesn’t have all of the advantages that playing alone has, and the same holds true for three- and four-player teams. Assaults on vehicles and ambushes may be more thrilling when they’re carried out by a well-coordinated team, and they’re more survivable since you can resurrect a colleague who’s been knocked down but not quite dead. Additionally, playing on first-person-only servers provides an additional challenge since it removes the corner-peaking benefits that the usual third-person camera provides.
The gunplay is also excellent. Shooting with firearms is a pleasure, and there are many possibilities to choose from. While the military-sim rigidity that has grown iconic with the genre is still there in PUBG, it has been softened just enough to make fighting and movement enjoyable for newbies as well. Because of the new vaulting mechanism (which was implemented after PUBG officially exited Early Access), players may now escape faster and more covertly by scaling walls and breaking through windows.
Most of what you need to know beyond the obvious is contained in a few convenient hotkeys that can cycle weapons, switch between third- and first-person perspectives, activate auto or burst fire for your gun, and change zeroing distance. The UI, which is basic and straightforward, is also quite tuned, making it easy to loot corpses and trade stuff with teammates in a matter of seconds.
Even PUBG’s rougher edges are rounded out by a number of quality-of-life features, like the ability to access your inventory and map while on the move, the ability to change the camera mid-stride without changing direction, and significant fall damage tolerance. It is crucial to highlight that despite the 1.0 launch, I have not noticed severe performance or rubberbanding difficulties, but the hacking problem that is most prominent in high-skill matching games, or a few chronic glitches, has not been eliminated. Military simulation games like ARMA and DayZ popularized the genre, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has taken the best components of that genre and turned them into fast and easy rounds of survival-based combat. For hours on end, I’ve come back to this game because of its incredible ability to make each round seem like a fresh and exciting journey.