Review: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Early Access
Let’s talk about one of the biggest hypes in gaming ever. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds or PUBG for short has achieved something no game has ever done before. Since its release in March of 2017 in early access (the game is not even finished yet), PUBG already sold over 13 million copies and has had a peak concurrent player count of over 2 million players. This makes PUBG the most played game on Steam. The game gets a lot of its popularity from well-known YouTubers who just love to stream this game. It’s an exciting and enticing game to play and watch others play. It’s very cool to see how your peers approach some of the exhilarating moments you come across while playing this game.
The game is based on mods that Brendan Greene, AKA PlayerUnknown in the gaming community, has built for other games. He got his inspiration from the film Battle Royal, which was released in the year 2000. Korean publisher Bluehole together with Brendan as the creative director made these ideas into a standalone game. At this time (October 2017) the game is only available for Windows PCs on Steam but by the end of the year, it should be released fully with a console version for Xbox One.
PUBG is an online Battle Royal style shooter, up to 100 players parachute down to an island and scavenge for weapons, armor and other gear to get the best chances of winning this exciting game. Last man or team standing wins the game. To get some more action into this huge map called Erangel, the playable area will get smaller over time. Players can see where the ‘circle’ is and will have to get inside the circle before the blue cloud catches up. If you get caught in ‘The Blue’ you will slowly take damage and eventually die. So, get yourselves to the circle in time! But beware of red circles that might get in your way, in these circles bombs will drop and you don’t want to be there when they do.
The game features different weather conditions which make each game different to the last one you’ve played. You can have a sunny map on which you have a very good long-distance view. When it rains some of the clothes or trench coats that you can wear might give little shimmer and might reveal your position and on foggy maps snipers are in a bit of a disadvantage because of the viewing distance which is very limited. This last weather condition was just recently added to the game and gives a very nice change to the games in which normally the snipers are always in an advantage.
The map is a fictional island called Erangel, it’s an abandoned Russian island in the black sea. It features a lot of empty cities, buildings, warehouses and even a military base. In these you can find your loot. This can be weapons, bulletproof vests, helmets, clothes, healing items, ammo, and more. There is a big choice of different weapons in the game and you will have to find the needed attachments to go with them separately. It’s very common to run around with a sniper rifle while having no scope for it, rendering it all but useless until you finally find your beloved 8x scope.
Erangel is very large and creates the necessity to drive from one place to another using one of 5 different types of vehicles. First, you have the UAZ, a military jeep that can carry up to 5 players at once and gives a good amount of speed and protection. Secondly, there is the Dacia, your standard sedan-type vehicle, up to 4 players can get in this one, but it is a lot slower than the UAZ. Thirdly you have the Buggy, a doom buggy type vehicle which can be driven by one player whilst a second player sits on top, this vehicle gives not much protection but is very fast. On number four, we have the motorcycle, this one comes in two different variants, a two-person bike or a bike with a sidecar for a third player. This is the fastest vehicle in the game. Lastly, there is the PG-117, this is a five-seater boat, used to cross the rivers or sea around the island.
There is a big choice of different weapons in the game. Some sniper rifles, assault rifles, SMGs, shotguns, pistols and some melee weapons. From that last category one of the most wanted and iconic ones being the frying pan. Some players have been able to deflect bullets using the frying pan and when not wielding it, it’s still good protection for your bootyhole. Other iconic weapons from the game are the AKM, SCAR-L, KAR98 and M24, the first two being assault rifles and the lather being sniper rifles. The M24 sniper rifles can only be found in airdrops. Multiple airplanes will cross the battlefield and drop crates. These crates contain some of the most wanted loot including but not limited to a light machine gun, a ghillie suit and the M24 sniper rifle. These drops will be marked with red smoke until they have been looted.
There are loads of different tactics of approaching this game, you can choose to drop in a city where there will be lots of other players and trying to thin out the herd as soon as you can. Or you can try to drop in a more remote part of the map with maybe only a few houses or a farm, in the hopes of getting the right gear before having to engage other players. A big part of the game you will be searching houses and running from the blue circle but the moments that you can engage in a fight make it all worth it. While engaging you can really cut the tension with a knife. Who will manage to get the most hits? who will be able to dodge the most shots? Who will die first?
There are some different game modes: solo, duo’s or in squads of four players. Each of these game modes requires different tactics to get you through the game. When playing with a team you will have to split up the loot but you will be able to cover more ground. And whilst your teammate is engaging an enemy you can flank him and get him by surprise, but beware of his teammates of course. These modes bring a whole new dimension to this already breath-taking game. All these modes are standardly played in third-person view, but by popular demand of the players, Bluehole added a First person only to each of the modes, so you can pick which ever you like best. Third-person gives you an (unfair?) advantage of being able to look around corners without have to peak out, while first-person view limits your point of view a lot.
I’ve been playing this game for some time now and it does not get dull to me, every game is different and winning a game really gets your adrenaline pumping and some sweet chicken dinner! I have enjoyed every minute of PUBG and will play this game for many more hours to come. I can really advise you in trying it out, especially when you have friends to play in duo’s or squads, but even when you play solo this game is really worth it. Since it’s still in early access, much more updates will follow. Bluehole updates the game weekly and in the last updates, they added a new weather type and some new guns. For me personally, this is one of the best shooter games to come out in a while and this game will be in the esports community for a very long time. Signing out to play another game of PUBG, see you on the battlegrounds!