Alright, so here’s our first review for the site, PlayerUnkown’s Battlegrounds. Written and video formats below, feel free to choose whichever you like best, or both.
TL, DR at the bottom.
Introduction: I’ve played around 175 hours of PUBG in a seven-week span. I’m hooked by the intense gunfights and the hilarious moment to moment action involving my squad. PUBG is a battle royale shooter in both first person and third person that pits you against 98 other people, or your squad against 25 other squads. PUBG is a hilarious, engrossing, and infuriating game, which happens to be the perfect combination to keep me interested.
Gameplay: Regardless of the many bugs, the gun-play and gameplay mechanics give you a fun experience as soon as your feet hit the ground.
PUGB convinces me I’m safe when I land in a city with no one else. Some players drop with “silent” parachutes when out of the plane and make you think you don’t have anything to worry about. Wrong. Just when you think you’ve got it easy and can loot Pochinki for free, you got smoked by a shotgun. Of course, your teammates are nowhere near for a revive since they are looting other “free” buildings and then you bleed out slowly as your killer taunts you.
I try to go hunting for other players as soon as possible. I loot and shoot to clear my area of other players so I can continue looting entire towns by myself or with my squad. I’ll click that Ump-9 into full auto mode and mercilessly chase anything that moves. If I take them out, I’m happy. If I lose the gun fight by being outgunned, I’m upset. If I lose the fight because my supposedly fully automatic submachine gun single fires, I’m infuriated. Regardless of the outcome of that particular fight, I’m encouraged to keep playing.
My blood starts pumping as soon as I get my first kill which could be within the first 30 seconds or 20 minutes. As soon as that happens, I can literally feel the adrenaline rush kick in and push me forward. That player I just killed probably has an M16A4 with a 2x scope. Gross. I’ll stick to my Ump-9. I mean I’ll take the M16 but I’m only going to use it if all else fails. I hate that weapon and that sight. I think they hate me too.
Given a choice, I’m sporting the M416 with a vertical foregrip and an 8x scope with a holographic sight in my bag for short range. Statistically, the M16 is the better weapon, it just doesn’t work for me. The ability to do well with a variety of weapons gives PUBG some of its appeal. You can play like a sniper and stick to a distance or you can move to close quarter combat and take people out with pistols if you’re good enough or just like a challenge. Keep in mind that whatever gun you choose bugs might happen. This game is early access and it shows on occasion. Cars explode by barely tapping a rail on the road, bridges forget to load in entirely, guns glitch and single fire when they say “auto.” Some deaths will be your fault and some will be a bugs fault. Regardless of that death, you’ll keep playing, you have to get that chicken dinner.
So, I’ve played around 150 more hours of PUBG since my initial writing at 175 hours and my tastes have changed quite a bit, which I think is common with players as they improve and as the game gets changed. I’m going to leave the bit about the UMP-9 and M416 in because I think it’s relevant to the learning curve of the game. Now, I’m usually rocking an an M16, with whatever attachments I can find. (Not you 2x Scope.) I try to use the M16 for pretty much everything. I don’t really see a use for a close range weapon at this point. An M16 on burst can take enemies down fast, if you can hit your shots. It’s an excellent long range weapon if you have a scope considering it’s predictable recoil and accuracy. My weapon preference has changed as I’ve played and I think considering the fact that PUBG is an early access game, I think that pattern will continue. Back to the review as normal.
I enjoy being forced towards other players by the blue circle of death. Sure, I can play in the “gas” and die over time but that is less fun than moving towards other players and more action. My average survival time is around 14 minutes which is about half the time of a full 30 minute match. Each match never really feels like a huge time commitment because I’m always focused on looting, shooting other players, or running from the circle.
Graphics: Besides some weird texture issues at long distances and bushes that look like crouching players, PUBG looks fine. I say fine because I don’t think the graphics are incredibly important. Your graphical settings don’t really matter really, you can be good at PUBG on low graphical settings. Some people even play with low graphics settings for better frames per second. Some parts of the game feel the same as others but I think that’s because I rarely see the northern 25% of the map or the eastern edge because the circle doesn’t condense and end in those directions.
Sound: I hate the sound in this game. Gun sounds are great and vary, but bullet sounds seem wrong. I am by no means an expert in gun ballistic sounds, but sometimes the bullets seem to come from the ground or hit you in the face when you are behind a tree. It’s entirely possible I’m just an idiot and don’t understand actual gun sounds but something just seems off. It’s incredibly loud in comparison to voice chat with friends in and out of PUBG. I can’t seem to find the right balance that allows me to hear both in game sound and voice chat effectively. I either have voice chat or the in game sounds really loud, there’s no middle ground. The only time I enjoy the sound of PUBG is the fog. I listen to the ambience of the fog so intently that I jump out of my seat when I hear a shot close.
Story: While PUBG doesn’t have a story, it’s easy to create your own. Each match feels like an adventure and when you are playing with a group of friends it allows for great banter during and after the game. I love talking about our last game or that time a wild man gobbled at our group chasing us around with a pan while we just stood there in fear. Sure, one of my group ended his insanity with a couple shots from a Scar-L, but we remember the feral turkey gobbler. Or I can remember my first solo chicken dinner gunning down my last opponent with the AKM out in the fields outside of Yasnaya Polyana. The stories you create are one of my favorite things about this game.
Overall Impressions: Regardless of the terrible sound, annoying desync, and other in game bugs, PUGB is awesome and a really great experience with friends. That being said, unless you’ve got a dedicated group of friends who don’t mind the issues with the game, I think it’s best to avoid it until it comes out of early access and some of the issues have been fixed.
TL, DR: Only play PUBG if you are okay with bugs and have a group to play with. If those things are true, the game is incredibly fun.
Thanks for reading.
Feedback is welcome and appreciated.