When PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was revealed to be a console exclusive on the Xbox One, I was miffed somewhat. I had PC to run the game, but I preferred console. It’s what I grew up with and hard to quit. Seeing the massive success behind PUBG was something else entirely. Everyone was in on the success and so many people were playing the game that effectively began the battle royale craze.
PUBG led the pack for some time but as the massive hit found it’s niche, others wanted their piece of the pie. Sadly, rival companies have not only taken their piece but also that of Bluehole Studios, the company who hasn’t been able to make this game run well on any platform. And with so many competitors now doing the same but better, PUBG is struggling to catch up with others in the genre.
I spent a few months playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds on the Xbox One, and the game left me satisfied enough that I stopped playing. I had one a few chicken dinners and thanks to a nonstop barrage of bugs, I found myself finished with PUBG and moved onto other games.
Last One Alive
So, here we are, at the end of 2018 and Sony reveals that the exclusivity deal is up for Xbox and PlayStation 4 joins in on the action in December. As I loaded the familiar menus up on a new console, I thought about what I liked. The maps are big, and I do like the feeling of being to outgun other players. When things work, the game is fun.
In all honesty, if you like battle royale titles, this one is good. Granted, it’s a bit lacklustre but playing through giant maps, finding loot, gaining the best armour and then dwindling down the player count to 1 is fun but there are a few things holding back the experience. Namely, the clunky controls and graphical fidelity. I can say that compared to the Xbox Game Preview version of PUBG, this is much more stable and playable.
Issues like draw distancing play a big part of any game. If I’m coming up the road and need to duck into a building, I’d like to know where it is. In some instances, I’d move and have a building appear out of nowhere. Jumping out of the plane is another issue itself. Jumping out of the plane is the beginning stages of this game. When beginning the game, I like to look down and get a sense of where I want to end up. Unfortunately, you can’t tell what’s what as you descend because nothing loads until you’re close to the ground. This throws off my strategy when playing and I’m left strategizing how to survive on the fly.
In a game like this, the UI should play a big part in the experience. Unlike other games in the genre, there isn’t a radial wheel that pops up to allow the player to select between weapons and gear. Instead, there are separate screens that you must navigate to. When the goal in PUBG is to survive, keeping a quick inventory wheel seems like a no-brainer but unfortunately doesn’t come included.
Booting up this game on either console or PC, you’re able to select whether you want to play solo, duo, or squads. Dropping out of the plane onto the map is how every match starts and then you’re left to fend for yourself or team. Still with me? PUBG translates well to a controller I think, but there are some glaring issues. Holding the L2 button, for instance, aims down the sights in the third person, but if you tap the L2 button, it triggers a switch to first-person aiming. Holding Square will reload your guns but tapping Square picks up items. Triangle allows you to equip or holster your primary weapon by holding the button. It’s cumbersome remembering so many button combinations.
Coming off as more of a slow burn, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds isn’t for those expecting frantic gameplay. Sure, it has its tense moments and unnerving gameplay at times, but for the most part, this is a methodical game. Sadly, PUBG finds itself held back by glitches and maddening graphics that feel dated. If you can deal with numerous glitches and having to reboot the game, you might like this game. That isn’t to say there isn’t fun to found with this game but for me, there’s no real reason to come back at this point when other games do the same but better. Being the first at doing something doesn’t mean you’re the best, and Bluehole Studios had plenty of time to work on balancing and improving their massive hit in meaningful ways. With so many ports out, you’d think the kinks would have been squashed with each new iteration, instead, each port is serviceable at best.