Battle Royale powerhouse Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds joined Xbox Game Preview back in March last year after gaining a huge following on PC and quickly became one of the most watched games on the streaming service, Twitch. The Game Preview launch of PUBG was riddled with bugs, glitches and many other issues and as someone who picked it up on day one I was left pretty disappointed. So now that it has left the preview programme and is now in full release is it worth jumping back in?
So in case you aren’t familiar with the now infamous PUBG let me fill you in. You and ninety-nine unarmed combatants jump out of a perfectly good aeroplane and land on a island where you will have to scavenge for weapons and equipment and ultimately survive. Every so often in intervals a blue fog will close in forcing players closer together and the winner of the game is the last one left alive. Now you can team up in teams of two or four so you and a few friends can team up and argue over who’s fault it was that you died ( I’m looking at you SeabiscuitUK!). There is the option to have a large map or a smaller one, the larger map being double the size and the default.
So, survival is the aim of the game and to survive you are going to have to cover alot of ground, avoiding the fog, airstrikes and enemy players. If you can find a vehicle it does make getting into the safe zone quicker but the noise of your engine will alert near by players to your whereabouts. Everything in this game is a trade off. If you use a vehicle everyone in a miles radius can here you and if you shoot you are going to give away your position.
As you scurry through houses, hospitals and barns you will pick up your weapons and equipment. Assault Rifles, Uzi’s, Shotguns and pistols make up your makeshift arsenal and these are fully up-gradable with suppressors, sights, stocks an clips. You can grab melee weapons such as machetes and of course the infamous frying pan. I’m not even going to go into backpacks, helmets and med packs, the range of items randomly scattered around the map is ridiculous.
Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds biggest strength is the excitement and tension of when you can see the enemy and you are completely torn as whether to shoot them and give away your position or let them go only for them to possibly kill you further down the line. Nothing is more nerve racking than being one of the last few left, hiding in the shrubbery in a safe zone the size of a small barn and no one wants to move or shoot in fear of giving away your position ending with everyone shooting you in your back.
Now that being said PUBG did launch into Xbox Game Preview in a poor state and the developers have pushed out many updates to improve the game experience as a whole and have even launched a public test server so gamer’s can try the new content and get player feedback. One of the worst issues I experienced during the preview were seriously poor draw distances, texture popping and disconnections. Numerous times we would have our squad driving a jeep through a town and the driver would get disconnected, resulting in his zombie avatar driving the jeep across the map towards the killer fog with us held hostage as if we bailed from the car we would die.
So jumping back in after over a year of updates and a very recent full blown release I was eager to see if the issues were fixed. Okay so one big thing in the preview was that you would land and run into a building and you would end up waiting for the textures of the building to load in up to a few minutes after, this is still an issue but no where near as bad. Draw distances are still not great but marginally better. Connections seem to be sorted though!
Now I bet you are looking at all of the screenshots above and thinking “that is one good looking game!”. Yeah…. they are from the press pack and are not representative of the actual Xbox release. The Xbox version of the game is not very pretty as you will see below.
Obviously graphics aren’t everything and after a while you will get used to it and it isn’t going to bother you too much. I have tried to avoid comparisons with the elephant in the room, Fortnite: Battle Royale which on the other hand is gorgeous and does not suffer from any of these issues while being free to play. So why should players pay for PUBG when they can play its competitor for free? Both games have a completely different feel and play very differently so I do feel it is unfair to compare them objectively but comparisons will always be made. I look at it like this, if you want a fun polished cartoon-like game then play Fortnite as its a truly brilliant game. Now if you want a nail biting more realistic experience and battle royale on a bigger scale then PUBG is for you, just be prepared it has some flaws.
Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds is only £24.99 and you can find it cheaper online so its not hugely expensive and I think its being sold at the right price point. If you picked up PUBG in Game Preview it’s definitely worth jumping back in for a few games to see what you think for yourself, if you are still to pick it up I would suggest looking at some streams and making sure its something you are going to enjoy beforehand. I personally probably wont be putting to much time into PUBG this time round but that’s my opinion and as you know opinions are like arseholes. Everyone has one. Please let me know if you agree or disagree.
Have you jumped back into PUBG? Have you been playing the whole time or are you on the fence about buying it? Let us know in the comments and as always for all things gaming stay tuned to ABG.
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Gamer, dad and supporter of @SpecialEffect Charity. Dark Souls fan and gooner!