Once every blue moon, when the stars align and the path of Jupiter travels through Sagittarius’s rectum something wonderful happens in the gaming industry, where something comes along that changes everything. That this time round is the absolutely gang busters Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds.
The premise of the game is simple, its execution is almost inspired in its simplicity, but the resulting game has had such an immediate impact on gaming that it may never quite be the same again. You and 100 other players are flown over an island, and a colossal one at that in a huge plane. At some point you must choose to eject from the plane, or be forced to and parachute down into a giant battle royale. The map is littered with guns, armour and vehicles which you can use to survive and all you have to do to win is be the last person standing.
There are a couple of handy game mechanics to help speed the process along, firstly there are the red areas. Small portions of the map will turn red and a timer starts, and you have to get in doors or escape the red area before it’s carpet bombed and murders to death anybody caught out side. “Doesn’t seem like too much of a problem so far.” I hear you cry, “you did say small portions!” When this is coupled to the second mechanic it can become one. The gameplay area shrinks over time and its pretty substantial drops at first, parachute onto the wrong part of the island and you could be left desperately sprinting across half the map to get to safety before the dreaded blue line of doom vacuums you up, and the playing area is vast, so it can happen pretty quickly if you aren’t careful.
What you’re left with is different types of pressure throughout the match. Environmental pressure from the map, player pressure because everybody is out to kill you and survival pressure, each building will have items in it that can aid your survival, but also there might be a player inside waiting to kill any unsuspecting looters and steal your stuff. That final pressure goes the other way, you need to get better stuff so the pressure to improve your chances builds as the game builds.
The objective is survival, you could in theory complete an entire match and win without firing a single bullet, providing you ran over the last surviving player (other than yourself). The bulk of the scores given out at the end of the round will be for where out of the 100 you rank. I myself have managed to finish as high as 3rd and I only managed to fire two bullets in the entire round, I found a dune buggy and an AK47 and started bowling around the map avoiding as many people as possible until the map was so small I was down to the last three and had to make a stand. The problem then being that at least one of the other players had been far more adventurous than I and had significantly better gear. So, I managed to get two shots off at him before he turned my head into a canoe.
Probably then, you aren’t going to win many games if by a total avoidance tactics, so the nuances of the game start to appear, you have to figure out when to strike and when to avoid, choose where to loot and where to avoid, determine what looks like a trap and what’s safe to plunder for all its goodies.
Player Unknown’s Battle Grounds or PUBG on the Xbox One is far from perfect mind you, the game is essentially still pre-release, so there a bugs and dodgy animations galore. Sometimes whole rooms of stuff wont load in until you’ve been in it a good twenty seconds, so you can’t tell if you’re rubber banding because of a dodgy connection or because you’re caught on some scenery that hasn’t loaded yet.
The game is currently only available in preview at the moment on the Xbox One, so there’s only one map to play on (so far) and the character customisation options are seriously limited, so I’ve opted to just run around in my pants, the customisation options are purely cosmetic and don’t really make squat difference to the game itself, but because of all this the game preview is available at a reduced price so don’t worry don’t be feeling to grudging, you wont be paying full price for an unfinished game, what I think you actually get is a some pretty decent value for an unfinished game. There’s hours of fun to be had here!
This game has sold by the bucket load, even for the preview, over 25 million PC units and 3 million Xbox One Units, with millions and millions of players on concurrently you’ll never be short a game.