Title: Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds
Available On: Steam, Xbox One
Played On: Xbox One X
Developer: PUBG Corporation
Publisher: PUBG Corporation, Microsoft Studios (Xbox)
Genre: Battle Royale
Official Site: https://www.playbattlegrounds.com/main.pu
Release Date: December 20th, 2017
Where To Buy: Steam, Xbox Store, Local Retailer
Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds has finally released from Early Access with 1.0 on PC. In addition to that, the multiplayer game of the year has also released on the Xbox One as a Preview title. While both Platforms have had their fair share of launch issues, Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds continues to showcase the best of the Battle Royale genre. As you drop in with 99 other players, you will need to loot, escape the blue zone and take out enemies as you fight to be the last alive. Version 1.0 on the PC does include two maps with the newest being Miramar. While there is no option yet to choose which map to play, Miramar is certainly in the higher rotation. Erangel, which is the original (alpha) map, is currently the only playable map on Xbox One with Miramar coming in early 2018. For me, both versions have their ups and downs.
Going back to April of 2016, I reviewed a game called H1Z1: Just Survive. While doing so, I found out about an additional title called H1Z1: King of the Kill which apparently, was more fun. I gave it a try and I was hooked. As it turned out Brendan Greene (Player Unknown) was the creative mind behind King of the Kill. Naturally, when his Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds released in Early Access on PC in March of 2017, I was anxious to give it a try. At 600 hours of playtime later (Test Server Included), I can tell you it’s a lot of fun to play. On December 20th, Battlegrounds finally released from early access with it’s 1.0 and for the most part, things have gone well.
Throughout early access, Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds has evolved quite a bit. The biggest change was the introduction of “Vaulting”. While Vaulting was available on the Test Servers, it was not included on the regular servers until the 1.0 launch. Vaulting really changes the game in Battlegrounds and in my opinion, for the better. Not only does it take away the frustration of trying to leap over a knee-high obstacle to no avail, it also creates all new types of angles. That’s very much what gunplay in Player Uknown’s Battlegrounds is about…angles. Sure, you’ll have your close quartered battles but many engagements come at a distance. Vaulting also gives you the option to jump through windows and out of potentially sticky situations.
The biggest drawbacks for Battlegrounds right now on PC is the rubber banding, lack of Ping lock and cheating. While playing the “Squads” mode with randoms on the North American server, I am almost always paired up with players from Asian servers. This is because playing with a higher ping gives those players an advantage. It’s not uncommon to be running from gunfire only to die after seemingly being around a corner. It makes for very frustrating play. In addition to that, dropping into a highly populated area may result in rubber banding. You’ll find your character on screen stuttering a jumping while you desperately try to pick up a gun. This can equally lead to a ton of frustration especially if playing with friends. Cheating is also a concern but Bluehole has posted some staggering numbers regarding banned accounts. To date, 1.5 million accounts have been banned which are mostly from China.
One other big addition to the 1.0 launch was the new map “Miramar”. I really enjoyed the new map because it was completely different from the Erangel map. Bluehole did a great job of giving both maps distinct features that alter gameplay. With Enrangel being a lush green area, players can easily take cover in trees and high grass. It’s also fairly easy to travel about the landscape. When it comes to Miramar however, you’ll often find yourself looking out at a barren landscape. Miramar is set in a desert environment with the harsh rocky terrain. The cities contain multiple story buildings and present the likelihood of very close combat. When traveling away from the cities player will often encounter large mountains which significantly hinder travel time even in a vehicle. It makes escaping the blue zone that much harder and also makes you a prime target if you’re forced to travel on a main road.
There are two more features with the Battlegrounds 1.0 release and they are the “Death Cam” and the 3D replay. You’d be hard-pressed to find a Battlegrounds player who hasn’t been killed at one point and say “How?”. The “Death Cam” allows you to see how you met your fate. This is also useful in combating cheaters. Recently, I reported a player because according to the death cam, I was shot through a wall. 3D replay is another fun feature that numerous YouTubers are already taking advantage of. The 3D replay records a distance of 1km around you for the duration of your game. You can essentially create a film out of the replays and that’s exactly what many YouTubers are doing. You can focus on yourself, teammates, enemies and also have the ability to pause, rewind, slow down and much more. If you’re a content creator, it’s certainly something worth checking out.
Be sure to check out our impressions of the Xbox One preview release which will be coming soon.
Verdict: Despite what the trolls say, Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds is one hell of a multiplayer game. Rubber banding and the lack of ping lock can sure make for some frustrating matches but at the moment…the good outweighs the bad.
- This is Battle Royale
- Fun with friends
- Maps and design
- Lack of ping lock