Survival games are not exactly new, a trend was started with ARK : Survival Evolved making it big in the market, and other games decided to build upon the concept of survival in different environments. Survival in a zombie ridden world, like in DayZ, H1Z1, 7 days to die, and the like. Survival in space, like in Planet Nomads, Rokh, and similar games. Resources, base-building, enemy mobs to kill – everything existed, until Squad changed the whole survival scene, adding elements of shooter games.
The basic concept that had now evolved was a Hunger Games-esque environment in which the enemy mobs are not random pieces of artificial intelligence, but human brains who strive to eliminate you in the best ways possible, and dynamically evolving strategies mean dynamically evolving gameplay with the developer making minor tweaks to ensure a new metagame, and more strategies to adapt to changes in the game. That is where PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS comes in.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) is a massively multiplayer online battle royal video game developed and published by Bluehole for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One. The game was released on Steam’s early access program in March 2017, selling over four million copies within three months. Bluehole plans console releases following the full release of the Windows version, with an Xbox One version by the end of 2017, and for the PlayStation 4 at a later date.
PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS features solo, duo, or team modes, where players play either on their own, with one partner, or in a team of four. The main objective is to survive as long as possible, and possible be the longest to survive in the game world, which is quite big, 5 km^2 * 5 km^2. . However, the huge landscape is not the region of survival for long. Based on the concentration of players, a play area is fixed, and players have to move there before the play area is restricted. Sounds cool? It isn’t. You aren’t equipped with anything except your clothes when you dive. You’ll be asking “How do I fight others if I don’t have anything on me?” The answer is quite simple – you scavenge for stuff, and of course, loot stuff off dead players. Guns, supplies, medikits and the like, everything. Loot is scattered off everywhere, almost in all the buildings of the large landscape. (If there’s no loot in a building, be careful, there might be a player camping nearby!) Hide in houses and camp, or run around quickscoping everyone in sight, or drive a vehicle like a madman and run over as many opponents as possible, the choice is yours.
Gameplay And Mechanics
The game is quite overwhelming for a player new to survival-shooters. You don’t have to memorize smokes, flashes, but rather when to use them to cover your tracks. You don’t have to learn recoil patterns, but you have to know when to pick fights and when to avoid them. And the biggest skill of them all : how to make use of the limited resources available to you at game start. These skills are fundamental to learning the game, and a player should have grasp over them as they spend more hours in it. Keeping in mind the play area circle and the constant movement needed to make it to the area if you’re camping out far is always something to keep in your head. Landing with more players may mean a survival risk, but greater rewards, as the circle will close in the area with the greatest player population. The strategies you can use to becoming the last person standing alive are endless, and you need to continuously devise new means to survive.
Graphics Sound and Performance
The graphics are quite good, but in order to experience them, you do need a decent mid-high end rig. The game especially has a sweet tooth for memory, both video memory and RAM, and settings higher than recommended for your PC will result in stuttering or even use of memory in excess of the amount available for your GPU, leading to a game crash. The game consumes a humongous amount of RAM too. Lower RAM, and your textures will take time to load, and you will be ending up with wobbly houses. Imagine if someone landed before you and had found a gun before you. Imagine your opponent firing at you and killing you before you run into cover. That’s an instant kill for your opponent, and instant death for you, which would not be enjoyable.
COMMUNITY : The game is home to a diverse community, either cancerous ones who keep shouting on the mic, or sensible players playing only to win, or player playing “just for fun” and making tons of mistakes in the process of ‘survival’, or the nerds, who constantly keep referring to the wiki, as well as discussing on facebook and forums about new strategies to master the game. You meet many people, some you want to forget, some you want to stay with. The community does have toxicity as well as ragers, but which game doesn’t? Atleast the game design here means you can play with friends, which means you never need to meet people online, except as opponents, so the community pushing potential players off the game is not something to consider, which is quite a thing in games like ARK : Survival Evolved and Rust (where newbies complain about veterans wiping out their progress occasionally).
COSMETICS : You get character customization, as well as cosmetic items in the form of clothes. You earn gold as a form of currency for your feats in game. The better the team ranking, the longer you survive, and the more players you kill, the greater the gold earned at the end of the game. This gold can be used to purchase crates, which reward cosmetic items on being opened. The price of the crate (in in-game gold) increases consecutively till the weekly reset, when the price in gold is reset back to the original value. This is done to prevent spamming the system for cheaper crates, which in turn reveal more expensive cosmetics.
GUNS AND ITEMS : There are a variety of guns to use in the game, and it is recommended that the player play several games to pick up pace with all the guns. There are sub-machine guns, assault rifles, pistols, shotguns, snipers and even a crossbow! You generally get ammo along with the weapon, which are scattered nearby. Moreover, there are tons of adjustments and additions that can be added to the weapons to enhance their capabilities. You also get drops of armor, supplies as well as clothes (which basically protect you from enemies). If that doesn’t satisfy you, there are vehicles to run amok in – shooting and running down tons of enemies in the process(that is, before the steady sniper from the rooftop headshots you).
The game is a must-play for anyone who is into survival games and like some serious competition. Unless you have an old rig incapable of running the game on the lowest settings, or are not “brainy” enough to adapt with the various strategies and ways of playing the game, then you will certainly get the game (and let’s face it, the game has had a few months since its launch in Early Access, and has recorded enormous success so far, the developers have no reason not to work with the optimization once they have finished content additions).