Being an innovator isn't always a good thing. Every genre starts somewhere, but the game that starts it all isn't always the game that's the most successful. PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is the game that really started off the entire Battle Royale revolution, but it's not...[read more below]
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Being an innovator isn't always a good thing. Every genre starts somewhere, but the game that starts it all isn't always the game that's the most successful. PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is the game that really started off the entire Battle Royale revolution, but it's not necessarily the game that most think of when it comes to this type of game. That's a shame, though, because PUBG has managed to carve out a place as a fairly serious entry into a field that seems to be much more about being as accessible as possible.
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds popularized the Battle Royale genre and remains a major competitor in the scene.
If you've ever played a Battle Royale game, you probably have PUBG to thank for the concept. You're looking at something that seems very basic at this juncture, but that's not necessarily what the case was back when the game was released. If you've never played one of these games before, the concept is simple - you are dropped into a map with nothing, and then have to scavenge weapons. While you do so, you're trying outlast dozens of other players in an attempt to be the last person standing. As far as concepts go, you really don't get a lot simpler or easier to grasp.
One thing that really helps PUBG stand apart from the rest of the imitators is that it looks fairly realistic, at least compared to Fortnite. That doesn't necessarily mean that the game is full of dull colors, but there's definitely no flying unicorns or players in teddy bear outfits here. The game certainly looks a lot more like a Ghost Recon or The Division game than it does many of the other games in its genre.
The audio here is good enough to rely upon, even if it's not always anything special. Really great players are able to use the audio to find opponents and keep safe, so it's good that the overall design works. Past that, though, it's really not all that special.
Perhaps the worst thing about the gameplay aspect of PUBG is that it feels fairly generic at this point. That's not a dig, though - this is the game that innovated it all, after all. The much bigger issue is that the game has enough issues with bugs that player performance can suffer for the developers' oversights. In a genre where milliseconds matter, there's just no room for error. It's a shame that the problems can overshadow the competent core gameplay loop of this game, though, because PUBG really does do its job very well.
If you've never played a Battle Royale game before, PUBG is a great place to start. It's the innovator, after all, and playing it will tell you if you like the rest of the genre. While there are more colorful games out there that bring more flavor to this type of play, there's still a lot to be said for trying out the original.
What follows is the official description of PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS, from the developers.
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) is an online multiplayer battle royale game developed and published by PUBG Corporation, a subsidiary of South Korean video game company Bluehole. The game is based on previous mods that were created by Brendan "PlayerUnknown" Greene for other games, inspired by the 2000 Japanese film Battle Royale, and expanded into a standalone game under Greene's creative direction. In the game, up to one hundred players parachute onto an island and scavenge for weapons and equipment to kill others while avoiding getting killed themselves. The available safe area of the game's map decreases in size over time, directing surviving players into tighter areas to force encounters. The last player or team standing wins the round.
Battlegrounds was first released for Microsoft Windows via Steam's early access beta program in March 2017, with a full release in December 2017. The game was also released by Microsoft Studios for the Xbox One via its Xbox Game Preview program that same month, and officially released in September 2018. A free-to-play mobile version for Android and iOS was released in 2018, in addition to a port for the PlayStation 4. Battlegrounds is one of the best-selling and most-played video games of all time, selling over fifty million copies worldwide by June 2018, with over 400 million players in total when including the mobile version.
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