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Playerunknown's Battlegrounds (PC) artwork

Playerunknown's Battlegrounds (PC) review

"A simple Battle Royale/Hunger Games simulator. Play with your friends for best experience."

This is one of those games that boils down to a ďshare your adventures with your friendsĒ simulator. You know, the kind of water cooler talk people used to do with things like Skyrim because experiences can vary so wildly. Unfortunately, thereís a lot less to talk about when it comes to PUBG. That doesnít make it bad, but it does seem like a one trick pony after a while.

A large portion of my gaming community has already been playing this for a couple months and it never seemed quite like my style of game. I got the gist and even watched a few Letís Plays of it. Itís essentially Hunger Games (Or Battle Royale if youíre everyone else who has seen that movie, which I have not). You can queue solo, duo, or with a squad up to four. With a hundred other people youíre put on a plane that flies over a pseudo-Slavic landmass (with town names like ďPochinkiĒ and ďLipovkaĒ) and must choose where you drop in. The map is massive and littered with explorable buildings, each with completely randomized loot. You can either get lucky and start off with scoped sniper rifles, or unlucky and have to move through an open field with nothing but pistols and motorcycle helmets. Most of the game is running from township to township, while people hit the more popular spots and engage in firefights. Iíve gone up to 20′s in placement never seeing a soul.

Every couple of minutes, thereís a specific zone that every player must reach or a blue tech wall comes down and drains your health. Itís a more boring version of the forest fire or poison gas from the Hunger Games movies, just being a mechanic to get people moving and running into each other. Without it, these games would be days long with people hiding in bathrooms.

Thereís a sort of meta, with a large portion of players choosing to hit up the military base, and thereís a more than average presence in the school due to there being a shit ton of rooms to explore, and thus a good chance at decent loot to carry onward.

After that stage of the game, the Early Access rears its head. The experiences can vary wildly, but thereís not a whole hell of a lot to the game itself. Thereís not much left for me to talk about besides a few of the encounters Iíve had. Water cooler talk engaged!

Itís not a game I typically play alone, and three squad games in I managed to make it to 20 people left alive before dieing. During this game, one of our idiot mates beached a boat on a tiny spot of land beneath the military base (Where the zone was closing in). We had to swim for several minutes while the number of players went down at a consistent rate. We killed a few people on the beach before I finally got sniped, and a teammate carried us and pulled out a bonafide victory, netting me four-hundred ingame coins, which only serve to give you clothing that you can start with. Iím still holding out for that trenchcoat. In one idiot move, that guy might have actually saved us from several gunfights that might have killed us otherwise, because we spent half the game under water.

During another squad game, I didnít have much to my name except for a shotgun. We were under attack from another team, downing one of my mates and circling my house. One of them opened the door and I unloaded, downing and then killing them instantly. While I reloaded in a panic, the other turned the corner and I did the same thing to them, netting a double kill.

In another, I had the SKS sniper rifle which is a decent piece of equipment according to multiple sources. Unfortunately we had landed in the same area as another team. While my mates were taking cover I managed to down two and kill another in what was basically shotgun range, netting me a triple kill.

In a duo queue, I was exploring a building without much luck before reaching the roof and got an instant shotgun to the face, being one of the first ten to die. I knew someone else was around but didnít realize that they landed on the damn roof directly, and just got lucky with a weapon. I was too busy laughing to be angry.

After a while I decided to brave the solo queue and fared far better than expected, making it to #18 and earning an above-average payout for how long I lasted.

Thatís part of the game, really. Luck. The variance in experience seems to be what keeps people going despite the simple mechanics. Itís certainly one of those games where I thought, ďWhy hasnít this been made already?Ē Maybe it had, but never quite captured the magic of PUBG. Itís really not my style of game (Iím not fond of pure PvP unless thereís AI enemies involved), but once I figured out that this game could basically be compared to a roguelike, it got better. Itís a multiplayer roguelike, the idea is not to win every time... But to see how far you can get.


Zydrate's avatar
Community review by Zydrate (July 03, 2017)

Zydrate is most active on Steam and Tumblr.

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Nightfire posted July 04, 2017:

I've watched quite a bit of footage of this game. I don't really have a desire to play it myself, but it sure is fun to watch the emergent shenanigans when other people are playing.

One question: Do you have to stay and watch the whole round conclude if you're knocked off early, in order to get rewards? Or can you just bow out and find a new game?
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Zydrate posted July 04, 2017:

Nope, you can exit game and get the coins as rewards regardless.
That would be insanely infuriating if it was to the contrary.
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Nightfire posted August 02, 2017:

I can't believe this game beat Fallout 4 on Steamcharts for most simultaneous online players... Nearly half a million people. Is it really that good? Or do people just really love this open-world bloodsport kinda stuff?
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Zydrate posted August 03, 2017:

It has an odd level of appeal that I did not expect and tried to express in this review. Once I got over the fact that not every game will be a victory and more of a "How far can you get" simulator, it became fun.

It's also just better to play in a squad with some friends, just to give it an extra layer of depth.

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