PlayerUnkown’s Battlegrounds isn’t the best-made game in the world, visually. It also doesn’t run particularly well — a fact that developers made light of in their recent Inside Xbox Live at Gamescom showcase. We are eight months past the official release of Version 1.0, and the battle royale game is still riddled with bugs on PC; that’s not even mentioning the Xbox One version, which is finally coming out of Early Access. In fact, PUBG Corporation, the developers behind the game, literally created a website entitled fix.pubg.com that outlines their roadmap for updates that will better optimize the performance of the title. There are a lot of unignorable issues that understandably drive players away.
But why do I always come crawling back to it like it’s some hard drug and I need to get my fix? Well, that’s easy. It’s because there is still no other experience quite like PUBG.
Yes, there are similar ones. Battle Royale games have blasted off in the gaming world, many soaring past the popularity heights of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. I don’t think I need to elaborate on which one that is. Then, some have failed to capture the feeling that the battle royale genre has to offer. Nevertheless, these titles do not come close to the suspenseful and tactical nature that is just oozing out of every crevice of PUBG.
Before I proceed, let’s address the elephant in the room. Yes, Fortnite has stolen a massive number of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds players, and the number seems to be increasing every single day. However, there is one aspect that the developers at PUBG Corporation have in their game compared to everyone else: that sweet, sweet chicken dinner. I have not found any other experience that can replicate the joyous and rewarding feeling after winning that glorious meal.
Whenever there are less than ten other players left in the round, oh boy, it’s a ride. Crawling through the thick grass in complete silence not knowing whether someone is right next to you causes my hands to sweat. I legitimately get nervous and my hands begin to tremble each time because I get filled with so much anxiety. Even the best players can’t just run around all willy nilly. If you are caught in the open, most of the times that’s it. You’re done for. The last five minutes of a round in PUBG are some of the most stressful and suspenseful moments I have ever experienced in a game. However, the payoff of a chicken dinner also is one of the most rewarding feelings I ever felt.
Fortnite can feel the complete opposite. Don’t get me wrong; the game is fantastic. I see why it has exploded into what it is today. It still never connected with me though. While you will find yourself in a lot more battles in Epic’s rendition of battle royale, I always felt that it was missing some suspense. No matter where you are at in Fortnite, you have cover. Well, unless you do not have any building materials, but that is not to often since you can gather materials from almost every object. Running from town to town usually is not an issue because if an enemy spots you and starts firing, just pop up a few walls and boom, cover! In fact, you can pull an entire fortress out of your pocket at a moment’s notice, provided you have the equipment. If I see another player off in the distance, a distance close enough that I can do some damage, I won’t bother because the opponent can erect a tower at the snap of a finger.
Comparing this to PUBG is almost like a night and day difference. You must always be on your toes. One bad decision could cost you and your squad the match. Whether it is how you ransack a set of buildings, or how you make your approach toward the circle, battlegrounds will always reward the squad that communicates and puts some careful thought into their playstyle.
This is why the two games are not a great comparison. On one side, Epic’s battle royale experience is all about close range combat and constructing forts. Whereas PUBG Corporation’s rendition revolves around patience, strategy, and close to medium range combat. Your opinion of each game will most likely align with your playstyle. Most people love to run and gun. That is a big reason why Call of Duty sells so incredibly well every year and that is probably why Fortnite exploded. Well, besides it also being free.
Let’s say you do want a more up close and personal type of gameplay though. Well PUBG has you covered on that as well. The game has all different kinds of events that take place periodically and mix things up a bit. The Tequila Sunrise mode, where the only weapons available are shotguns and melee weapons, completely alters how you play because you have to be within close range to do any damage. This usually results in chaotic firefights. War Mode sets three teams of ten players against each other at designated areas of the map and is similar to the standard team deathmatch. Metal Rain multiplies squads by two and features eight-player teams. The ever-rotating set of events always offer a refreshing change when you might not want to play the normal battle royale mode. While these modes do provide a nice change of pace, I always come back to what PUBG got so right the first time around.
PlayerUnkown’s Battlegrounds shocked the video game world back in early 2017. Its creative take on the typical multiplayer shooter paved the way for the future of online action games. Fortnite has raked in the dough by branching off of the playstyle of PUBG. Call of Duty Black Ops 4 and Battlefield V will both include a battle royal mode tailored toward those series. However, despite it being a year and a half after the game initially took off, there still hasn’t been a game that can replicate the experience that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds provides.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is available now on PC, Xbox One, Android and iOS. You can purchase PUBG via Amazon for Xbox One if you want to get in on the game before it leaves Early Access.