PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is a competitive third-person shooter survival game that pits 100 players against each other on a large island. The game isn’t without its fair share of bugs and server issues on Steam’s Early Access, but it’s probably the most fun I’ve had with a game all year. It's been full of moments of palpable tension, to straight up buggy hilarity, and I can't get enough.
The game has taken the world by storm. PUBG has sold over 4 million copies since launching on Steam Early Access earlier this year, and has consistently been one of the top watched games on Twitch and other streaming services. The internet is going mad over this intense, and often times goofy shooter.
The premise of PUBG is relatively simple: 100 players are flown over a large island covered in small towns, farms, camps, and forest. The players can then choose where and when to dive out of the plane to begin searching for gear that is randomly generated within homes, huts, and other buildings. With this gear (weapons, body armor, med kits) the players will defend themselves and fight off others with the hopes of being the last man standing.
The island you land on is pretty damn big – so, there’s a catch… A circle will appear on the map revealing a designated play area. You will be given a timer for how long you have to get within this play area before another shrinking circle outside this one (a blue wall of electricity) overruns you.
If you are outside the blue wall you will take damage. The longer the game has gone on, the more damage it will deal. However, if you are within the white circle you are safe - kind of. The white circle play area will get smaller and smaller as the game goes on – forcing each player to get closer to each other. This makes for an extremely intense end of a match which forces the players to think about their actions carefully, and use everything at their disposal.
Your tactics as the game progresses may have to adjust. You may avoid a fight and let others duke it out so you can get to more ideal cover, or loot the loser’s corpse. With the play area constantly getting smaller, good loot is key to survival. Do you drop into a dense town with a higher probability of finding more/better weapons, but risk losing early to one of a dozen others with the same idea? Or do you choose a smaller outlying group of homes, or the large farm house in the distance?
The constant weighing of risk to gain, time management, and quick decision making that is necessary to perform in the top ten of a match is exhilarating. And if that’s not for you, PUBG is also a ton of fun to just play casually. It doesn’t have to be about winning because it’s not going to be for quite a while until you get the hang of it anyways (the closest I’ve gotten was 3rd place).
The game is very difficult, yet rewarding. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds keeps getting better and better with each update and is expected to be out of early access by the end of the year. But even with it’s faults - this game is a fucking blast.