PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Review

Some flaws, but lots of fun, replayable gameplay to offer players

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3.6

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

 Lifewire / Kelsey Simon

What We Like

  • No huge learning curve

  • Extremely replayable

  • Multiple maps

  • Different game modes (first person/third/duos/solos/squads)

  • Fun and addictive gameplay

What We Don't Like

  • Poor graphics if you don’t want to lag

  • Some latency issues

  • Poorer in-game movement than competitors

  • Simple gameplay, with no extra abilities

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is a battle royale with some technical flaws, however, replayability and fun gameplay help to make up for its issues. Players can have hours of fun while they strive to be the last squad standing.

3.6

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

 Lifewire / Kelsey Simon

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) is a battle royale, the first to rise in popularity before competitors such as Fortnite and Apex Legends joined the scene. With a focus on multiplayer gameplay and multiple modes and maps, PUBG is a fun game to replay again and again, whether alone or with friends. However, the game still has some flaws, and we took a closer look at PUBG on the PC, reviewing its plot, gameplay, and graphics. 

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
Lifewire / Kelsey Simon

Setup Process: Lots of modes to select from

On PC, PUBG requires Steam to be launched. The menu isn’t the nicest when it comes to user-friendliness, and you might be a little confused about what to do. You can simply click play, but the default settings are usually third-person, squad play, and if you’re looking for a different game mode, you’ll need to select your preference―this includes if you’d like to enter the training map.

On the training map, you’ll be able to try out the guns and test the game’s movement. Training mode is set to third person, but you can press a button to switch to first. This is a good place to start so you can get a feel for the game’s mechanics.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
Lifewire / Kelsey Simon

Plot: A brutal fight to the death

There isn’t really a plot to speak of when it comes to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. The characters are human, with no special abilities or enhancements. They are normal men and women who are simply fighting to the death. The maps are set in different parts of the world, with an abandoned almost post-apocalyptic feel to them. But beyond this, there isn’t anything unique about PUBG plot-wise.

PUBG is a battle royale, and its focus has never been on plot, but instead is on offering players a fun and replayable gaming experience. It was the first battle royale to really become popular, even with its many technical flaws. It was what set the stage for other games like Fortnite and Apex Legends. 

PUBG is a battle royale, and its focus has never been on plot, but instead is on offering players a fun and replayable gaming experience.

If you’ve never played a battle royale, the idea in PUBG is that 100 players spawn into a map. They start on an airplane, which flies across the map. From there, players jump from the plane, select where they would like to land and loot the area, searching for armor, guns, backpacks, and other equipment. The goal is to survive, killing other players, and staying in the “safe zone” on the map as a circle closes in and forces players together. The goal is to be the last squad alive―the survivor. 

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
Lifewire / Kelsey Simon

Gameplay: Not the smoothest, but better than it was

When PUBG first came out, it had significant gameplay issues, including latency problems, crashing issues, and low frames per second (fps). While the game was extremely popular, the developer, Bluehole, had not yet created strong enough code to hold up 100 players on one server. But a lot of people pushed through all these issues, because of one thing—the game was addictive and fun. 

The movement at times feels unresponsive, especially compared to its competitors, and often, you have to run the game’s graphics on low settings just to get good fps.

The developers had to step up their game when other battle royale titles started to flood the market and take away from their player base. The game is much smoother than it was originally, with fewer of the problems it had before―but it still isn’t the smoothest. The movement at times feels unresponsive, especially compared to its competitors, and often, you have to run the game’s graphics on low settings just to get good fps.

PUBG, in our opinion, is one of the less serious battle royales out there. Playing in squads with friends is fun, and it’s a game you can either take seriously and try your best to win, or be goofy and not care if you lose. Part of this lack of stressful competition comes from the fact that the learning curve in PUBG is lower than in similar games like Apex Legends. There aren’t any special abilities or building tactics you need to figure out on top of everything else. 

It’s a fun, competitive, extremely replayable multiplayer shooter―but still comes with some technical flaws and a less exciting premise than its competitors.

The focus is simply on guns―handguns, SMGs, ARs, DMRs, sniper rifles, and more. Point and shoot. Occasionally, you’ll throw a grenade. PUBG is more about smart positioning, patience, aim, and luck than anything else.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
Lifewire / Kelsey Simon

Graphics: Below average, especially if you want a good frame rate

PUBG has always been known as a game with technical flaws, one of them being that to get a good frame rate, you usually have to set your game’s graphics to low. The game on ultra settings doesn’t look bad―it stands among other games released within the last two years. But if you play on ultra, even with a newer PC, the game’s movements aren’t going to feel great. The response time feels slower than it should, often even being stuttery when you scope up to snipe. 

PUBG also has a variety of maps, something its competitors haven’t yet bothered to add. There are four maps currently (not including the training map), and each is inspired by a different location and has a different feel.

Fortunately, with a battle royale like PUBG, the game’s focus isn’t on looking good, it’s on having fun and killing things. Once you get used to the lower graphic settings, you probably won’t notice or care that textures aren’t perfect.

The game also has a variety of maps, something its competitors haven’t yet bothered to add. There are four maps currently (not including the training map), and each is inspired by a different location and has a different feel. Miramar is a dusty desert, inspired by South America. Vikendi is snow-covered and icy. Erangel (the games original map) is full of fields and rolling green hills, and Sanhok feels Asian-inspired with its temples and rice fields. This variety is another reason PUBG has held on even with its other graphical flaws.

Price: Not free unless you play on mobile

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds isn’t free, unfortunately, unless you’re willing to play the mobile version, which really isn’t that much fun. On PC, you can purchase the game through Steam for $29.99. Of course, if you hold out for a sale, you’re likely to catch the game for less. For Xbox One, the game goes for 20$. On PlayStation 4, the game is $30. This is quite the downside, as most other popular battle royale games are free-to-play. If you’re on a tight budget, it’s probably best to buy the game used or on sale through Steam, and in the meantime, try one of PUBG’s free-to-play competitors.

Competition: Other battle-royale games, mostly free-to-play

PUBGs two biggest competitors right now are Fortnite and Apex Legends, both of which are free-to-play. Money can be spent on in-game purchases for cosmetics, but if you don’t want to spend any money, you don’t have to. But with PUBG, not only is the initial game $30, but Bluehole also tries to get you to spend money on cosmetics through the purchase of keys to open loot boxes and on special events where if you pay more, you’ll earn more in-game currency and skins. 

Even outside the differences in cost, PUBG has technical flaws that games like Apex Legends don’t. Apex is smooth and has great in-game movement―but the trade-off is balance issues with its heroes and far more competitive gameplay. Fortnite too, feels like a more polished game than PUBG, and its rise in popularity speaks for itself―but again, Fortnite has its flaws. With a young player base (and sometimes childish-looking graphics), it isn’t the right game for every player. But since Apex and Fortnite are free, you might as well try them out while you wait for PUBG to go on sale. 

Final Verdict

A fun, multimode battle royale with technical flaws. 

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is a battle royale with many different modes of gameplay to offer. It’s a fun, competitive, extremely replayable multiplayer shooter―but still comes with some technical flaws and a less exciting premise than its competitors. The game isn’t expensive, but it might be better to try its free-to-play competitors and wait for the game to go on sale than to purchase it at full price.

Specs

  • Product Name PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
  • Product Brand Krafton, PUBG Corporation, Xbox Game Studios, Tencent Games
  • Price $29.99
  • Available Platforms PC (Steam), Android, iOS, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
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