Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds Impressions
- The structure of the game is simple: 100 unarmed people jump out of a plane onto a large but unpopulated island. Guns, gear, and vehicles can be found in the island’s various landmarks and structures. As time passes, the map forces players into an increasingly small area of the island – until one person, the winner, remains.
- While simple, the gameplay has enough depth to elicit strategy from players. Most of this strategy derives from the game’s forcing the players into increasingly small area of the map. Is it better to head directly into the middle of the marked area, pick up what guns are available, and camp out? Or is heading to a location with the best guns, then slowly working towards the playable area, the way to go?
- The game can be played alone or with up to three squadmates. There are some small, but noticeable, differences in gameplay and strategy depending on how many people are on your team.
- The game is in early access – so despite its warts, the developers are constantly collecting data from the community, using this information to fix current issues, and add new features to the gameplay.
- There are some nice little touches tucked into Battlegrounds. Things like knowing that all vehicles on the island spawn facing east – allowing players to know when a vehicle hasn’t been touched by other players, but also allowing players to trick others into thinking that same thing.
- One of the best things about the game is how you can jump immediately into a new match. Battlegrounds doesn’t punish you for dying and losing a game – instead, it allows you to leave and join a new match without waiting.
- The physics in the game are sometimes so bad that it is funny, especially with vehicles that take strange bounces off hills and other geometry.
- Collision detection can be an issue as well. One example deals with metal bars over top of windows (you know, the types that business have so that the glass can’t be broken into). Even if it looks like you are aiming through these metal bars, you often end up shooting the bars instead and missing your target.
- Other glitches and inconsistencies pop up as you play matches. Crashes can occur as well.
- Only one map exists so far. It is large and contains many places to explore, but the game would benefit from more content.
…and The Ugly
- The developers have a lot of work to do in regards to smoothing out the game’s rough edges, hopefully before the planned full release of the game in the fall. More and more people are buying the game, meaning developers have more funds with which to fix issues and enhance gameplay – but with more players and more money comes higher expectations and less patience from players.
- Players earn XP each match and can use these points to unlock loot boxes, which in turn grants a piece of clothing for your in-game character. The problem is that these unlockable clothes are mostly disappointing – a dirty white shirt or brown pants, for example. Maybe the developers don’t want to make the in-game clothes to ridiculous, but they could at least make them worth unlocking.
Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds is an addicting and accessible shooter that delivers unique online gameplay. Despite its various issues with things such as physics or collision detection, the game is a blast to play alone or with friends. The developers have a lengthy list of improvements to make, but at this point the game’s potential outweighs its faults. Only time will tell whether Battlegrounds can survive in the saturated shooter market.