SelectButton’s Early Access reviews provide valuable insight into a work in progress. The game will be reevaluated once officially released, as the review below is based on the Early Access build of the game at the time of the review’s published date.
It's becoming a challenge to not hear about the current shooting star, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. PUBG, as it's also called, is from PlayerUnknown himself Brian Greene.
PUBG, like others in the Battle Royale genre (many seemingly influenced or touched by Greene) sees players initially start out in an introduction area. This area is a great place for newer players to quickly acclimate themselves to the game because once the timer reaches zero, it's game time. Starting out, a cargo plane will fly out over a large island, allowing players to parachute out and make their way down to ground level. Once there, it's a no holds barred fight to the finish. You'll be expected to find, scavenge, and do whatever you need to survive and end up being the winner winner for your chicken dinner.
PUBG's charm is the fact no one ever has any better chance than the person next to them in the beginning. It's all giant crapshoot on who actually ends up as #1. Sometimes you'll end up picking a wrong location to start, ending up with maybe a pistol, backpack, and a whole lot of fear as you hightail it to the next building for whatever you can find. Other times, you might land with five different players and be the first (or even only) one to luck out in finding a weapon to kill the others. You'll may even luck out and manage to snag one of the supply crates that drop from the sky randomly!
The island itself is a pretty large place, requiring either a lot of constant running to navigate or luck in finding a vehicle that'll get you around without as much concern. Being that danger lurks around every corner, keeping your head down and moving is a great way to possibly survive. WASD is king here, but there are additional pieces to know - while aiming, Page Up and Page Down change your zeroing range, holding the alt key allows you to decouple your camera from your view, and tab brings up your meager inventory. Protip, don't rifle through things on the ground only to turn around and equip them from your inventory after; forward-thinking friends! Have your list up, and you can quickly drag items into your inventory or straight onto your equipment slot, just you know, don't sit still too long. A map is also available, showing you just how large this island "paradise" is.
While the game is excellent when playing solo, it really puts a strain on your sense to continually keep watching your back. I prefer playing with a team (or friends even more so), and this can be done in either two or four-man squads. For those with the friend count, a four-player game is a sight to behold as you can work together to set up ambushes and more. And don't stress too much if your compadres go down, it's possible to revive them from an injured status and provide them healing supplies. Granted, doing so in a firefight will probably kill you all, but you do what you have to do in the heat of things.
Being the game is still in an Early Access state, much of it is in flux. Updates roll out regularly, some subtly changing the game while others are broader and more game impacting. However, a chief complaint many have are about the server strength and lag the game experiences. While it has gotten better since the initial launch, the game is still apt to stutter at times as your connection lags out (or catches up). However, this is great for fans of the game as new weapons, clothing, additions like the first-person only server, and more are still rolling out. Expect more add-ons before the game ultimately releases sometime later this year with an expected release on both Xbox One as well.
I have thoroughly enjoyed what PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has brought to the gaming world. While not an entirely new experience, it's definitely put a twist on the genre itself. I expect it to only grow larger and more popular as time goes on. Considering there has already been a charity invitational and more news about a future in esports gaming with PUBG, it'll be sure to remain a high profile title once it hits full release.Note: PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (Early Access) was reviewed on PC. A digital copy of the game was provided by the publisher/developer.