PUBG: Early Access shenannagins on Xbox One

Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds has been on PC for a year, I think, so it comes as no surprise that it has now come to Xbox One, thanks to the financial backing of Microsoft.

The idea behind PUBG is simple: 100 players parachute onto the battleground and every few minutes the play area shrinks, reducing the active zone. If you’re outside the active play area when it’s shrunk, you’re health starts dropping rapidly unless you can get back inside the play area. PUBG is last man standing. Kill or be killed. Shoot someone in the back or be shot in the back yourself. You know the drill, soldiers.

I finished my first game 33rd, despite not having any idea on how to reload my weapon (hold X, I found out after bothering to read the control scheme details). I didn’t do much better subsequent games. I just tended to skulk around, picking up weapons, clothes and ammunition until someone would eventually creep up behind me and shoot me.

As I played more games, I could see why people like it: The Xbox One port is a bit rough around the edges but it has a quality about it that I can see why certain gamers find it appealing. I’ve played the odd game but it’s not my go-to game and it’s not a game I’ll see myself playing regularly. At the moment, there’s not really a lot to do in the game itself: You pretty much just run around a lot, shooting people, picking up supplies and, if you’re me, hope for the best. It doesn’t have an on-screen mini-map, which means you can see where the other players are, which makes things more tense.

I talked earlier about the game intriguing me and mostly that’s because it is quite tactical in that right from the start you have to decide where you will land on the game map: Will you jump out of the plane and land in an area with lots of buildings, where there is likely to be lots of weapons and gear – but also, perhaps, other players – or do you land on the outskirts of the map, where there isn’t much and hope you’ve landed inside the play area? It’s things like that that make PUBG interesting.

PUBG is in Early Access on the Xbox One and it has a long way to go until it’s finished but it’s good to see that an effort is being made to update it and make it more playable. When I first played it, the frame rates were a mess, especially when the plane flies over the island before you jump out, with textures suddenly appearing on objects after you’ve approached them. It may just be me, but I think the control scheme leaves a lot to be desired, too.  I see some video game outlets have given it Game of the Year: personally,  I can’t see it myself but each to their own, right?

It’s glitchy as hell, too, but that is to be expected being Early Access: My son spawned inside a storage area, trapped between two boxes. Another player spawned beside him and pummelled him to death. I’ve heard stories of stairs materialising behind players, trapping them inside. I can’t see myself playing it for months but at least it’s being updated regularly to iron out the bugs.

I’m sure PUBG will do well on Microsoft’s console, but if you’re looking for a more polished Battle Royale game, if that’s your game of choice, I’d take a gander at Fortnite as well: It’s got a really neat aesthetic, is much more solid, I haven’t heard of anyone being stuck behind stairs so far and, it’s free.

I can see PUBG improving over time but I can’t see it being a game that I’ll play a lot of. I suck at online games to start with but mainly because at the moment there’s just not a heck of a lot to do except run around fields and search through buildings. That’s not my kind of game.

This will be the last post for 2017. Thank you so much to all the loyal readers who have stuck with me and read my ramblings. I really do appreciate it, especially when there are so many other blogs out there clammering for your attention and likely do a better job than I do. So, thank you for your support and see you in the New Year. Happy gaming!!!

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