Gaming

An impressive battle royale in gameplay

In PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, the player's survival depends on luck as much as skill, for where you land dictates whether you can find weapons and resources.
In PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, the player's survival depends on luck as much as skill, for where you land dictates whether you can find weapons and resources.PHOTO: PUBG CORP

Every match is different, requiring constant adjusting of tactics

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, commonly known as PUBG, is an online shooter game that is both simple and complex at the same time.

Its premise is simple: A "battle royale" game where each match starts with 90 to 100 players parachuting from a cargo plane to an island map. Once you land, it is a free-for-all. You gather whatever items, armour and weapons you can find, and try to kill all your enemies to be the last gamer standing.

But here is where it can get awfully complex. Survival depends on luck as much as skill, for where you land dictates whether you can find weapons and resources.

For example, you can land just beside a house with plenty of resources, or beside a fellow gamer who has just found a machine gun.

The game area will shrink over time. If you are outside the designated game area when the timer is up, you will die.

So do not bother trying to hide for the duration of the whole match.

I think the best part of PUBG is when the timer starts ticking for the game area to shrink. This is when gamers start a frantic dash to the new game area. This is also when it is most dangerous and you are mostly likely to be killed.

  • 9/10

    RATING

    PRICE: $34.99 (PC), $39.90 (Xbox One, the version tested)

    GENRE: Online shooter

There are many ways to kill your enemies. You can punch them with your bare hands (when you cannot find any weapons), slash them with a machete, shoot them with pistols and rifles, or run over them if you manage to find a car or jeep.

Every match is different and you will be constantly adjusting your tactics, depending on the resources and weapons you manage to gather in each match. It is the main beauty and draw of PUBG.

Once you are killed, you go back to the lobby and start a new match.

You will be given reward points, depending on how long you have survived and how many kills you have made.

However, the rewards are all cosmetic, like a new shirt or a new pair of shoes. There is no way that you will be handed an unfair advantage, like having a sniper rifle the moment you land.

PUBG started as an early-access build in March this year with only one island map, Erangel, on Steam's PC gaming platform.

It was only last week that PUBG finally became a full game with the addition of another map, the desert Miramar. The game had sold more than 13 million copies then.

I was given a review code for the Xbox One version. And after trying it out, I bought the PC version.

With nine months of development under its belt, the PC version is clearly more polished than the Xbox One version. Controls are also much more intuitive and you get better shooting accuracy with keyboard and mouse, compared with using an Xbox One controller.

The PC version has better graphics and nicer textures, but it is still a long way from being called a beautiful game, compared with some AAA titles.

The real beauty of PUBG is its gameplay rather than its looks.

•Verdict: PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds might not be the first battle royale shooter game, but it is certainly the first to somehow get it right.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 27, 2017, with the headline 'An impressive battle royale in gameplay '. Print Edition | Subscribe