Time Played: 119 Hours

Last Played: 5/28/2017

Playerunkown’s Battlegrounds: Abject Terror Simulator

Over the course of my life I have heard various stories from people’s experiences in the military. One of those stories in particular stands out in my mind: “In the army 99% of your time is mind numbing boredom, the other 1% is complete and absolute terror.” He laughed when he said it, but the look in his eyes has certainly stuck with me ever since.

This story comes to mind when I think about Battlegrounds, because well… I think it may be the most terrifying game I have ever played. There are no horror games that have generated such a consistent visceral reaction out of me. In my close to 120 hours I have screamed, cursed, and jumped more reliably than with any “scary” game I’ve spent time with. This game literally makes me sweat – the massive fluctuations in my heart rate are probably unhealthy too.

This game has that spark that is so hard to articulate. There is just something to it that makes it so, so, good despite being janky and bug prone – it comes out ahead as greater than the sum of it’s parts. (I think the adrenaline might be a part of it)

If you’ve been living under a rock and have no idea what Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is, well it’s like the battle royale mode in ARMA, and H1Z1: King of the Kill. Also its lead designer is the guy that designed those game modes – Mr. Unkown himself.

The main premise of the game is simple. You parachute into a large island with up to 100 other people. You scavenge for guns as fast as you can, and you murder anybody that you come into contact with. It’s simple. It’s effective. And it’s a hell of a good time.

PUBG as most people call it, is still being actively developed – and honestly it shows. I’ve only crashed about three times in my 120 hours, but my friends experience crashes almost everytime we play. The servers can be a bit laggy at times. And overall the game is pretty poorly optimized. So if Early Access Jank is something that you don’t want to put up with, well then hold off until later.

If some rough edges don’t scare you – then this is probably one of the best multiplayer shooters I’ve ever played. I would put it up in my top five for sure. It might not be on par with Halo 2, but It’s up there with Battlefield 2142…

You can play PUBG solo, for a particularly terrifying experience. Or with up to 4 friends – for a slightly less nerve wracking experience. Playing in a squad also changes the flow of the game; instead of dying instantly you go down on your knees and can be subsequently revived. This adds another dynamic to dealing with enemy teams. Do you use the downed player as bait to lure out his friends? Or do you take him out as fast as possible?
You have to think fast while playing this game, and you have to be attentive almost 100% of the time. After a long play session it’s not uncommon for my hands to be shaking.

Basically what I’m saying is that PUBG is a drug, and I’m addicted.

That is not to say that it doesn’t have some downsides. Although I haven’t been affected much, sometimes the lag can be unreal – making the game nigh unplayable. My friends have experienced issues with the map not loading in meaning they can’t interact with anything. The performance leaves much to be desired. And there can be long stretches of gameplay where you’re just running through a field trying to get from point A to point B. It’s also not uncommon to get shot and killed without ever seeing who pulled the trigger… And there’s nothing worse than spending 15 minutes looting a quiet town only to be killed without ever putting up a fight… Most of these either haven’t affected me or don’t bother me – but I can see how they could be total deal breakers for some.

But be aware that the devs are cranking out updates fairly regularly and the game is having things added to it on a consistent basis. So I doubt this game will be in Early Access for too long.

If you’re on the fence, watch some gameplay. You’ll know immediately whether or not this game is for you. But don’t let the streamers who win every game fool you; Battlegrounds is incredibly difficult. I have only managed to win four games out of probably 400+ matches. You will have to develop a good “battlefield” sense in order to do well in this game. Running and gunning is a surefire way to get shot in the back. But that’ doesn’t mean it’s not viable in certain instances though… PUBG is really just a big sandbox. There are almost no restrictions to how you can go about any particular situation.

And if you give it a chance, PUBG will impress.

Here is a link to a crazy game with my friends and I. I managed to pull this out after about 4 hours of playing, and at 2am in the morning.

What do you think?

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