PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Gameplay And Performance Review: An Addictive Masterpiece
PUBG New Features And Addictive Gameplay Format
The ultimate goal in PUBG is to be the last man/squad standing, hence its “battle royale” motif. The game is played in individual rounds or matches. It can be played solo or in squads of 2, 3 or 4 players in either 3rd of first-person perspectives (FPS). Each round is packed with up to 100 players. At the beginning all players are placed aboard a plane that travels across one of the game’s two maps, either Russian Erangel or South American Marimar. Players are free to jump and parachute down anywhere along the plane’s flight path. Players are encouraged to quickly gear-up with weapons, meds, protective gear and ammunition. The flight path and gear locations are randomized on each round, each of which helps players learn the map layout and familiarize themselves with the wide variety of weapons and utilities available, so they can become battle-ready more quickly.
In its current state, PUBG will never be considered the most feature-rich FPS title on the market. Yet this new retail version does tack on several really cool new features that greatly enhance the experience. The new map and climbing/movement systems are the two biggest additions.
Miramar is the new map based around the Central American and Mexican borders. Don’t be fooled by the open-country appearance you're greeted with when you drop in hot. Though Miramar looks like a sniper’s heaven with open arid landscapes between the towns and landmarks, many of those landmarks are densely populated with a variety of new building and structure types to enter, creating a web of interconnected points of cover. Running through any one town in Miramar will leave your heart racing. There are too many hidden vantages points from which you can be shot, so it's best to get out of plain sight as quick as you can.
Other new features include the aforementioned mantling system that really turns movement in the game on its head. The clunky, unreliable movement and jumping was our biggest gripe with PUGB in Early Access. Now your character can realistically climb on just about anything in the game. Speed also determines the animation style – climbing vs. mantling to retain momentum, for instance. This feature surprisingly extends to the game’s more uneven cliffs, mountains and rock outcroppings. Needless to say, climbing up and over buildings and through windows immensely adds to your attack, retreat and flanking options.
Other notable additions include new vehicles and weapons. The game doesn’t have much in the way of progressions since you begin with no weapons or gear each round. However, fashion items can purchased with “BP funds" earned from kills and winning matches. With the full release game, you can then sell these fashion items back for a portion of the BP paid. There is also a very robust replay function built into the game. It records everything that happens in a given round within 1km around the player. Up to 20 replays can be saved for playback at any time, automatically deleting the oldest one upon hitting capacity. The replays feature pause, rewind, slow-down and speed-up functions. You can switch and follow a character within a 1km radius from you or use the FreeCam to freely fly around the map and get the best vantage point.
Finally, the game has added a DeathCam so you can see who and from what angle or vantage point you were mercilessly taken out. The DeathCam also sports a Reporting feature to name-shame and identify pesky cheaters, so the devs at PUBG can take action.