I’d been keeping an eye on PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (Or PUB or PUBG or whatever you want to call it) ever since I first heard about it, but I didn’t have enough friends who owned it yet to make it worthwhile. I’d missed a sale on it back before it exploded in popularity, and was foolishly waiting for another to come by when my pastor went and got it for me as an early birthday gift. Yes, you heard that right: my conservative, Bible-believing pastor plays this game, and he wanted a partner with the same spiritual sensibilities and a steady hand on the mouse. That’s where I came in.
To summarize, PUBG is a game that pits 100 players against each other on an island roughly 18 square kilometers in size. Everyone drops in via plane somewhere on the island, and as time goes by the playable area shrinks until you have only yards to work with (Yes, I know I’m mixing metric and Imperial. Work with me here!) and seconds left to live. The game doesn’t end until there’s only one man standing, or one pair or one squad. There are three different game modes right now: solo, duo, and four-man squads.
At first, this game was terrifying. I’d parachute into the most remote place possible, spend the whole match trying to collect enough weapons and gear to give me a fighting chance, and then I’d do everything I could to avoid the enemy. Sneaking through the hills and woods, steering clear of any buildings that looked ransacked or occupied, and just generally trying to crawl my way to victory. Or death. Usually death. See, the problem with this strategy in the beginning is that you neglect picking up any fighting skills. Often I’d make it into the top 10 or 20 only to get gunned down by someone who’s a better fighter. The evasion strategy is great, but you really should spend a few hours jumping into hot zones and getting into firefights just to improve your reactions and aiming. Once I started doing that, my skills went up quite a bit. Now I – or we, if I’m with my pastor or brother – routinely make it into the top ten, even if we sometimes just can’t quite clench it.
Overall, this game is a blast. I can see why there are nearly 15 million players, although it’s jump to the top so quickly has been insane. If you like ARMA’s wide maps and emphasis on tactics combined with the possibility for running-and-gunning in certain circumstances, give PUB a try. To me, it’s more fun with a buddy or group of buddies, but solo mode is also great. If I’d known I’d have had this much fun, I’d have bought it back when it came out.
Just, expect to run or drive a lot in this game, unless you’re jumping into the aforementioned firestorms. The map is huge, and once the circle starts to shrink you’ll be on the move a lot, unless you happen to be where the circle decides to shrink to. Sometimes I’ve been fortunate. Other times I’ve been on one end of the map and the circle drops on the complete opposite end.