PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is no stranger to anyone at this point. It holds the top position of the most played game on Steam and its looking like it could keep that spot for at least as long as the “Battle Royale” trends keeps going. For the longest time, PUBG (as we will now refer to it as) has been in early access and exclusive only to the Steam platform. Now that has all changed since the PUBG crew teamed up with Microsoft Studios. So, after being such a hyped title on the Steam platform and a powerhouse gaming juggernaut, how much of that translates to a console experience?
VISUALS AND PERFORMANCE
Okay, so the above trailer is pretty misleading. What they don’t show you is the insane pop-ins and overall lowered quality of textures in the current product. When the world tends to finally load in, it looks a bit better overall but it indeed does not look as sharp and crisp as in the trailer. I mean what did we expect when Battlefield 4 ran at 720p at launch for the Xbox One base console? It’s not strictly apples to apples but they were both open world designed to some extent, dependent upon maps.
Still, that’s not really the tell-tale sign as PUBG wasn’t even really “optimized” for PC, even before this point. For the console it is significantly less optimized, which is bad seeing how this is the most important part when bringing to a console. Keep in mind that the frame rate will be limited to 30 FPS for both the Xbox One X, Xbox Original, and S variants alike. PUBG, in theory, should run better on the Xbox One X but how much it actually does over it, seems to be negligible in real world performance. With a lot of fast paced action comes huge frame dips on both consoles that can get you killed if the game decided to “crap out” on you.
If you look on the cover for the physical download card pack in, the box clearly says “Game Preview Edition”. Take note that this is not a complete game. If anything shows this, its the issues found above. Whether it was pressure from Microsoft to get it out this year for Xbox One X holidays sales or what… most would agree it was pushed out TOO early. Still, the net-code seems to at least hold up (with Microsoft’s help, no doubt) so at least with these flaws, it can still remain somewhat competitive and mostly fair for everyone.
Once the frame rate gets a little more stable, it can be just as solid of an experience on the Xbox as it is on PC.
GAME-PLAY AND CONTROLS
Most of you already know what to expect but the main goal of PUBG is very simple. You drop into a huge open world either by yourself or with a squad limited up to 4 players and do your best to find weapons, armor, and various other items that will help you make it to the end game. When you land, there is a determined ring on the map that you need to get to or an enclosing wall of light will slowly but surely kill you, if found outside. The circle will get smaller and smaller until two teams or two players get stuck in the final circle… battling for the number 1 spot. Even with the performance issues, playing this game is still a rush like no other and the game offers the best replay value of any shooter game when you take into account the layers of the human psyche and game design that goes into every match of PUBG.
As mentioned above, the performance issues tend to hurt it from getting a perfect replay-ability score but there are also some other trade-offs that didn’t make it over to console so well. First of all, the item management needs a lot of work. Controlling your player, using vehicles, and doing other activities seems to be balanced out the best that they could (due to lack of extra keyboard buttons) but seeing how the game is 50% item management, the system is way to cumbersome as-is and really slows you down unnecessarily. As far as the map size goes, nothing has really been chopped down. PUBG is that experience you loved on PC but just with a case of a lot more issues and the side-effects of a rushed and early port.
Really, it comes down to you and whether you want to buy this game as it stands. It is definitely NOT finished and this is an early access game entirely by it’s strict definition. Once Microsoft and the PUBG Team find out a way to make it run, control, and look better… you console exclusive players will get to experience the game like its was meant to be played. PUBG for the Xbox One, right now, is at least a taste of what could be in the future and the current score reflects it’s current state.