The Y Geek Squad finds no dearth of daring-do, realism, and role-play in the game that pits wits against the wilderness.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which is fondly (and annoyingly) touted as ‘PUBG’ (pronounced: “pubjee”), has a notorious and almost sinister cult following for an online multiplayer game – it’s almost uncanny. Simply put, there are several reasons to detest this title but none of those have anything to do with the actual game itself.
Our greatest concern with the game is the fans – most of whom are unrestricted pre-adolescent kids who invariably rant on YouTube and Instagram every time their television rights are taken away.
But scratch beyond its initial exasperating surface and you’ll find a mighty good game. A game that’s so good in fact that we’re almost inclined towards voting for it as one of the finest games of this generation; a crème de la crème of third-person shooter games of sorts.
It all begins when you parachute from a plane and onto an 8km by 8km playing field, which can engage up to 100 players in a gruesome do-or-die battle to the finish. Of course, the last man standing wins – but it’s not as simple as
You enter the battleground as a plebeian fighter: there’s absolutely nothing you can use to protect yourself from the enemies. All you have, really, are clothes – which, by the way, can be customised. Nevertheless, in the grand scheme of things, it makes no difference to the outcome of the game; except, perhaps, you’ll look nicer than your rivals when you’re shot dead.
If you can survive the initial 45 seconds, though, you’ll find the game to be incredibly rewarding. Weapons are peppered across various checkpoints in the map, with the riskier zones housing some of the juicier stuff like the M249 light machine gun or the SLR self-loading rifle.
There’s no place for mercy in the game – unless you’re teaming up with your friends or something – and you’ll need to be resolute in taking out the rookie players first. Also, the map shrinks in size every few minutes to bring all players closer towards the action. Those caught outside the playing arena will slowly take damage and waste away.
Aside from shooting down your enemies, you’ll also need to investigate ghost towns, cities, and other sites to find ammo and weapons, create more encounters with enemies to increase your hit rate, and above all, eliminate anybody that stands in
For most parts of the game, you’ll find yourself engaging in an almost Counter Strike: GO-style warfare, wherein you’ll need to maintain a fine balance between stealth and aggression. That said, it really won’t take long for a rookie to settle in – and that’s what makes this game enjoyable.
It gives everyone an equal chance. It’s then up to the player to make the most of a situation. There’s never a dearth of ammo, and even if you do find yourself in such a scenario, you can always combat your way using melee weapons.
In the end, that’s what makes it a great game. It blends a fine mix of realism with the idiosyncrasies normally associated with role-playing games. If anything, it’s like setting out on an adventure like survivalist Bear Grylls, except for one major difference: instead of hunting for animals, you hunt down slow-moving players dressed in budget interpretations of Dr. Henry Jones from the Indian Jones movies.
No offence, though. It is, after all, the second-best-selling PC game of all time.
Developers: Bluehole, PUBG Corporation
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Android, Xbox One
Genre: Battle Royale