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NeX

Playerunknown's Battlegrounds

It's been a while since this game came out, but I figured since it's now "officially" out of Early Access with its v1.0 release, I'll give it a whirl.

 

Playerunknown's Battlegrounds

PUBG.jpg

This is a Third or First person Survival/Shooter game, played in a Battle Royale scenario.

 

Gameplay:

  • ~100 players drop from a plane as it flies across an 8km x 8km map.  
  • Weapons, gear, and vehicles spawn in the world in a RNG style system. Some areas have higher/lower weights for loot density and item tiers.
  • High level gear is consistently dropped in a high-visibility air drop crate, which emits red smoke after landing to draw player attention.
  • The map is restricted by a continuously shrinking area of play - the "circles"
    • The new circle is shown on a player's map in advance, along with a timer to show how much time remains before the blue circle begins shrinking to the white circle.
    • The blue circle indicates the current bounds of the match (as a blue field), and any player outside of it will take damage scaling higher with each successive circle, and their distance from the boundary. The further the game progresses, the higher the damage from the circle, and the further the player from safety, the higher the damage dealt.
  • The last player (or team) to survive is the winner. The game only ends when only one player or team remains alive. 
  • If opposing players are still alive within the final circle (roughly 10m in diameter), it will close completely and deal damage to all remaining players until a winner is decided.

 

 

The Maps

There are two maps available, and matchmaking will randomly choose between the two when joining a lobby.  Each map supports different weather/time of day modes that are chosen randomly as a subset option of the map. Currently there is no way to manually select or alter settings to improve chances of playing any particular game mode.

 

Erangel

Erangel is a map canonically situated in the Adriatic sea. All signs and much graffiti is written in Cyrillic, and many buildings sport old Soviet Star/Sickle memorabilia - particularly present in certain state-sponsored buildings like police stations, hospitals, or military compounds.

 

Size: 8x8 km (64 km^2)

 

Notable Features: 

  • Loot Hot-Spots
    • Several large towns 
      • Pochinki
      • Yasnaya Polyana
      • Georgopol
      • Novorepnoye
      • Severny
      • Primorsk
      • Rozhok
    • Large military base on the Southern Island
    • Hospital (Georgopol)
    • Commercial Docks (Novorepnoye + Georgopol)
    • Prison (Mylta)
    • Power Plants (Mylta)
    • Military Bunkers/Tunnels (between Mylta and Pochinki)
    • School (Rozhok)
    • Apartments (Rozhok)
    • Mansion Estate (Yasnaya Polyana)

 

A rolling hilly landscape, along with several mountains provide high ground and consistent cover for players who utilize the landscape strategically.  Vegetation is common, and helpful for use in cover and concealment.  A Ghillie Suit may be acquired from an air drop, making players even harder to spot among the plentiful vegetation.  

 

Common choke points include roads that are flanked by hills, large open fields that players may have to cross on foot, and the bridges connecting the southern island to the mainland.  If a player from the southern island cannot find a boat, they may have to risk a long slow swim, or brave the open sightlines and scant cover of a bridge.

 

J2FB3M2.jpg

 

 

Interactive map with markers for locating potential vehicle spawns and high level loot locations.

 

Miramar

Miramar is a desert map canonically on the coast of Mexico, close to the border with the United States. The northernmost section of the map includes a border wall that players cannot cross.  It has very sparse vegetation away from the coastline, namely a handful of farm fields with waist high wheat, and the occasional palm tree, dead tree, or cluster of bushes.  Much of the cover in this map comes from its high vertical distribution of elevations present throughout.  Many cliffs and mountains preside over the spaces between towns and other locations, with uneven terrain a standard feature.  Boulders and crags are frequent, giving players opportunity for cover if needed, but concealment can be difficult to come by.  

 

Size: 8km x 8km (64km^2)

 

Notable Features:

  • Loot Hot-Spots
    • Several large towns 
      • El Pozo
      • Los Leones
      • El Azahar
      • Pecado
      • La Cobreria
      • San Martin
      • La Bandita
      • Valle del Mar
      • Puerto Paradiso
    • Large prison on the Southern Island
    • Hacienda del Patron (San Martin)
    • Graveyard (La Bandita)
    • Power Grid (between Pecado and El Pozo)
    • Military Camp (Northeastern Corner)
    • Others that I may not know of yet

 

pubg_desert_aurora.jpg

 

Interactive map with markers for locating potential vehicle spawns and high level loot locations.

 

Weapons

PUBG has a decent arsenal of weapons to choose from - some are world spawns and map-specific, others are only available in air drop crates.  TO simplify gameplay, many weapons share a common caliber size regardless of its realism.  There are 5 types of ammunition:

  • 9mm
  • .45 ACP
  • 5.56mm
  • 7.62mm
  • 300 Magnum

 

Below is a non-comprehensive list of weapons as I've used them and remember.  For a complete list of statistics, please see this page.

 

Key:

  • Erangel only
  • Miramar only
  • Air-drop only

 

Pistols

  • P92
    • 9mm pistol with 15 round magazine. Low damage, high rate of fire. Semi-auto.
  • P18C
    • 9mm pistol with 17 round magazine. Low damage, Extremely high rate of fire. Semi or Automatic firing modes.
  • P1911
    •  .45 ACP pistol with single-stack 7 round magazine. Medium damage, lower rate of fire. Semi-auto
  • R1895
    • 7.62mm 7-shot revolver, capable of mounting a suppressor. High Damage, low rate of fire. Very slow reload time.
  • R45
    • .45 ACP 6-shot revolver, capable of mounting a red-dot sight. Medium Damage, Medium rate of fire, High accuracy. Fast Reload
  • Sawed-off Shotgun
    • Double-barreled breech-loaded 12-gauge shotgun. Large spread, High damage, Medium reload speed.
    • Goes in pistol weapon slot

SMGs

  • Micro UZI
    • 9mm. Low damage, Extremely High ROF. 25 round magazine. Very Innacurate
  • UMP9
    • 9mm. Medium Damage, High ROF. 30 round magazine. Medium accuracy
  • Kriss Vector
    • .45 ACP. Medium Damage, Extremely High ROF. 13 round magazine. Medium Accuracy
  • Tommy Gun
    • .45 ACP. High Damage, Medium ROF. No sights. 30 round magazine. High Accuracy

Shotguns

  • S1897
    • WWI Trench gun. Pump action, slide holds 5 rounds. Medium spread, high damage, slow reloading speed, longer time between shots
  • S686
    • Double Barreled, breech loaded. No time between shots, tighter spread. High damage.
  • S12K
    • Semi-automatic magazine-fed shotgun. Large spread, Larger recoil. Short time between shots, fast reload.

 

Assault Rifles

  • M16A4
    • 5.56mm rifle. 30 round magazine. Single-fire or 3-round-burst. High accuracy, medium damage, low recoil
  • M4A1
    • 5.56mm. 30 round magazine. Single or Automatic fire. Medium recoil, High accuracy, medium damage.
  • SCAR-L
    • 5.56mm. 30 round magazine. Single or Automatic fire. Lower recoil than M4A1, High accuracy, medium damage. Slower ROF than M4A1
  • AKM
    • 7.62mm. 30 round magazine. Single or Automatic fire. High recoil, medium accuracy, high damage.
  • Groza
    • 7.62mm. 30 round magazine. Single or Automatic fire. Low recoil, medium accuracy (between any 5.56 and AK), high damage (same as AK)
  • AUG
    • 5.56mm. 30 round magazine. Single or Automatic fire. Medium recoil, High accuracy, High damage.

DMRs

  • Winchester94
    • .45 ACP lever action rifle. Iron sights only. High bullet speed, Extremely high damage, slow reload, medium time between lever cycles.
  • Mini-14
    • 5.56mm marksman's rifle. 20 round magazine. Higher damage than 5.56mm ARs, higher bullet speed. Single fire only. Extremely high accuracy
  • SKS
    • 7.62mm marksman's rifle. 10 round magazine. High damage, lower bullet speed than Mini-14
  • Mk14
    • 7.62mm marksman's rifle. 10 round magazine. High damage, high bullet speed, high recoil. Single or Automatic fire. 
    • Comes with bipod (auto deploy on prone)

 

Sniper Rifles

  • Kar98k
    • 7.62mm, bolt action. Clip fed (can single reload), 5 round capacity. High accuracy, can 1-shot a level 2 helmet.
  • M24
    • 7.62mm, bolt action. Magazine fed, 5 round capacity. High accuracy, slightly higher damage than Kar98k but with faster bullet speed.
  • AWM
    • .300 Magnum, bult action. Magazine fed, 5 round capacity. High accuracy, Extremely high damage, 1sk for any headshot. Extremely high speed.
    • .300 Magnum rounds come in drop with the rifle, only 20 rounds.

 

LMGs

  • DP-28
    • 7.62mm, fully automatic. Dinnerplate magazine with 47 round capacity. High recoil, medium accuracy, high damage, medium ROF.
    • Comes with bipod (auto deploy on prone)
  • M249
    • 5.56mm, fully automatic. Belt fed, 100 round capacity. High recoil, high accuracy, high damage, high bullet speed, extremely high ROF.
    • Comes with bipod (auto deploy on prone)

 

Bipods drastically reduce the recoil when prone, and other attachments can be found in the world. Attachments are interchangeable within their weapon classification (Extended Magazine for Assault rifle will fit any weapon of the Assault Rifle class).  DMRs take sniper attachments where applicable.

 

Attachments

 

Tip:

  • Flash Hider
    • Minimal muzzle flash detectable, helps fight some recoil.
    • Common
  • Compensator
    • High recoil reduction, no muzzle flash dampening.
    • Uncommon
  • Supressor
    • Hides all muzzle flash and drastically reduces sound footprint. No effect on recoil.
    • Rare

 

Grips:

  • Vertical Foregrip
    • Reduces vertical recoil and time to ADS
    • Generally best for tapping single-shot or burst, it doesn't mitigate horizontal recoil, which IMO is harder to control than vertical.
  • Angled Foregrip
    • Reduces both vertical and horizontal recoil (less vertical than VFG)
    • Best for automatic fire, as there is lest horizontal recoil and vertical recoil is easier to mitigate at the input

 

Magazines:

  • Quickdraw
    • Increased reload speed
  • Extended
    • Extra bullets in magazine (amount depends on weapon. Rule of thumb is +~25%)
  • Extended Quickdraw
    • Full benefits of both other magazine types.

 

Optics:

  • Red Dot Sight
    • Simple Aimpoint sight. Reduces time to ADS
    • Slight zoom when holding breath while ADS
  • Holographic Sight
    • Simple Aimpoint sight. Reduces time to ADS
    • Slight zoom when holding breath while ADS
    • Slightly bulkier than Red Dot, lowers visibility when ADS
  • 2x Scope
    • Offers 2x magnification with simple circle-dot reticle.
    • Bulky and less visibility than Aimpoints
  • 4x Scope
    • Offers 4x magnification with variable reticles (varies by weapon)
    • Distance ticks in reticle are weapon-specific like the reticle, keeping it accurate regardless of bullet speed/drag
  • 8x Scope
    • Offers variable zoom from 4x-8x magnification
    • Distance ticks in reticle.
    • Cannot be mounted on SMGs or the M16A4 (nerfed)
  • 15x Scope
    • Offers variable zoom from 4x-15x magnification
    • Distance ticks in reticle.
    • Cannot be mounted on SMGs or the M16A4 (nerfed)

 

Stocks:

  • Wire stock
    • Increases stability, accuracy, and reduces recoil
    • Only for Micro UZI
  • Tactical Stock
    • Increases stability, reduces recoil
    • Only for M4A1 and Vector

 

Misscelaneous:

  • Cheek Pad
    • Reduces weapon sway when scoped for SKS, Mk14 and Sniper rifles
  • Bullet Loops
    • Increases reload speed (quickdraw magazine for non-magazine weapons)
    • Kar98k + Winchester94
  • SG Bullet Loops
    • Increases reload speed
    • S686 and S1897

 

 

Gear

 

There are several tiers of wearable gear as well. Helmets, Armor, and Backpacks.

 

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Level 1 through Level 3.

 

For armor and helmets:

Level 1: 30% damage reduction

Level 2: 40% damage reduction

Level 3: 55% damage reduction

 

Armor and Helmets have a durability that once depleted causes them to break. Even 1 durability will apply the damage reduction to the shot that breaks it, however.

 

Backpacks simply have a capacity that scales with their level. Level 3 gear can sometimes be found in an airdrop crate.

 

Medical Items

When injured in the game, 75% health is a significant cut-off for low-level healing items.  Bandages and First aids cannot be used unless health is below 75%, and will only heal up to the remaining

portion stopping at 75%. Boosts or higher level medical gear must be used to regain 100% health.

 

Players cannot move much while applying medical items, or the action will cancel.

 

  • Bandages
    • Bandages heal ~10% of health, and take 3 seconds to apply. The heal isn't instant, but ticks upward over 2 seconds. Bandages can be spammed without losing any heal.
    • Common
    • Lightweight
  • First Aid
    • First Aid heals the player instantly to 75% health. It takes 6 seconds to apply.
    • Uncommon
    • Medium weight
  • Med Kit
    • Med Kits instantly heal players to a full 100% health. It takes 8 seconds to apply.
    • Rare
    • Heavy

 

Boost Items

 

Boost items are technically a medical item in that they do cause healing over time - but the boost bar also increases run speed if brought high enough

 

  • Energy Drink
    • Heals ~23% damage over time. Fills boost bar 25%
    • Lightweight
    • Common
  • Painkillers
    • Heals ~40% damage over time. Fills boost bar 50%
    • Heavier than Energy Drinks
    • Uncommon
  • Adrenaline Shot
    • Found in air drop crates only, this takes 10 seconds to apply, and fills 100% of the boost bar in one go.

 

Boost bar is divided into segments and drains over time. The first segment is healing, second is faster healing, and final two are for increased movement speed (25% and 35% respecitvely)

All effects stack.

 

Vehicles

 

There are a smattering of vehicles to choose from that will spawn on the sides of roads, in cities, or in garages.  They can sometimes be the only way to ensure you don't take blue circle damage, but they are loud and very visible targets for enemy players. Shooting from a vehicle is difficult and highly inaccurate.

 

  • Boat
    • Water only, seats 4. Very open for shooting
  • Dacia
    • Sedan, seats 4. Fairly fast on-road, bad handling off road. 
    • Brightly colored
  • UAZ
    • Jeep. Seats 4. Similar on and off-road speeds. Decent handling. Slow.
    • Green and comes in tarp cover or open with roll-bars
  • Buggy
    • Off-road buggy, seats 2. Fast, poor handling. 
    • Passenger is highly exposed in a rear bucket-seat.
  • Motorcycle
    • Seats 2 (or 3 with sidecar). Very fast and maneuverable. Dangerous if flipped
    • Players are easy to shoot
  • Aquarail
    • Seats 2, similar to a bike on the water (or a waveruner)
    • Faster and more maneuverable than a boat.
  • VW Bus
    • Slow, very high durability. Seats 8. Not maneuverable, horrible off-road.
  • Pickup Truck
    • Slower than Dacia on Erangel, but better offroad handling than the UAZ.
    • Great handling, all around a decent choice.

 

 

 

Conclusion

7.5/10

 

This is absolutely one of my favorite gaming experiences of all time. The concept and when the game goes well would give it an easy 9.5-10. However, this game only just came out of Early Access, and there are still many issues to address, such as

  • Early game rubberbanding
  • Tickrate is very low
  • Client crashes are common
  • Many calculations are performed client-side, leading to desync or high ping advantages
  • Physics are fucky, especially in vehicles.

 

That being said, they've added QoL changes such as Vaulting and Climbing, which allows a freedom of movement that this style of gameplay desperately needed.  

 

In this game, expert gunplay is rewarded, but tactics and strategy can be even more overwhelming. Gunfire will draw out players you didn't know were there, or you may go for a kill only to announce your presence before the circle requires you to run towards the enemy with little cover.  It's a fantastic game, and gives me an adrenaline rush unlike any shooter I've played before.  Winning is rare, and getting into the top 10 is an edge-of-your-seat experience.  

 

Personally, I find this game to be the most enjoyable with a group of friends, but even solo play is fun and rewarding.

 

I think in a few months and with some more polish from Bluehole, I'll be able to edge this score upwards as the quality of the game improves.

 

 

Pros:

  • Requires a good trigger finger and innovative playstyle
  • Rewards both aggressive and passive playstyles when appropriate
  • Forces players to improvise and play the hand they're dealt
  • Decent bullet mechanics make each kill rewarding
  • Winning a match in this game may be the most satisfying win experience in any game I've played - subjective, but honest.
  • Every game plays out differently due to the nature of the battle royale style
  • Developer is relatively transparent and open about changes, upcoming patches, and QoL Feature updates. Frequently listens to community feedback

 

Cons:

  • Game is poorly optimized (although the latest patch is a huge step in the right direction)
  • Server/Client issues (tickrate, rubberbanding) are present frequently enough to be noticeable and frustrating
  • Client crashes are not uncommon
  • Until recently, hackers were common. I haven't seen any since the last anti-cheat measures, but I imagine it's just a matter of time before the new checks are circumvented.
  • No way to choose gamemode (map+weather)

 

 

If this happens to move anyone to get the game, I'm online playing fairly often and would love to party up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by NeX

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