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PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds: A True Test of Survival

When it comes to the survival genre, there are certain things that one automatically starts to expect from a game. Weapons, armor, tactical skills, the same old song and dance. What you don't expect is to be killed by the map just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time or being afraid simply because it's been "too quiet too long".

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is a MMO shooter survival game. Each round of the match starts out with yourself and 99 other people on a plane. After a short period of incessant rambling and screaming from others, all 100 of you parachute out of a plane onto an island. This is where the fun begins.

Each player must decide which of the maps grid spaces they would like to land. The landing decision can at times be critical to success. Landing in an area with other players may grant you more action right away, but this isn't necessarily the best strategy. As you start off on the island, you have no weapons or armor, and landing in a well populated area means that you will be competing with others for these items (guns, grenades, armor, vehicles, etc.). And even worse, if you meet someone right from the start you will be forced to duke it out using only your fists. On the flip-side of this, you also don't want to land in a very obscure place since you will most likely be unable to make it to a safe zone in time.

Safe zones are exactly what they sound like- areas where you as the player are safe. You may be wondering, what makes the places outside the safe zone bad? As a mechanism to prevent constant camping, the game has a built in zoning system which causes the playable area of the map to become smaller and smaller as time goes on. The player is given an area denoted by a white circle to travel to within a set amount of time. If you as the player are unable to make it, or if you wait too long, an electrical field starts closing in on all the areas outside the safe zone, slowly zapping away health until you make it to the appropriate area or die. While this may sound brutal, there is usually ample warning before this zoning mechanism takes place, and it is actually serves its purpose to ensure that even as the original 100 player count dwindles, that you are always close enough on the map to try and find someone to kill.

The inability to make it to the safe zone isn't the only thing that can kill you either. On the map there are randomly spawning bombing zones (displayed as a red circle) where an airstrike occurs if you can't escape in time. All in all, it's best not to stay put while playing PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and there are a good number of mechanisms in place to make sure you are always on the move.

If the constant monitoring of the map doesn't keep you preoccupied, the inevitable showdowns with other players is bound to do the trick. This is, after all, a survival game and your ultimate goal is to become the final player on the map. Sitting in one place too long often caused me to feel uneasy, as if someone was hunting me down and going to find me. However, running across open areas also felt like a gamble, not knowing if someone would spot me in the open. This game gets intense, and even though there is a lot of map, you feel like you're bound to meet up with someone at any moment.

Right now, the game can get a bit repetitive. Over and over again you are parachuted into the same map and the only variations are the players and the location of the final safe zone. Another complaint I have is that right now if you meet another player it is simply kill or be killed. I really think that this game could be greatly improved if you had the decision to team up with others on the spot. That lingering moment waiting to see if another player would try to kill you or approach you as a friend would really add an element to this game that I think a true survival situation would have. Encountering a new player would be intense as you try to figure out if they are friend or foe, and in the end you would be forced to turn against one another. This is something that could probably be added with an update, and it would be really nice to see eventually.


All in all, PlayerUnknown's Battleground rounds out as a 7 in my book. While the gameplay is intense and fun at times, it gets a bit repetitive, and there isn't a lot of options for playing. More variations of play need to be added for this game to be more well-rounded.


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