Gaming: ‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’

What are some examples of successful mods-turned-video games? One can argue that Team Fortress 2 and Counter-Strike are the most famous mods to Half-Life, along with Garry’s Mod. The concept of modding games is at least two decades old (if not older) and has resulted in wildly popular games that are even more so than the games they modded. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) is yet another example of a mod becoming more popular than the game it spun off of.

The concept of PUBG started out as a mod to ARMA 2, which then evolved into DayZ: Battle Royale. Bluehole recognized PlayerUnknown (real name Brendan Greene) and his mods and pushed for an early access phase of PUBG in March 2017. In the game, you compete against 100 people to be the last man standing, or in the game’s terms, winner winner chicken dinner. This is done through the third player perspective, although one can swap to first person perspective in-game. There are reports that first-person only servers could be utilized in the future.

In the game’s current iteration, 100 players start out on an island. One can play alone, with a friend, or in groups of four. The minute prep time is a great way to utilize a strategy. After that minute, everyone parachutes onto an island that includes small towns, a military base, a power plant, remote wilderness, bunkers, and terrain that one would find in typical first-person shooter games. While one map is available now, several other maps will be available in the full release.

Parachuting on the island can be one of the most difficult parts of the game, as you could either choose to land with other players (and die quickly) or land in remote parts of the island and use guerrilla-style tactics to take out your opponents. Upon landing, you have to search for equipment such as guns, backpacks, cosmetic items, police vests, helmets, ammunition, health packs, bandages, and more. These items are randomly generated, although certain areas of the map will have higher chances to spawn better equipment. Landing in the military base could ensure that you have the best weapons, but also a higher chance of having to fight for those items.

You can’t stay in one place for too long, however—after a set amount of time, the play area will shrink, forcing you to stay within the white circle on the in-game map. This prevents players from amassing tons of resources and camping in one spot, and also shortens the length of the game. A large blue circle will appear to force players into the white circle, slowly killing people who are outside of the blue circle as well. It is very possible to outrun the blue circle (even by foot) but the reduction of the fighting area will force players to develop new strategies. This white circle area is completely random; you could end up on the far opposite end of the white circle and be forced to run to the area, which could be extremely difficult without vehicles.

PUBG is unique in that the genre it falls into is difficult to classify: some call it a tactical shooter, some call it a survival game, but its massive multiplayer effort is what makes it one of the most popular games still in early access. The worldwide release for the game will be sometime in Q4 2017, so see you on the battlegrounds.

Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE August 2017 Issue
Words by Jose Alvarez

Developer: Bluehole | Publisher:Bluehole |  Platform(s):PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4