PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds on Xbox One (Game Preview) review

[i]PUBG[/i] on Xbox is a shambles, but I utterly adore it. It’s strategic, messy, strange, and hilarious. Consider this a hearty recommendation delivered with several huge caveats.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has done the unthinkable: it has pulled me back into online shooter addiction, years after I had supposedly gone cold turkey. Overwatch didn’t get me, Battlefield 1 didn’t appeal, and it’s been years since I bothered with Call of Duty. But PUBG has its hooks in deep, even though it runs about as well on Xbox as a pair of gin-soaked nanas in a three-legged race… in high heels.

Everyone knows PUBG‘s battle royale formula by now: a maximum of 100 people parachute onto a huge island stocked with guns and vehicles, then battle it out in an ever-decreasing play space until just one individual or team remains. There are zero respawns – although in team modes, it is possible to revive a comrade who has been knocked down but not finished off – and the game can be played either locked in first-person, or in third-person with first-person aiming down sights. Simple.

However, a quick summary like that doesn’t do PUBG justice. What sounds like a panic-inducingly chaotic and haphazard shooter ruled by those with superior twitch skills is in reality a dread-inducing slow-burn of a semi-stealth title that rewards solid strategizing, educated guesswork, and patience. It does also reward twitch reflexes, but they aren’t nearly as heavily favoured as they are in other online shooters. As such, smart tactics can often overcome superior shooting, and that is no doubt a large part of the appeal for perpetually cross-eyed marksmen like me.

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