PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is headed to Xbox One this month. Wondering what on Earth it actually is? We’ve got you covered.
The phrase PUBG – or PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds – is something you’ve probably heard quite a bit recently. The game is one of STEAM’s biggest ever hits, and this month, it’s making its way to Xbox One as a timed exclusive.
For the uninitiated, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is a multiplayer online battle royale shooter where 100 players enter and only one emerges victorious. Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene had the idea for the game after creating mods based on the film Battle Royale (2000), and it’s now come to fruition as a fully-developed game.
Greene started out as a small-scale photographer, DJ, and graphic designer living in Brazil. Living on welfare payments, his social workers berated him when he told them what he was doing for a living – developing and modding video games. Greene’s work on a battle royale mod for ARMA 2 put him on the radar internationally, and eventually he teamed up with South Korean devs BlueHole Inc. to realise his dream.
The game’s been in early access and various forms of beta on the PC gaming platform STEAM for a while now. It’s been gathering a keen and dedicated fanbase while continuing to pique interest around the globe. PUBG (pronounced pub-gee), as it is colloquially known, now has the STEAM record for most concurrent players; over two million worldwide. At one point, one in seven people who were logged onto STEAM was playing it.
PUBG’s premise is simple. Up to 100 people parachute out of a plane over an island. Players choose a spot that looks good, land there, loot all the good stuff they can find, and try their hardest not to die. It’s one of those ‘easy to grasp, difficult to master’ concepts. While you may get lucky and stumble upon a building that contains a decent semi-automatic and level 2 body armour, you could meet an instant end at the hands of a keen-eyed sniper the moment you step outside – and that’s all part of the appeal.
The experience is never the same with each passing game. There’s really no defined way to kill all your opponents and win PUBG – and in the game’s terms, grab a chicken dinner. You can hide in one spot for the entire game, hoping your enemies will kill each other and then land a lucky final blow on the last person standing, or you could get in a vehicle and go all-guns-blazing to victory.
It’s also worth mentioning that the ‘habitable’ zone on the island gets smaller over time, and if you aren’t in the safe zone – avoiding the ‘blue wall of death’ – you’re going to start rapidly losing health. The map can be traversed on foot or via vehicle, but of course you’ll be more conspicuous in a car, so choose wisely. There are a number of different weapons at your disposal, from guns to frying pans, and a few add-ons like scopes and grips.
PUBG is one of those left-of-field games that became an instant success. It’s as much about luck as it is skill, but one thing that can be said for sure is that it’s a hell of a lot of fun – two million people can’t be wrong!