The phenomenon that is Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds has finally made it onto the Xbox Preview programme yesterday with many waiting in anticipation for their chance at that elusive chicken dinner. 100 hungry hunters take to the field scavenging for weapons, armour and Matrix leather coats, all while having to constantly look over their shoulder to avoid getting hit by a frying pan over the head. Today I’ll talk about my first five hours of PUBG and the things that I’ve picked up.
Note that this is a preview version of the game and some of these issues mentioned may be ironed out by the time of full release.
As we all stand watching that chicken roasting… at sub 20 frames per second
The game comes in at a mere 6GB download which was not really that surprising for an early access build of a game. It only has one map so far after all. You’ll notice that the game’s home screen is different from the PC version, probably something that could randomly change once more maps are released for the game. Here you’ll find the three current game modes consisting of Solo, Duo and Squad of which I’ve played a few matches of each mode. Finding and connecting to a game server seems to be pretty quick, probably because there hasn’t been that much activity since it’s launch. The game loads to the pregame lobby pretty quickly where you’ll wait up to 60 seconds till the round starts. Here you’ll find a few tables with weapons for you to try out before embarking on your 100 person Hunger Game challenge.
You’ll notice that the textures are a quite underdone here which I suspect is because you’re only spending 60 odd seconds in there, so most resources must be going into loading the map and other assets. As soon as you board the plane, the frame rate takes a dip, somewhere around 11-14 frames per second and it stays that way for another two to three minutes, or if you’ve hit the ground after jumping early. Then it’s a mad rush for anything resembling a weaponised object with which to carve your way through the other 99 participants with the frame rate maxing out at around 20fps. If you’re used to smooth 60fps, or even smooth 30fps then this is going to make your eyes bleed. Seems there are a few things that need ironing out, I for one didn’t get any lag issues playing on the Europian servers. US servers, just stay away, and the same goes for Asian servers.
Do you feel lucky, punk?
At any given time you’ll run into a challenger for that poultry delicacy and have a panic-inducing stand-off until one of you drops. The frame rate also takes a slight dip here when you start trading lead with your opponent. It’s not entirely unplayable and you can get away with some well-placed shots, but it can get pretty annoying. With an array of weapons to be discovered, it’s a lucky packet situation where you could end up with just a backpack and peak cap and your bare mitts.
The frame rate comes into play again once the bodies hit the floor. The less active players there are, the better the frame rate. So get to killin’. Or try at least The visuals seem in need of a good polish, but this is a preview build. Certain sounds seem to disappear the longer you play, such as weapon reload sounds, your own footsteps and the carrier plane before your jump into chaos. I must admit, not hearing your own footsteps helps to detect others around you. Operating a vehicle is a bit tedious as it feels unresponsive, accelerating a full second after you’ve put your foot down. And they handle like tricycles with warped wheels. Yeesh. But, this isn’t a racing game so it’s forgiven.
The controls at the start feel sluggish, but after playing with the sensitivity settings you can very much get to a sweet spot for your style of gameplay. The menu system doesn’t translate all that well from keyboard and mouse to controller. Get ready for lots of left and right bumper pushing and left stick controls to get to the things you want. I’d prefer the wheel menu system here to make it easier to navigate your inventory. You can take the time to get used to it all, but I prefer something a bit simpler.
Overall, PUBG has come over to a new platform and the guys at Bluehole are perhaps still at it to deliver something worth spending your time on. I can see the potential it has and I keep reminding myself and others that this is a game still in development. It can be fun and even an adrenaline rush if all the graphics and gameplay settle at a palatable speed. But, If these issues aren’t addressed before official launch, then all those yummy chicken dinners gonna have to get tossed out with those sub-par frame rates and PlayStation 1 era textures.
PUBG Corp. Fix this, please. I’m hungry and want my chicken dinner well roasted and crispy grefixxx at 30fps. Kaythanxbye.