PUBG: Battlegrounds Review – Still The Most Immersive Battle-Royale In 2024

Long Past Its Glory But Still Among The Most Played Games on Steam

PUBG: Battlegrounds Review
Overall
4
  • Story And Setting
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals And Performance

Verdict

PUBG still remains one of the most immersive battle royale games, but the rampant cheaters might never allow it to return to its former glory

Pros

  • Immersive gameplay
  • Diverse maps
  • Neat weapon variety

Cons

  • A sizeable amount of cheaters
  • Long queue times on some game modes

PUBG: Battlegrounds shook the foundations of the gaming landscape in early 2017. It broke player count and viewership records one after another and became the game with the highest-ever concurrent players on Steam, an achievement that it still holds.

Key Takeaways
  • Developer:  KRAFTON
  • Publisher: KRAFTON
  • Initial Release Date: March 23, 2017
  • Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
  • Game Length: N/A
  • Time Played: 70 Hours

KRAFTON had caught lightning in the bottle, but perhaps this feat proved too much for them. It fell from grace even faster than it had risen and quickly became overshadowed by the games it inspired. Let’s dive from the plane again and re-discover what made it so special.

Story And Setting

PUBG: Battlegrounds Review Story and Setting
Story and Setting. (Image Credits: KRAFTON)

PUBG is a multiplayer battle royale where, typically, 100 players are dropped onto an isolated island to kill each other and come out on top. A deadly forcefield, known as the Blue Zone, contracts over time, compelling players to stay within its bounds to avoid damage. Meanwhile, a Red Zone periodically blankets random areas, bombarding them with explosives, adding an extra layer of unpredictability to the high-stakes battle royale.

There are three main modes you can queue for Solos, Duos, and Squads of 4. Each mode is subdivided into Third Person Perspective (TPP) and First Person Perspective Mode (FPP). In hindsight, this decision was not wise, as splitting the three modes into two parts has completely split the player base. With already dwindling numbers, some modes’ queue times can be very long.

Jumping from the Plane
Jumping from the Plane. (Image by eXputer)

From Frost To Sand – Battling For The Top

Each match is set on a sprawling island, carefully designed to create a tense and dynamic environment. Island sizes range from 8×8 km to 1×1 km, but don’t let the large sizes of some of these islands daunt you, as there is a decent variety of vehicles at your disposal.

From the infamous hotspot that was the military base, to the notorious bridge campers, it was Erangel that brought PUBG to the top of the gaming landscape.

Erangel, the original map, sets the stage with its abandoned military facilities and decaying infrastructure. This post-Soviet island suggests a past riddled with political turmoil and conflict. Just hearing this island’s name brings back early 2017 flashbacks. From the infamous hotspot that was the military base to the notorious bridge campers, Erangel brought PUBG to the top of the gaming landscape and still remains my favorite to play on.

PUBG ErangelErangel Mylta Power. (Image Captured by eXputer)

The second map introduced Miramar, which shifts the focus to a sun-scorched desert filled with industrial complexes and sprawling cities. It has large stretches of land with little to no cover, leaving you exposed from all fronts. This was not helped by the surprisingly fewer vehicle spawn points.

I was not too fond of the map when it first launched, but I found out my problem was that I was approaching it like I approached Erangel. It required a completely different playstyle to play, and when I got the hang of it, it got just as exciting as Erangel.

Vikendi, a snow-covered map, was the third to be introduced and added a new dynamic with its frozen lakes and quaint villages. The old Vikendi was an excellent substitute for Erangel. Unfortunately, it received an overhaul that modified many memorable places, flattened the terrain, and worsened the Zone timing. 

The only good thing I remember about Sanhok was pelting others with apples during the warm-up stage.

Sanhok, a smaller and more compact map, was the fourth to be introduced, taking players to a lush, tropical setting. It was great to look at but not great to play. Matches were too hectic and only favored the most skilled players, leaving others with no room to breathe. The only good thing I remember about Sanhok was pelting others with apples during the warm-up stage.

Sanhok Paradise Resort
Sanhok Paradise Resort. (Image Credits: eXputer)

All the maps mentioned above were released during the prime time of PUBG. A total of six new maps followed, coupled with remasters of old maps. Paramo, Kraken, and Haven, like Sanhok, are small, but unlike Sanhok, they provide a reasonably balanced experience. Kraken is unique as it has a player count of 64 players and introduces the concept of Black Zone, which can level entire buildings to the ground.

Taego, Deston, and Rondo are standard 8x8km-sized maps. Each is unique, with different vistas. They are beautiful to look at, and I generally enjoyed my time with each new map, but they failed to capture me like some of the older maps

Gameplay

PUBG: Battlegrounds Review Gameplay
Gameplay. (Image by eXputer)

On the surface, PUBG’s premise is simple – parachute onto the island, loot for weapons, and outlive your opponents. However, mastering its gunplay, movement, and inventory management mechanics can take quite some time. But, oh boy, getting that sweet headshot with the Kar 98-k will always remain satisfying.

A Symphony Of Survival And Strategy

An ever-shrinking force field forces players into a narrower zone, further escalating the tension. The randomness of the first appearance of the zone on the map ensures that matches remain unpredictable and, at the same time, push campers out of their comfort zone.

Coordinating with teammates, sharing resources, and strategizing on the fly elevate the experience to new heights.

Teamwork is another integral aspect of this game. While solo play offers a different thrill, it truly shines in Squads and Duos modes. Coordinating with your team, sharing resources, and strategizing on the fly elevate the experience to new heights. Duos is, unfortunately, dead on many servers now. I tried queuing recently and could not find a match for over half an hour.

Kar98k
Kar98k. (Image Credits: eXputer)

One of the main reasons I’ve preferred PUBG over other battle royales is its weapon variety and authenticity. The robust diversity of firearms, attachments, and gear ensures that each match unfolds differently. The weaponry caters to a broad range of playstyles as duels can range from sniper battles across open fields to close-quarter skirmishes in urban environments.

However, no amount of firepower and raw skill can help you go toe-to-toe with aimbots and other cheats that still plague the game. This is one of the main reasons why I left it in the first place, and after coming back after all these years, I am disappointed to say that the problem has worsened. The FPP modes seem to suffer the most from this epidemic.

Visuals And Performance

PUBG: Battlegrounds Review Visuals
Visuals. (Image by eXputer)

Visually, PUBG presents a feast for the eyes. The original map, Erangel, engrossed one with its eerie, post-Soviet landscapes, where abandoned buildings and overgrown vegetation tell a tale of a troubled past. With its vast deserts and urban sprawl, Miramar delivers a cinematic feel reminiscent of classic Westerns, while the snow-covered Vikendi introduces elements of beauty and mystery.

Although still a bit clunky, character models and animations have been significantly improved since its release. I also love the game’s commitment to realism, particularly evident in its portrayal of weaponry and attachments crafted to resemble their real-world counterparts.

Console versions, also, deliver a comparable visual experience to their PC counterpart, maintaining a stable frame rate and resolution.

The game had significant performance problems in the past. Still, I’m happy it has received considerable optimization improvements since its initial release, ensuring smooth gameplay across various hardware configurations. Console versions also deliver a visual experience comparable to their PC counterpart, maintaining a stable frame rate and resolution.

Verdict

PUBG: Battlegrounds Review Verdict
Verdict. (Image Credits: KRAFTON)

PUBG might not be as popular as it once was, but it still enjoys a fairly sizeable fanbase. It has all the core mechanics needed to make a battle royale successful. But the rampant cheating remains a thorn in its side and shows no signs of dying out. Despite this, it can be worth a shot because the adrenaline-packed gameplay can keep you coming back for more.

This is box title
Get This Game
If you’re looking for an immersive and adrenaline-filled battle royale game.
Dont Get This Game
If you’re looking for a casual and fair experience.
Why I Need To Get This Game
If you like battle royales and don’t mind hackers and long queue times.
Alternative Games
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Moiz Banoori is the brains behind eXputer. Having worked at various Video Game sites, with 8 years of Content Writing Experience and a Journalism Degree at hand, he presently monitors teams, creates strategies, and publishes qualified pieces through his aptitude at eXputer. Feel free to get in touch with him through his gaming profile on Steam and PSN.

Experience: 8+ Years || Manages Teams, Creates Strategies, and Publishes Guides on eXputer || Education: Bachelors in Journalism.

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