After months in alpha on PC, 2017’s surprise hit, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has made its way to home consoles as an early preview. The PUBG Xbox One preview was available starting December 12, but right out of the bag there were issues. PUBG is a resource hog, to say the least, and asks for a decently powerful rig to run, so we were pretty curious to see how a console would handle it. We gave it a shot on the original Xbox One to see if the console could handle what PUBG could throw at it.
We’re assuming that you know what PUBG is all about. However, if you’ve been avoiding any gaming related news for the past few months, here’s a quick recap. PUBG takes you and 99 other players and drops you all into a huge sprawling map with nothing but the clothes (also optional) on your back. The premise is simple, the last one standing is the winner. Once you land on the map, it’s up to you to scavenge and stock up with guns, ammunition and other supplies spread across the map. Over the course of the next few minutes, the play area will continue to shrink, increasing the chances of you coming across other players. It’s simple, straightforward, and quite addictive.
PUBG Xbox One: Gameplay
So what’s new about the gameplay on console? To put it bluntly, the game in its current state is a mess. Lag, poor textures, and framerate drops will be your constant companion through the game. When you’re first dropped into the lobby, you’ll be greeted with low poly textures and laggy gameplay. This continues when you are loaded onto the transport plane to be dropped into the game itself. It was pretty clear that we were going to be battling frame rate drops as much as the other players when we started playing the PUBG Xbox One preview.
As for controls, it’s quite surprising that so many different actions available to PC players have been squeezed into a controller. Double taps, holding a button down and more have been implemented to bring the complex set of controls to the console’s controller. For example, simply pressing the left trigger lets your player hold up the gun and aim. However, double tapping it brings up the iron sights/scope. Getting used to these controls can take a while. Inventory management is a pain and can take some getting used to. In a game where you can be shot at any time, this isn’t welcome. Your best bet is finding a nice quiet spot in a building before you even think about managing your inventory. Also, there doesn’t seem to be any aim assist for console players. So you’re on your own when trying to shoot other players.
We feel like we should mention here that this author (for god knows what reason) kept himself away from the PC-version of PUBG for as long as possible. You might ask why, but we don’t know. You’ll just have to pester him and find out for yourself. In his defence, he did give the game a go on PC afterwards.
All you ‘Master Racists’ can rest assured that the controls are better on the PC. Especially when you consider the fact that there is no auto aim for console users. Switching to the scope is a pain and getting accurate headshots is close to impossible. But all controls such as leaning out from cover, different firing modes etc are all present. On the flip side, driving controls are better and you have the ability to creep your vehicle forward, making slightly lesser noise as compared to making an infernal racket. Another handy addition is the ability to vault over obstacles and through windows, which is currently live on the test servers for the PC version and should come to the game soon.
There are also a few other notable omissions. For example, the new Miramar map isn’t available on Xbox yet, although it should be added soon. Weather effects like fog and rain also seem to be missing. We didn’t come across any different weather in the limited time we played the game. We didn’t have the chance to mess around with the loot crates either, but we’re sure that it will remain just cosmetic.
Verdict: PUBG Xbox One Preview
All that being said, the essence of PUBG is still there in the Xbox version and that is why the game may still be worth your money. The tense atmosphere generated when you hear footsteps or a vehicle coming up to your hiding spot is still there. So is the sense of urgency when rushing across the map to a safe zone and the minuscule sense of accomplishment you feel when you’ve managed to outlive over half the players. Make sure you have a pair of headphones with you while playing; spatial awareness is a must with this game.
PUBG is currently available as a preview and it’s pretty clear that’s all it is. The game in its current state is a mess, but that doesn’t mean that the game itself is bad. The gameplay is still exciting we can’t wait for a time when the game’s bugs are finally fixed and everything starts working as it should.
At Rs. 2000 the game is pretty expensive but if you are a fan of online shooters and are looking for something refreshing, then you can jump on the PUBG Xbox One bandwagon. However, if you are looking for a refined experience, then you may want to hold off till all the issues and bugs are ironed out.