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In Memoriam: A Final Review of PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds on the Xbox One

TheGarbageManOct 8, 2018, 3:13:40 AM

Leaving Behind: Bluehole, Microsoft Entertainment, Unreal engine 4, and at one point, 3 million concurrent online players.

Eulogy written and delivered by: The Gaming Garbage Man

Time to say goodbye...

I’ve known PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds for well over a year now. From Pewdiepie playing and nearly destroyed his career with a single word, to the early release I excitedly put on my Xbox One. Even with a mobile version, I have watched this game grow and then promptly implode on itself. A huge bubble with nothing to fill in it’s gaping 50 million-games-sold hole.

When I originally reviewed PUBG back in December of last year, I gave it a 4 out of 5 for being fun in concept and gameplay. I did say it was generous score because the problems of kicking mid-match and innumerable glitches that plagued this game would hopefully be fixed as this was an early access title, probably one of the roughest released on such a massive scale as PUBG was for the Xbox One. 

So how does it do now that it is in full 1.0 release? Are the problems fixed, or is there lingering slop, some more left unfinished by a publisher and console maker desperate to move on to greener pastures?

The game still looks rough. Like rougher than Hannah Hayes’ semi-retarded vagina. Pop-ins are just the norm, as are the blocky, twisted textures of eventual buildings and landscapes. The graphics aren’t the only thing left unrefined, but they are the most immediately notable problem.

While car-kicking has been significantly “reduced”, you can still get kicked before a match begins, forcing you to jump back in, hoping that no one kills your frozen character. Notice I wrote “reduced” in reference to getting kicked while driving vehicles because it still fucking happens. Nothing is more irritating than driving a jeep full of your squad and the game kicking ya out. 

So fucking what if my Xbox One is starting to smoke a little, there was only 15 players left!

There is massive problems of connectivity in this game and it wasn’t just me. Everyone I played with had the same issues of being dropped or resetting at literally any time PUBG is playing.

The additions of maps Sanhok and Maranmar are welcome changes from the original island of Erangel, but they can start to get old as well. I think what this game is missing is community-built game modes. There’s so much potential here that it seems wasted on the trivial limited-run event modes that give certain restrictions and bonuses. While events are fun for a couple rounds, all they really do is make you wish you could change or find a different versions to play.

Like the enclosing blue circle itself, the gameplay is restricting, providing a few thrills in the form of different vehicles and weapons, but ultimately stuck in the same place with nowhere else to go.

So we have the additions of vehicles, such as trucks and muscle cars, to weapons such as the QBZ and sawed-off shotgun, the two new maps, and what else? If you were going to say anything other than cosmetic micro-transactions and season passes then you need to watch more of Jim Sterling.

This is Microsoft and Blueholes endgame, a vacuum slow-sucking as much money as it can from the few remaining loyal players. Or the few players that think a digital bikini bottom is something worth spending $10 on for the opportunity to earn said digital bikini bottom. Either way, the items don’t change game advantage, except maybe in terms of camouflage and/or exhibition.

It’s to be expected, and while the free earnables during event pass seasons are a nice bone, it doesn’t really feel like the treat us players deserve for being so patient with such a glitchy and unstable version of PUBG. Xbox One players are used to the getting it in the shaft by now, but it gets to a point where even the bleeding has stopped but yet the publisher is still fucking us raw.

This still has fun moments. Killing people online is always satisfying. Whether it’s by pistol, machete, elephant gun, or even a M249, every bullet pierced through another player is your gift to the world and I have given many, many of these gifts, sinfully enjoying the act each time. The few chicken dinners I’ve gotten and a few other matches shared with friends have been some of the most exhilarating, memorable moments of online gaming so far.

Still got it, son.

Rating: 2 out of 5. You can still be fun and have faults. You can even be Mass Effect: Andromeda and receive an above-average score from me. And I very nearly just gave this that same 3 out of 5, but then I remembered PUBG Mobile, and now I’m upset again.

This game should be running like that mobile version and it should have been like that as soon as PUBG Mobile dropped, way back in April. While didn’t they get Tencent to do the Xbox One version? While does this console version have so many problems and absent features from the mobile even to this day? 

It boggles the mind at how much of a cash cow this franchise could have been, instead of the one pop-shot wonder that died on October 12th, 2018.

As we lay to rest this once-beloved game, we give it praise for all it did for the battle royale genre, taking it out of modded hell and into an ever-ravenous and callous mainstream audience. While other games have taken it’s mantle, PUBG will always be remembered not just for the gameplay, but for the times we spent together as friends, groups, and even solo, staring out into the setting sun of Erangel. 

It seems appropriate to remember it as that, a world where we had some fun adventures, instead of this clunky, bug-plagued, game-crashing, muddled piece of fucking shit, now for full release on the Xbox One.

I’ll still play and I’ll still check in every now and then just to see if it’s ever being done right. But for now, we must forgive the dead and move on to the loving embrace of the living. Hello, Black Ops 4...

This was the eulogy-delivering Gaming Garbage Man.

Until the next game, keep those sights dialed in!