PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds (PUBG) isn’t new anymore. It’s in “full release” on PC, and it’s still in “Early Access” from it’s December 2017 release on Xbox One, but man, it’s changed and improved so much!
Talking specifically about the Xbox One version, I signed on the other day, after installing patch number 11, and it all kind of just hit me. If you take a step back, the fixes and quality of life changes made to this game have been nothing short of excellent.
First things first, I think the dev team need some kind of pat on the back, one because of the consistent and frequent patches since release. And two, because of the communication with the community. Following the sub-reddit, and the Discord server, you see the communication and the patch notes pretty swiftly.
Secondly, I think the community maybe need to calm it a little, what with the constant barrage of complaints and whining. Yes, we bought a game, and yes Bluehole want our feedback. But why are people such tools? We know it’s early access, and therefore a work in progress……so surely you knew what to expect?
Anyway, you’d be forgiven (based on the whining and negative comments on websites etc) for thinking that PUBG was unplayable on Xbox One.
Here’s a fact: Even at release, it wasn’t “unplayable”. Sure it was rough, there was frequent disconnecting and rubber-banding, but you could still play it, and have fun.
Ignoring all the bollocks, and focusing on the constructive feedback, you can tell that there’s a lot of room for improvement, even now. But it’s more playable than ever, and honestly, the fun has been there from the very beginning.
Also, for reference, I’m playing on an OG Xbox One, not using a solid-state drive or anything that people advise. I play it as it comes. Barring some controller changes (invert that Y axis!!!), and I’ve never suffered more than a couple of minutes. Either due to a disconnect, or the rubber-banding for a few seconds and the drop in framerate at different points in a match.
So, the latest patch, distributed last week was patch number 11. Again, addressing the cores issues, optimising the whole experience. Speeding up the framerate, fixing issues with controls and the user interface. All these little things, all these tiny tweaks, and suddenly, this week, it hit me.
This game has come a long way in a pretty short space of time.
I said to my brother whilst we were playing duos “does this all feel different to you? Like, exactly the same, but better?”. It took us a few minutes to put our finger on it, but it was just a much smoother, well-rounded experience.
Then I noticed the changes to the gear menu, whereby, now you’re presented with information on the items you’re highlighting. Suddenly you know which ammo it takes, what the purpose of an object is, and you’re better informed without doing any extra work.
Everything is just better. I’d not played for a week (after some pretty great matches!), and coming back, having played some other games, I had a different perspective. I hadn’t exclusively played PUBG for a week, and suddenly I was able to see it from a step-back.
PUBG on Xbox One has a long way to go, sure. Now, though, it’s in this great state of being smoother, slicker and I couldn’t tell you the last time I got disconnected. Sure, the frames drop a little when it gets hectic, but it really isn’t that big a deal. Have you played Just Cause 3?? That is framerate dropping.
As more patches come, we’ll see the issues slowly dissipate and everything people have complained about will be forgotten in no time. As it stands, it’s a more accessible and playable game, but the fun? The fun is still exactly the same, and that doesn’t look to be changing any time soon.
I don’t write much about upcoming news (there are a billion sites that do that already!), but it’s worth noting that PUBG will soon be getting a Test Server for Xbox, whereby people can try new maps and test new features before they get pushed to the main game (this already happens on PC).
Soon, we should have access to the 2nd map “Miramar” and we should start to help shape the state of the game as it moves forward, and honestly, I’m pretty excited!
We’ve been playing exactly the same game mode, on the same map since December. Yet it still feels fresh, every single time I play. I still haven’t been all over the map, and no game ever plays out the same. How many other games could you say that about?
Finally, as a squad, we’re definitely getting better! Two Chicken Dinners in a row, one night. We’re all getting more kills, we’re communicating better, and well, I may have gotten the luckiest accidental win in the history of the game: