Back when Player Unknown's Battlegrounds released, it took the gaming world by storm. It was addictive, simple and was a great tool for streamers and Let's Play channels. It was a game that seemed to craft memorable unscripted moments, intermixed with high stress situations. It wasn't the first battle royale title, not by a long shot. It took a lot from H1Z1 King of the Kill but PUBG came to define the series. Fornite, which came out later, was supposed to be mainly focused on a PVE horde mode type gameplay. Seeing the success of PUBG, the developers (EPIC) tacked on a Battle Royale game type and have now taken a lot of PUBG's thunder, dominating in the Twitch rankings due to it's quicker moment to moment action and poppy art style; but the popularity of both cannot be denied
I personally have never played PUBG on the PC but have seen countless videos from the game from content creators like Achievement Hunter and Rooster Teeth. My computer was flagged as not meeting the minimum specs, yet plays Fortnite on high settings and Fortnite is FREE. For me it was down to accessibility rather than preference but I've always been interested in getting my hands on PUBG, and now thanks to this new mobile app, I can. In a reversal of state, Epic's Fortnite actually beat PUBG to the mobile marketplace by around a week, yet Fortnite is only available to a limited amount of iOS devices whereas PUBG is available on iOS and Android right now.
PUBG Mobile feels more thorough than the offering by Fortnite. I'm immediately given a daily sign in bonus which I can see is going to be an ongoing reward scheme which is perfect for enticing players back. Not only are credits on offer, that you can spend on cosmetic store items, you are also awarded items of clothing for a certain number of consecutive sign ins. I can either play as a guest (which I'm not sure whether it will keep my progress or not) or connect my account to my Facebook (which right now obviously doesn't sound like a positive). Getting into a game is quicker than I thought and the servers seem healthy.
Dropping into the map is straight forward but the game suffers from HUGE lag issues, just like Fortnite. Now, it is hard to tell whether that is mostly due to my signal, which is never great, but even when connected to WIFI I still experienced issues. The game is more than playable, you just run the risk of being let down at crucial moments. For example, I was down to the top five in my first game and got the jump on someone, inside a building with a shotgun. My game lagged out, HARD, and when it came back I was dead. I was pretty mad. As with the PC version, PUBG is a much longer time commitment than Fortnite so unless they add a Blitz type mode, the amount of games you'll be able to get under your belt before your battery gives up won't be a lot. Right now these games will be good for lazy Sundays, I wouldn't advise playing these on a commute, especially if you need your phone throughout the day to be, you know, a phone. Not unless you have a travel charger (which let's be honest is a pain). Come on phone companies, progress battery technology already!
I played PUBG Mobile on a Samsung S8 and honestly the performance and graphics were pretty good. The controls, although very similar to Fortnite, seem better laid out and easier to operate (but that's a slightly unfair comparison as I have only had the chance to play Fortnite on a 2017 9.7inch iPad so all the buttons are spread out and hard to reach). One thing I wish PUBG had was an option to switch opening doors to a click on the screen and not a small button on the right hand side, right above the area for looking left and right. I've opened and closed doors accidentally so many times, a passerby might be forgiven for thinking I have severe OCD. One thing I HATED about the game was the auto-pickup feature. I found myself standing near loot and throwing down my high powered rifles in favour of a pistol and an energy drink accidentally. Opening a death crate saw my character just instinctively taking EVERYTHING, one item after another. Thankfully this is a something you can toggle on and off in the settings and I'd advise to set this to OFF.
In conclusion, with a little work, PUBG Mobile is a serious instalment in the franchise for gaming on the go. It isn't a stripped down shell of its PC counterpart and some parts actually function better than the Xbox version. If they can fix the issues with lag, the phone version of this app is going to become very very popular and its got this grouchy console purist to download and keep a gaming app on his phone. Have you had chance to pick this up yet? How have you found it? Comment below or tweet us @ghoulishent.
Founder and Writer