During E3 this year, Bluehole announced their successful game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds for the Xbox One. At Gamescom, we got the chance to play an early version of the Xbox One build. For those that are unaware, PUBG is the most popular battle royale game currently out there and has partnered up with Microsoft to bring the experience to the console.
PUBG with a Controller?
Let’s start of with one of the most important questions many people had when the game was announced for console: How does it play with a controller? It’s surprisingly good to be honest. The controls seem to be optimized for the Xbox Build. Swapping weapons and picking up items was easy with a few button clicks, and equipping items and upgrading weapons with different mods was also easily done. Even the function to loot in the vicinity was present on the Xbox build and worked without any problems. Other than that, it plays like any other shooter on console, be it first or third person (because this was also something you can switch between). All in all, it seems the transition to the controller has gone smoothly with the only concern being a lack of hotkeys for healing and consuming other items at the moment.
It plays like a battle royale game and it seems to be playing just like the PC version. That is to say, I’m not sure if there are any big differences at the moment worth mentioning. Some things like jumping over fences or small walls could use some work, but I am not sure if this is the same on PC. The shooting feels good and there is plenty of variety going on with pistols, SMGs, rifles and even sniper riffles. It offers multiple ways of playing out a match, from the sneaky waiting guy right up to the super aggressive rusher. The game supports it all and each type feels comfortable and realistic. As far as being a shooter goes, the basics are present and they are good.
Another important aspect for a game of this caliber on a console is the performance. This game pits 100 players against each other in a detailed map. PC players might know that playing PUBG requires you to have a rather bulky machine in order to play it smoothly. The Xbox build ran exceptionally, and during our play sessions we did not encounter lag, a single freeze, or even frame rate drops. The game ran well all the way through. One thing I have to admit, however, is that the graphics seemed a bit below par compared to the PC version (depending on the PC). If this is the only consequence of being able to play PUBG with 99 other players on a console, it is one I would gladly take.
It’s way too soon for any final verdict, but the current Xbox build we got to play felt promising. In my opinion, it could be launched into the Xbox Preview program within a month. There weren’t any game-breaking bugs or issues, and the matches played out as they should. I have high hopes for the console version and I cannot wait to play it again, this time from the comfort of my own living room.
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