2018 has been the “Year of Battle Royale,” with hordes of games jumping on the bandwagon and attempting to mirror the success of games like Fortnite and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds. While Call of Duty Black Ops battle royale mode, Blackout, has had a successful run thus far, few have seen anything close to the success that Fortnite and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds have maintained. Between the two titles, Fortnite has remained (arguably) the number one choice for the battle royale genre.
Let’s first dive into a bit of history surrounding the two heavy-hitting battle royale titles to get a better understanding of how we got here.
The History Between Fortnite And PUBG
Can the same cultural phenomenon be said about Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds?
Not so much.
From the get-go, it seems that developer PUBG Corp. was constantly putting out fires. After a mere three months of wildly popular success having sold over five million copies, PUBG came hurtling back to earth almost as fast as Fortnite became a household name. From hacking, to cheating, to offensive in-game items, to overall bugs and performance issues, PUBG has been through the ringer. At one point, PUBG Corp. even sued the developer of Fortnite, Epic Games, claiming that the game creator had stolen PUBG’s battle royale formula. However, the lawsuit came to a surprisingly abrupt end and was withdrawn, essentially allowing the two battle royale titles to coexist.
Touching on all of the issues that PUBG has faced is not an indication of why you shouldn't play it. Rather, it is a testament to the fact that the game is still impressively standing in spite of those troubles and is being added to another platform via the PlayStation 4. It should not be overlooked that PUBG has had its own share of success in the mainstream spotlight, such as the PGI 2018 PUBG $1 Million Charity Showdown Tournament which featured celebrity streamers and professional gamers including (you guessed it), Tyler “Ninja” Blevins.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at why Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is still definitely worth your time, even if you already play Fortnite.
First and foremost, PUBG’s style in both graphics and gameplay is more realistic. Whereas Fortnite features sillier, often exaggerated movements and weaponry with its cartoonish style and abilities, PUBG takes a more grounded approach. Weapons, vehicles, and gameplay physics are more life-like, as is the surrounding environment in which players can swim (and drown) in the large bodies of water within the map. Additionally, while friendly fire was removed from Fortnite earlier this year as a way for Epic to reduce the amount of team killing, PUBG fully allows friendly fire, adding to its realism.
The absence of building massive structures in PUBG creates the need for a more thought out strategy when traversing the wide-open terrain of the map. Should players suddenly come under fire, they will need to search for cover to avoid getting shot, rather than building up some makeshift cover. While doors and windows can be blown away, PUBG’s structures themselves do not take damage (which is surprising considering the game’s focus on realism). At any rate, (depending on the situation) shootouts tend to be intense and pulse-pounding as players peek out from behind walls with the hopes of nailing a headshot and dropping the enemy.
The lack of a building ability also allows PUBG to hone in on its intuitiveness. Upgrading weapons and armor is simple and easy to pick up. Tossing grenades and other throwables is a bit trickier to pull off, but once you get a feel for it, the act of throwing an explosive becomes nearly an art form.
One thing PUBG definitely has going for it is multiple maps
One thing PUBG definitely has going for it is multiple maps - there is a lot more to explore in PUBG, and each of the three - soon four! - maps feels like an entirely different game mode, requiring very different strategies.
The Audience And Joining The Community
One other thing to mention is PUBG’s demographic, which tends to be older than that of Fortnite, according to a report by video game and esports analytics provider Newzoo. This isn’t necessarily a surprise considering Fortnite’s cartoonish style. Add on the fact that Fortnite is available on a more casual, accessible, and family-friendly console in the Nintendo Switch, and it makes sense that a younger audience would gravitate towards that game. PUBG, on the other hand, appeals more towards core gamers with a means to fund their gaming. This is an important distinction between the two games, especially considering that PUBG is a paid title, whereas Fortnite is free to play.
You can grab the standard edition of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds on the PlayStation 4 for $30 USD. A Survivor’s Edition and Champion’s Edition are available as well, but truth be told, you’ll be happy enough with the standard edition. The deluxe versions include additional outfits and in-game items that can be used to customize your character, but these cosmetic features have no effect whatsoever on the actual gameplay and are hardly worth your time if you are looking to just jump into the fray right away.
There is no telling how well the move to the PlayStation 4 will fare for Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds. Will it be enough to close the gap between it and rival Fortnite? Probably not. But the two titles are different enough in their gameplay and style that both should be able to coexist peacefully and be worth your time.