The smart money may well be on Call of Duty: Warzone eventually taking the Battle Royale crown, but for the time being it’s still the old dogs who are pulling out all the tricks. And with Season 6 of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, once more we find the game going from strength to strength.
One of the oldest Battle Royale experiences on console, PUBG has once again undergone a bit of a transformation with Season 6 focusing the vast majority of its efforts on a brand new, super small, highly intense map – that of Karakin. This 2×2 map is by far the tiniest to yet arrive in PUBG, with it making the likes of the 4×4 Sanhok look grand in scale.
Kakarin does away with the usual 1v100 lifestyle and due to its small size instead works with a maximum of 64 players; 64 players intent on grabbing some sweet loot and taking each other down in a blaze of glory. But it also does something different, delivering a sense of strategy and the need for some form of tactical nous away from the usual run and gun gamestyle. You see, Kakarin introduces the opportunity to lay siege to your opponents, utilising breach points into specific structures and firing bullets through certain walls. Hiding out and guarding the usual windows and doors as a squad will no longer keep a determined opposition squad out.
Further to that though and it also mixes up the standard PUBG gameplay in a way that no other introductions have done – it throws in the Black Zone.
This smaller circular area has been put into action by the PUBG gods in order to negate the benefits of specific players camping in one area and hoping for the best. Instead of the usual red zone which allows you to hide in buildings forever more, the Black Zone is a tougher proposition, one which will quite happily flatten the buildings below it – long-guns, campers and all. It’s a great addition that ensures that the usual frantic nature of PUBG continues even when the standard play area diminishes down to cover numerous buildings. Once that siren goes, you need to make a run for it.
While the new map is certainly one of the very biggest changes to come about via Season 6, my own personal favourite has to be the addition of the brilliant Motor Glider. Only available on Erangel and Miramar, this vehicular inclusion allows PUBG players to take to the skies for the very first time, with a fragile but wicked little motorized glider letting us traverse the map in style. Catering for two people should the need arise, these winged beasts need fuel in order to get them up into the skies, but once a Gas Can has been utilised and you’ve taken a bit of a run-up, powering on through the clouds without a care in the world is a glorious feeling. Coming down once that fuel runs out does leave you like a sitting duck, ready for any remaining foes to take you down, but personally the joy that this Motor Glider brings far outweighs the negatives.
And then we have the Survivor Pass: Shakedown, the latest pass to accompany this Season 6 update that throws in some additional challenges via both the Free and Premium branches of the levelling up system. Should you decide to splash the £12.49 cash on Shakedown from the Xbox Store then there are some great clothing and livery options available across the Premium strand of Rewards, with each of your in-game missions contributing to an increase in level. Believe me when I tell you about the joy of hitting Level 50 in Shakedown, which sees you being able to kit yourself out with some superb, rather stunning, cat-themed helmets along with a similarly themed motorbike and sidecar. These are so well crafted that they very nearly demand the price tag alone. Just be in for the grind of a playthough or a hundred.
The missions themselves are pretty decent too, and while the Daily and Weekly options keep dropping in at a fast rate the Season Missions this time round revolve around a bit of destruction, and the fun you can have in the new Karakin map – Sticky Bombs that destroy walls, anyone?
Once again the arrival of a new season in PUBG has elevated the game to another level. While the new skins that come available via the Mission and Rewards structures are always nice, it’s the new game-changing additions that really help push PUBG on once more – something which is required now the brute force of Call of Duty: Warzone is here. The Motor Gliders are awesome, Karakin is utterly intense, and the new weaponry that is found within is just brilliant to use.
If you’re a fan of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and want a reason to continue playing the game whilst other sexier options are constantly battling for its crown, then by involving yourself with Season 6 and the Shakedown Pass you’ll discover that reason.
Massive thanks go out to PUBG Corporation for giving us access to the Season 6 Shakedown Pack goodies.