For many, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds signalled the start of something special on console. Being the first proper console title to embrace the mass Battle Royale scene, the gaming landscape was switched when PUBG first rocked up with its large-scale PvP gameplay. And even though Fortnite quickly stole the upper hand, and all manner of clones have arrived since, it’s still the original that has me most excited.
And with the recent arrival of Season 5 of PUBG, this is a game that has once more gone from strength to strength. It contains stunning updates to Miramar, and enough skins and challenge opportunities to ensure that anyone familiar with the game will be like a pig in muck. Or a sniper hidden away on a hillside.
Consistently updated to reflect the time of year, and any special events that the PUBG community will want to be kept in the loop about, the mentions to the PUBG Global Championship and then a Christmas themed title screen have been delights to take in. It’s great to see the development team behind this behemoth keeping on top of things to ensure the very best experience whenever they can. It’s a far cry from the slow, rather steady progress that was made to PUBG in the early stages of its development, particularly throughout the Game Preview moments, and it’s no shock to discover new elements being added to the game on a fairly regular basis.
Update 5, and the accompanying Season 5, sees much of that focus centred around the Miramar map, and it is certainly this which has provided the most opportunities over the last few weeks; much like Season 4 did for Erangel. For instance, a brand new racetrack has been thrown in for those who love to frequent a vehicle, whilst the visual look is now one that is far removed from the simple, stutter-filled stuff we once found in this Battle Royale title. Throw in a change to how items spawn, and a bit of de-cluttering throughout, and you’ve got a map that has been enhanced in more ways than one.
For me, the biggest change to PUBG with Season 5 is that of the inclusion of Vending Machines, providing access to Energy Drinks and Painkillers should you be left struggling around. This makes a huge difference to those less likely to go exploring – or more likely to take a stray hit or two – and knowing how to grab a quick pick-me-up when the time calls for it brings new strategic plays to hand.
It’s safe to say that Miramar now looks absolutely stunning, rendering quickly upon first jump, and managing to ensure that no matter where you look, and how fast you move, it’s a pretty damn smooth affair. With tons of detail found in the structures, you could be mistaken for thinking that things may slow down a little, but it’s safe to say that for the most part PUBG on Xbox One runs as smoothly as it needs to.
And whilst the PvP gameplay has stayed the same, the customisation opportunities have grown immensely. New gear, new skins and a whole host of new challenges sees more than an inkling of a reason to head back to PUBG on a regular basis, with anyone wishing to involve themselves in the £12.49 Badlands Pack given access to a gorgeous Beach Shirt, some lovely gold bling boots and a pair of Aviators which just ooze class. There’s also the Season 5 Supply Pack too though, and for a cheaper £8.39 you’ll get access to extra G-Coin and some darker clothing options – work boots, leather jumpsuit and a brimless cap allow for even more fun.
PUBG continues to evolve, and in recent times we’ve also seen the addition of a new Death Cam; a welcome inclusion that lets you see the last few seconds of play through the eyes of your killer, giving an opportunity for you to really understand how, and why, that shot to your head has come about. It’s the little additions like this that have ensured PUBG is still my go-to game for closing out a day, whether it’s for a couple of minutes in the hope of getting some early kills, or through playing the long game and hunting that elusive Chicken Dinner.
However you wish to play PUBG though, without a doubt it’s a game that has managed to go from strength to strength throughout 2019, and moving onward to 2020 there is still plenty to enjoy yet. After some pretty rough and ready opening moments upon release on Xbox One, this is a game that has the draw, the appeal and the content to see any Battle Royale fan parachuting in for action over and over again.
And going forward, I only see it continuing to deliver.