Game Review: PUBG Mobile is immensely addictive like the PC version, but with rough edges
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The mobile version of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, popularly known as PUBG, one of the most played PC games of 2017, is now available on Google Play Store and App Store. Developed by Tencent Games, a subsidiary of Chinese tech company Tencent, in collaboration with Lightspeed & Quantum Studios, the PUBG Mobile has been optimised very well for the smaller screen. It doesn’t feel clunky during game sessions and is surprisingly smaller in size—the Android version needs just 777 MB of space to install (the PC version takes up 15GB of space). It is a multiplayer game and works best on WiFi networks.
When it comes to gameplay and visuals, developers have remained true to the PC version. Players can adjust frame rate and screen resolution for the best experience. There is an Ultra HD mode too for smartphones or tablets with 4K screens. Powered by Unreal Engine 4, which has been used to build console games such as Bioshock and Gears of War 3, PUBG Mobile is one of the best looking shooting games on small screen.
The gameplay is exactly the same as the PC version. Over 100 players are dropped on a remote island and have to survive until the end using whatever weapons they could find to kill others. As time passes, the playable area in the island shrinks and anyone outside it dies automatically. Players have to remain within the area and that is what makes the game more challenging. Players cannot hide in any one location and wait for other players to show up, but will have to move regularly to get to the playable zone.
Players can arm themselves with weapons and protective gear they find on the island. The rate of survival and killing rivals depends on the quality and range of weapons one has.
Navigating through the game on the smartphone can be challenging compared to playing with mouse and keyboard on PC or game controller on console as all the controls are scattered over the same screen. Aiming on a target is not easy but the game has a precision mode, which allows players to zoom in on targets and get better shots. Tencent Games hasn’t left out any of the control options in the mobile game. Players can duck, dash, pick objects, drive vehicles, throw grenades, and even jump over obstacles using on-screen controls. The on-screen map needs improvement and the option to zoom out for a more expansive view. The fact that the map doesn’t show any of the rival players in the vicinity adds an element of surprise and makes the game tougher.
It can be played solo, with one partner or with a team having multiple players. During multiplayer games, players can also chat with their team members using the app’s built-in messenger. Players can dress up their in-game character/avatar using rewards points earned after every game. Surprisingly, there are no in-app purchases or advertisements in the game, as of now. PUBG Mobile is as challenging and a little more frustrating than the PC version due to the controls, but it is immensely addictive and hard to put down.