PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (or PUBG for short) is a multiplayer online battle royale game developed and published by Bluehole (later rebranded as Krafton). A Xbox One port was developed by Anticio, and released on Xbox Game Preview as "Game Preview Edition".
In PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, 100 contestants are dropped on a remote island and tasked with finding equipment to survive and fight other contestant to the death until there is one survivor left on the island. It has different modes like solo, duo, or with a small team of up to only four people, the game ending when the last person or team left alive wins the match.
While landing, the players are able to choose equipment (weapon, armor or health-pack) and vehicles (car, motorbike or boat) all around the island whether in a house, building or even outside. The weapons have customization options like muzzle attachments, lower or upper rails, magazines and stocks to increase their effectiveness. A plane will deliver air drops with special armors and weapons in any random location, but you have to be careful so that another player doesn't get to it first.
Every few minutes, the safe area (known as the Playzone) of the map begins to shrink based on a random center, and any player will take damage until they are eliminated unless they get to the safe zone in time. In game, the players can see the boundary as a shimmering blue wall that contracts over time, and it can be seen on the map. There are red zones spawned across the location that spawn bombs across the zone, it can happen when someone is camping or appeared randomly.
It also has other matches since the update, Zombie, where five or ten contestants may used their armors and weapons to defend themselves from the horde of zombies (who cannot use armor or weapons, just melee attacks), War Event, where many teams go to defend the point with randomized weapons and the only match where you can respawn.
There's also a training mode where you can learn how the game works with weapons, armors and vehicles along with other players across the world.
- The game was initially released in an Early Access stage, which means the game is largely unfinished. However, after the game became popular, Bluehole intentionally removed the "Early Access" tag without fixing any of the bugs.
- The developers care very little about the game, if at all. Since the game is already popular there is no reason for them to fix the bugs until a later date.
- Bluehole has used the "poverty" argument. The irony is, the studio has made over $700 million in microtransactions during its first year.
- To add insult to injury, even Activision, one of the most notable franchise milkers, did something to improve Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 after releasing it in an unfinished state.
- Extremely high price despite the amount of bugs. The mobile and lite version is free, so there should be no excuse for why the other versions aren't.
- This was "fixed" later in a very twisted manner: the mobile version was officially ported for PC because many people were using Android emulators to play the game for free.
- Apparently, the developers will make the mobile version a free-to-play separate game, more distant from the original.
- Bluehole often attacks the developers of other Battle Royale games, claiming that they "ripped off" their game, and tried to take legal action against any game that was even remotely similar to it (even if they are significantly different). They went as far as to claim copyright on the use of frying pans as weapons, regardless of the game's release date, including (but not limited to) Attack of the Mutant Penguins, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Left 4 Dead 2, and Team Fortress 2.
- Also, Bluehole didn't even invent nor patent the Battle Royale genre. It can be traced back to a custom game mode in Minecraft, which in turn is based on the book series, The Hunger Games. It can also be traced back to the Battle Royale franchise.
- On May 29, 2018, Bluehole filed a lawsuit against Epic Games, accusing Fortnite: Battle Royale for "plagiarizing" PUBG. However, the big irony here is that later PUBG straight up ripped off Fortnite's battle pass.
- It is worth noting that Epic Games also created Unreal Engine which PUBG was developed in.
- This backfired a few months later due to Tencent (Epic Games' parent company) taking over Bluehole, thus causing the charges to be dropped.
- PUBG's battle pass is not only more expensive than Fortnite's, it expires faster, gives you less content, and many of the skins you get are temporary.
- Obvious use of stock assets with little modifications.
- Large maps with little features.
- Poor graphics and low res textures, despite running on Unreal Engine 4.
- Horrible physics, especially car driving physics or recoil at guns that every generic shooting game with recoil suffers from.
- Everything is generic.
- While PUBG benefits from free promotion from streamers who play their game, they spoil them by banning everyone who kills the streamer's avatar in the game; even honking car horns near streamers will cause you to get banned for "harassment".
- The Chinese server (which is the majority of the player base) suffers from major lag spikes and has too many hackers.
- Horrible optimization; sometimes the game runs very slowly even if you have a high-end rig. Considering the graphics, as well as the fact that other games with similar requirements but better graphics run better, this is inexcusable.
- Plagued with hackers and cheaters, since only a few of them are punished for their actions.
- The loot boxes, even though you can sell them for Steam Funds and they only feature cosmetic content, encourage gambling since rare items are very expensive.
- You can't even open those loot boxes unless you spend real money on keys, meaning that even if you get loot boxes for free you still need to spend money on them.
- Many players have experienced in-game pop-up ads promoting third-party services while playing the game, even though the game isn’t free to play.
- Due to many players leaving the game for other games (such as Fortnite), the developers have added bots to the game to hide the lack of players in it. PUBG Mobile has infamously been known for the massive amount of bots during its launch.
- To save face on several issues and retain what little playerbase they had, the developers created a campaign known as "#FixPUBG", which promised to fix the game and bring it back up to a playable state. However, it also backfired when it generated adverse reaction, and was subsequently cut.
- The developers decided to release a PlayStation 4 version before the Xbox One version was even finished, which was just as mediocre as the Xbox One version.
- The Lite version, despite it being developed for old and low-end systems, lacks DirectX 10 support despite lots of old systems using DirectX 10 graphics cards.
Xbox One version
- Extremely poor rendering. The map rendering is even worse than early 3D games which makes its looked like Google Maps 3D Rendering and it takes around three to four seconds to render terrain around you.
- Poor texture quality. Sometimes textures can look like they would fit right in a Nintendo 64 game. And to add insult to the injury, the game runs on Unreal Engine 4!
- Abysmal framerate. The game often runs lower than 10 FPS, and even on Xbox One X the game's frame rate usually does not reach the locked frame rate at 30 FPS.
- Tons of bugs and glitches. For example, the interior of buildings doesn't load correctly until a few seconds after you've already entered, making it possible to sink into the ground below the floor of the building.
- The input is slightly delayed, like Minecraft: Bedrock Edition on Xbox One.
- Horrible physics. Most notable are the gun physics.
- Bluehole Studios and Microsoft decided to release the game on Xbox One before it officially left Early Access.
- Given that the game is massively unfinished and unpolished, it should have been a free-to-play game (ideally) and not something that anyone should charge $30 for. To add salt to the wound, the box openly admits that the game is unfinished, yet still charges for it!
- Micro-transactions: Although cosmetic, they don't really need to exist in the game because the game already costs $30.
- Good main concept.
- Decent gameplay that can make the game addicting and enjoyable.
- At least the mobile and lite versions are free for download as mentioned above.
- Unlike Fortnite, you can use the clothes of the dead enemies and customize your weapons.
Critic reviews and initial player reviews for the game in Early Access were generally positive, but after release, the game quickly declined in reception due to the reasons above. It got mediocre to negative reviews from gamers due to it still being broken and unfinished, even since the game came out of Early Access, despite having an average score of 86 on Metacritic at release. Later, at one time, the game heavily popularized the Battle Royale genre, to the point that it is now becoming oversaturated thanks to it. It been widely listed on many Worst Games of 2017 lists because of all these problems.
The game has also had a major decline in popularity recently. Players have noted that the game continues to have issues that should've been fixed at launch and Fortnite: Battle Royale has gained more attention. According to reports, the amount of people playing the game has dropped around 50% since January 2018.
- According to the creator Brendan Greene, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds was inspired by the Japanese 1999 novel and 2000 film of Battle Royale, which it featured the references to Battle Royale like similar clothes and weapons.