Anyone that follows me over at ninjarefinery.com knows that I’m a big PUBG fan, and a big Battle Royale fan, in general. I joined the console preview at the day of release and have sunk countless hours into it, solo, or better still, in squads.
In fact, I was thinking about this the other day. PUBG really helped create and define a specific moment in gaming over the past few years, and I think it’s truly one of the best games of this generation. I realise that it has flaws, but nothing has gripped me quite like PUBG did, in recent times.
I was a little down on the fact that PUBG had implemented a battle pass, and gone down the well-trodden road of monetising cosmetics in a game you’ve already paid for. However, that’s how games work, and to be honest, with all the free updates and new maps, it’s hard to complain about something you’re not forced to pay for, isn’t it?
Season six of PUBG is now upon us, and FULLSYNC were given the opportunity to get the new battlepass, and slug it out on the new map Karakin.
As soon as I saw this opportunity come up, I had to be involved. I may not be the best PUBG player, but damnit, I’m a tryer.
I guess really we need to look at this in three ways
- Is the battle pass worth the money?
- Is the new map any good?
- How is PUBG on console these days?
Over the past week, it’s almost all I’ve played. Mainly solo, a few top ten finishes, but a whole lot of XP gaining from doing daily/weekly and premium objectives.
The battle pass has actually helped me engage with the game in quite a different way. I’ve been almost more worried about swimming 400m or picking up energy drinks, than going for that Chicken Dinner.
That might sound detrimental to the game itself, but actually it’s helped me learn the new map, calm down the minute I spot someone, and essentially just relax and enjoy the experience.
Sure, my heart still races in the last few, and my gunplay needs some refinement. But I’m a more well-rounded player thanks to the time I’ve spent just dicking about in PUBG.
Is the battle pass worth the money?
Simply put, yes.
Not neccessarily for the content, though.
I love new cosmetics as much as the next person. Trust me, I worked pretty hard to get the XP that got me a new jacket. I sweat and grind out BP for crates, too.
But the reason I think PUBG should keep the battle pass system is simple. I want this game to continue, and for maps and updates to keep being free. If me spending a tenner every couple of months keeps the lights on at PUBG HQ, that’s fine by me.
The content is actually pretty sweet, and I love having those little extras to work towards as I play. I wasn’t particularly bothered by weapon and vehicle skins, to start with. But having those little extra elements of customisation make it a little bit more fun.
It isn’t hard to level-up the pass, either. You don’t need to be going for 20-kill Chicken Dinner matches. You can just chip away at objectives laid-out in the menus and gain plenty of XP that way.
Sure, either way, there’s an investment of time. But I much prefer driving a vehicle for a few kilometers, than trying to get 40 headshots with an uzi or something.
So yeah, cool stuff, moderate amount of effort and buying it keeps the content coming. With 100 tiers to work through, there’s plenty there for your money if you’re investing.
If you’re playing PUBG a lot anyway, then you’re good to go. If you just dip in from time to time, you’re not missing anything that would be to your detriment. It’s just cosmetic and in no way affects playing the game.
A whole new map has been released, too!
Karakin, which feels very much like a smaller Miramar, with more of a Sanhok vibe. Much smaller than the other maps, this is for up-to 64 players as opposed to the usual 100.
That’s not so say that there’s less going on. Such a small space means that you’re never far from the action, or in my case, from getting killed.
PUBG has always been the king of the genre to me. The pacing of it is just perfect, and even though Karakin increases the pace, purely by being more compact and thrusting people closer together, it still keeps that PUBG feel.
Bringing with it sticky bombs and destructable walls has added a new dimension to gaining entry to buildings. Those ominous mobile ringtones letting everyone nearby know that there’s going to be a bang. I heard one go off when I was upstairs in a building, and suddenly I knew that the hunt was on.
Blowing through walls is fun as hell, too!
PUBG has taken away the red zone on Karakin, too. Replacing it with a black zone…..this one damages you even though you’ve taken refuge in a building. It’s small and quick, but it’s a real panic-inducing spot on the map.
I had to jump from a 1st storey window and hope for the best, just to get out of the zone.
I will always love Erangel, purely because I basically lived there for a long time. However, all of the new maps (Vikendi has been temporarily retired) are decent and provide that signature PUBG experience.
With hills, towns and little spots to try and hunker-down, I really quite enjoy Karakin. I’ve had a lot of time on here. Dropping to any point on the map is easy enough, too, because it’s so small.
Surviving there is a different story…..
State of the game
I keep abreast of PUBG news on Reddit/Discord/Twitter and always have my eye on the general consensus of things. And I’ve seen a lot of reports of constant disconnects, reminiscent of the initial Xbox release.
Honestly, though. I’ve not had a disconnect for months and months now. Certainly not in the latest update.
PUBG has been honed and re-worked a lot over the past year or so and all these little changes are making it a better experience.
I had no clue that you can now request ammo, and hand it to squad mates. No more dropping it and hoping they can pick it up without being killed.
There are road spikes to help disable vehicles which is so cool! There’s a motor glider (although I never have fuel…..), so you can take to the skies and have your partner rain-down fire on the people below.
The re-worked menus take a little while to comfortably navigate, and there’s definitely some lag when switching between sections. It isn’t really that big a deal though.
This isn’t a triple-A game that cost me £60. The polish isn’t there, but that’s part of the charm, to me. I’ve watched PUBG grow and improve for quite a while now, and I love it as much as I did when it first set it’s hooks into me.
Granted I’ve played more in the past week than I have in the past 3 months, but I always find myself dropping back in to see how things are going. Constantly working towards a chicken dinner…..
I’ve got squad dinners, but never solo. I’ve been close, and I’ll continue that pursuit. I bloody love PUBG and it’s in a great place now.
Cross-play with other PS4 and PC keeps the population up, and adds to the enjoyment (I love playing on Xbox and taking out a Playstation player, just because….).
PUBG won’t ever be that highly-polished experience that you might get from say Fortnite or Blackout. But that’s good. I want PUBG ot continue to be PUBG.
Right now it’s in good shape, with plenty of stuff to earn, plenty of map variety and plenty of players. What more could you want?
Keep it up PUBG Corporation!