PUBG is a phenomenon. If you don’t know what this previously PC-only battle-royale game is by now, you must have spent 2017 under a rock, given it has sold over 17 million copies.
But can this complex PC shooter ever work well on a console?
PUBG is a pretty complex game, combining 3rd and 1st person elements with scavenging, inventory management, exploration, driving and shooting. Unsurprisingly, there’s an awful lot of keyboard buttons and commands the game uses on PC.
The game has been ported nicely to Xbox, but inevitably there have been some compromises. Some of the console inputs requires you to hold a button down (even for reloading) and currently there’s no remapping options or alternative control schemes.
There’s also no tutorial (although the same can be said for the PC version) which makes learning the layout a pretty tedious task. There’s also some things I’ve just never actually got to work, such as zooming in with a scope. I have no idea whether this is a bug, my own incompetence, or the control layout being wrong, but it’s frustrating to be in this position.
With this exception though, the gunplay and driving still work well, and as the game doesn’t support keyboards or mice, everyone is on the same playing field.
Some high-level PC players also report there are cheaters gaming the system on PC, which should be significantly more difficult on the Xbox. However, whilst these are definitely good points, the Xbox version will be behind the PC version in terms of features for some time to come and there’s also some performance issues which affect the overall playability of the game itself from time to time.
Over 1 million players logged onto the PUBG servers in the first 48 hours, a sign of just what an extraordinary game this is and the popularity it has with streamers. Remarkably though, the servers mostly held up during this period.
The game doesn’t always run perfectly, and sometimes this is down to the net code. The staging area seems most badly affected, when all 100 players are in a confined space, but other busy areas can cause the game to drop frames, and one match did also suffer from some additional lag for the first few minutes. It wasn’t game breaking, but enough to be distracting and cause a little motion sickness as my player was prone to jerking position at random every few seconds.
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