Forgot to mention I went on vacation. Sorry about that, but hey, I’m back now. And that was “SynCaine life updates”. Moving on.
I picked up PlayerUnknown’s BattleGround (PUBG) a few days prior to vacation, and have somewhere around 150-200 games under my belt now, including about a dozen or so wins. Not a great ratio, but not terrible either, especially considering FPS games are easily my weakest genre in terms of competitive gaming.
The game is a battle royale style game; 100 people drop from a plane onto an island, looking for weapons, armor, and meds/boosters, and the last man (or squad) standing wins. To encourage the action, the playing area gets smaller as time ticks down, and if you are caught outside the area, you take damage and can eventually die.
Being a PvP game, the initial learning curve is a bit steep. You need to get a handle for the shooting mechanics (they are pretty solid, if not top-tier for a FPS), the different weapons, and of course the island and it’s layout. The island is rather large, with a dozen or so hotspots for gear, along with countless smaller houses that also contain loot. As you play, you start to learn where in a particular building loot can spawn, how to quickly spot drivable vehicles from pre-set ones, and how to loot quickly/efficiently. Time is always ticking, so the slower you go, the faster everyone else is in terms of gaining loot or positioning themselves.
Once you have the basics down, you can start focusing on how best to play around the shrinking circle, or where the best ‘ending area’ is in each zone. You also start to get better at identifying weapons by sound, as well as being able to pinpoint a shooters location. These all take time, and as you learn, most of it comes from dying and trying again.
The ‘fast track’ to learning is to play your early matches very aggressively. Drop into hotspots and fight it out. You are going to die, but 5 minutes of learning gunplay and fast looting is better than 25 minutes of hiding in a house only to be shot once you are in the top 20+ and clueless. The goal is of course to win, so you want to improve until you can actually win, which means learning the hard way.
This is especially important if you are going to play duo or 4 man (squad), which IMO are the far better modes compared to FFA. Squad in particular plays very well, both because you can somewhat customize what role people play (one sniper + covering fire, or maybe more snipers if the loot gods are good), and because the firefights are more intense vs just always going 1v1 against someone. I also think the intensity of the final moments, especially when its just your squad vs another, are awesome to experience with 3 friends in voice chat. For me the FFA mode really is just training for multiplayer.
PUBG is also the first game of this type I’ve played, having skipped both DayZ and H1Z1, so there is a certain newness to it that not everyone might have. Having said that, I think anyone who enjoys online shooters can enjoy PUBG, just be sure to find some friends to play it with.
My son has had good results finding pickup groups on a PUBG discord channel. Makes for quality duo or squad matches even not knowing the people he’s grouping with. Obviously playing with actual friends is better but it seems you can do reasonably well with just PUG PUBG.