‘Battlegrounds’ keeps the competition at bay, players enticed

Cristhian Herrera , Senior Reporter

PlayerUnknown’s “Battlegrounds” is the second-best-selling PC game with more than 24 million copies sold in 2017. This number is expected to rise with its multi-platform release on Microsoft’s home console, the Xbox One. It also holds the record for the second-highest number of concurrent players surpassing both “Dota 2” and “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.”

The premise of the game is simple yet daunting: survive a 100-man battle royale death match while an ever-shrinking blue circle slowly chips away your hit points. The game does not do any hand-holding after players are dropped via plane onto two randomly picked 8×8 km maps by the server.

Although the genre is considered an action-shooter it could also be paired with the likes of suspense action games. Minutes can pass by without action while players, who are all initially armed with only their fists, search for randomly spawned supplies and gear to defeat the competition.

Surviving an encounter with a foe will likely mean you are low on both ammo and health but taking a breather is not an option. When you believe your character is safe from harm other players, smelling blood in the air, will discern your location to try to finish off a weak opponent. This forces players to never let their guard down.

Each match lasts around 20 minutes for the skilled (or lucky) players that survive the blue zone, random bombardments of dropped artillery, and of course other survivors. Matches tend to feel fresh every time thanks to the massively dense maps: Miramar and Erangel. But the never-ending cat and mouse chase is what keeps everyone on their toes and the feeling of outsmarting 99 other players is what has made PlayerUnknown’s “Battlegrounds” one of the most successful PC games in history.

Of course, it’s not without its faults. The game was in an early-access stage for nine months and saw its full release on December 20, 2017. During this period its mechanics have been overhauled multiple times and technical issues still plague the core game. Although rubber banding is not as severe as it was a couple of months ago some performance issues and bugs are still present. Yesterday the game’s developers released an anti-cheat update which promises to challenge the high number of cheaters who have been using programs to get an advantage within the game.