Top Critic Average
The Battle Royale genre gets its first definitive success.
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has taken the military-sim gameplay popularized by games like ARMA and DayZ, boiled it down to its most exciting parts, and streamlined it into quick and accessible rounds of pure, hassle-free, survival-based action. Even though each game starts the same way, its remarkable ability to feel like a new, tense adventure each and every round has kept me coming back for hours on end.
PUBG takes the tradition of big-map survival games like DayZ and compresses it into digestible, 3-to-30-minute sprints that are reliably scary and low-key.
PUBG v1.0 on Xbox One runs smoothly, features three vastly different maps, and includes a ton of weapons, gear, and items to use in the deadliest online game. Its unique brand of tense, realistic shooting mixed with slow-paced tactical combat manages to stay fresh and exciting even after hundreds of matches. It makes coming back for another attempt at a "chicken dinner" victory hard to resist.
PUBG is one of the best multiplayer experiences of the generation, and as technically flawed as this Xbox One version currently is that fact still shines through.
PUBG is one of the best multiplayer experiences of the generation, and this is the best version of it so far – even if it's still a work in progress.
Playable, watchable, intense, and enjoyable gameplay makes it easy to see how this battle royale phenomenon took off
Battlegrounds manages to exist within the crowded shooter genre in an unfinished state, and feel both fresh and creatively complete. From its early access launch on March 23 to its official launch today, Dec. 20, its creators have had nine months to repair, polish and expand on their baby. That the most substantial updates have been improved server performance, vaulting and car horns speaks to the confidence Greene and his squad have in the game's foundation.
Despite glaring technical flaws, PUBG emerges as the most thrilling battle royal game to date.