Me and the entire world have been hearing a TON about PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds as of late, so I finally caved, jumped on to Early Access and it has been great. The format is as follows: 100 people (give or take) are all dropped on to an island with absolutely nothing but their wits, guile, and whatever insults they can think of before the plane leaves. They must then scavenge what they can whilst making their way in to an ever-decreasing circle on the map.
These are things that I thought in my brain whilst not winning any games. Some are game mechanics I wish I’d have known about, some are just things that amused me.
1. People are KEEN
After the server finds enough players for a game, everyone is loaded on to a cargo plane and flown across the island. Which direction it takes seems to be randomised, but it’s always good to look on your map before bailing. What I’ve noticed is a small group of players every single game seem content with just smashing the ‘F’ key and jumping as soon as possible. This absolutely scares the shit out of me, as it means as soon as I land there are going to be 20 other bloodthirsty maniacs ready to fill me in.
2. This is not Overwatch
I love Overwatch, and it took me all of about 5 minutes to realise that all the skills I’ve amassed playing Blizzard’s colourful shooter mean absolute dick here. No more diving in to a fight and figuring it out later. Players move slowly and with purpose, with one mistake meaning your game is over. I’ve been turned in to a colander many a time because I accidentally pressed ‘X’ instead of ‘C’. One button means that your crouch, the other holsters your weapon and turns you in to a defenceless human-shaped target.
3. Holstering your Weapon Isn’t all bad
What I did figure out whilst trying to take on an army bare-handed was that I can run faster with no weapon in my hands! Not quite sure how this works, as whatever isn’t in your actual hand is just strapped to your back. But when there’s a giant blue wall of death behind you, an extra few km/h might save your bacon.
4. Max Payne Had it Right
No, not jumping around in slow motion like some sort of… slow motion bunny? But painkillers! The bloody fella loved his painkillers. I didn’t quite get what they were for in PUBG, but some messing around inferred that painkillers and energy drinks give you a little bar above your health. Fill that bar up enough and you’ll run faster and also regain health over time! Since bandages and the like will only heal you to 75% this seems to be the only way of getting back to 100%. I’ve also noticed that most of the damage taken from the early blue walls of death can be mitigated by having your super bar filled up. Funky.
5. Anonymity Brings Out The Best in People
This absolutely is not true. The amount of people who still care for a deceased German dictator is fascinating. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the classic phrase ‘shut the f*ck up’ as much in such a short space of time, either. I like to just run away and find my own happy place during the build-up. Stay classy, San Diego.
6. Coming Second is the new First
I’ve never won a game. I’ve never gotten that sweet, sweet chicken dinner. I’ve come second on a few occasions though, and it’s at that point I console myself with the old adage ‘It’s not the winning, but the taking part’.
Some of the games I’ve played have been thrilling, some frustrating. Getting taken out by the blue barrier is gutting, but I nearly always know how and why I died, wether it was not giving myself enough cover and getting shot in the back, or poor time management when making my way towards the target area.
I’m definitely going to keep playing; I need to validate my life with a win. Duos and Squad play is next on the list, if I have any more points that aren’t really relevant I’ll be sure to write up another post.
I won! Or rather, WE won! Shortly after writing my Battlegrounds career off, me and two friends courageously battled our way through the filth and bad language and actually complete a squad match. It was all very exciting, I don’t think my heart could take another round.
You’ll notice the absolute baller 4 kills to my name, and also the fact that I didn’t have a single round left for my AKM. A close shave indeed!