As of September 4, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) had officially launched out of Game Preview on Xbox One. The game had a bit of a rocky time during its preview period with games constantly rubber banding, buildings, and objects failing to render, and an overall crappy experience.
PUBG had been in Game Preview since December 12, 2017, roughly around the same time the game officially launched out of Early Access on PC. While the Xbox One version was behind in terms of both content and graphical fidelity, players flocked to the game on Xbox One, despite a less-than-perfect experience.
Having played the game both during its early and late stages on Xbox One, before its launch earlier this month, I could see that PUBG Corp. was indeed making an effort to improve the game while at the same time trying to keep it fresh by bringing in new features from Miramar, the game’s desert map, to other features such as new game modes and limited time events.
During this time though I couldn’t quite escape many of the bugs and errors that have plagued the title’s console release, from incredibly slow rendering to the game crashing multiple times. So to say I was apprehensive about reviewing the Xbox One version of the game now it’s in full release, was an understatement.
That being said, I have to hand it to PUBG Corp. as they’ve managed to fix some of these issues since its entry into Game Preview. During my time with the game this past weekend I found that I rarely suffered from lag or rubberbanding of any kind. I managed to drop into both the game’s original map, Erangel, as well as the game’s newest, much smaller map, Sanhok, without an issue.
Map and asset rendering also happened a lot quicker too. Buildings no longer looked like melted blocks of PlayDoh and instead resembled a house of some sort. Saying that, some of the smaller assets such as decorative items inside buildings, like sofas, tables, and random bits of debris, didn’t show instantly, but who really cares if a bit of trash hasn’t rendered in the game.
Overall gameplay seems to have somewhat improved too, gunplay feels somewhat solid and general actions such as opening doors, hopping out of windows, and picking up items are more responsive.
Having played over 100 hours on the PC version of PUBG, I will say that the Xbox One version is definitely on par with earlier versions of the PC counterpart and what you’ll experience on console is pretty much the same experience on PC – at least in regards to the gameplay.
That being said, PUBG on console is far from perfect and this is where the console vs PC debate comes in. As the game requires a fair bit of inventory management, usually on the fly, during tense situations, mouse and keyboard input is optimal. On a console, however, PUBG‘s inventory management is clunky, slow, and a complete ball-ache. Simply removing an attachment from a weapon shouldn’t be such a chore flipping through several columns with the shoulder buttons.
While PUBG Corp. has done all they can to make it fairly straightforward, the intense gameplay found in PUBG doesn’t really make for any meaningful inventory management. You’ll often grab what you can and make do – at least that was my experience with the game. Any time I tried to dive into inventory management I felt an overwhelming sense of vulnerability. Honestly, it wasn’t worth the faff.
The game’s controls overall are quite complex, and while there are several controller configurations, none of them feel quite right. This isn’t necessarily a new problem, and it’s a problem which exists outside of PUBG. Bringing PC-first titles to consoles, especially ones that rely heavily on keyboard and mouse inputs, never make for a great experience.
Overall though, PUBG has become a pretty solid port on Xbox One. The game isn’t perfect, that’s for sure, but neither is its PC counterpart. But its 1.0 release on console is a damn-sight better experience than what it was during its Game Preview days, so you’ve got to hand it to them.
Would I recommend picking up PUBG on console? It depends. If you’ve played the game heavily on PC you’ll definitely be able to pick out the flaws like the hair all over the lollipop you’ve just dropped on the floor. If you simply avoided the game during its stint in Game Preview due to the bugs, I can say for sure that the 1.0 release is a definite improvement and a much more stable game than it was.