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PUBG Mobile Review: Thoughtfully and faithfully adapted

While the game stands out among the competitors on the mobile platform, it lacks the essence that made the PC game so popular.

PUBG Mobile 8

Okay let’s get this clear at the outset, I am a hardcore PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds player on PC, so when the port for mobile was launched I was intrigued by it. Following the launch of restricted access iOS version of Fortnite, Bluehole and Tencent Games decided it’s time to take them on and came out with the mobile version of PUBG in all its glory for Android and iOS.

Now, I have tried both Fortnite and PUBG, but I have to admit that I am not a fan of the former one. PUBG on the other hand I am hooked on to. I play PUBG on PC everyday for long hours and I am more than used to the setting on PC. And when I thought of the same gameplay on a smartphone, I admit that I didn’t think it was possible. But Tencent Games, the company that ported the game to mobile, actually did a decent job and the gameplay experience is close to the real one, barring the limitations of the platform.

The size of the PUBG Mobile game is 783MB and I played the game on my Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

Interface

As you launch the game you will be greeted by the names of the sponsors and taken to a screen which would ask for login details. Now here things have been made convenient by Tencent and you could just use your Facebook credentials to quickly login, or login as a Guest.

Once past the Login screen, I am greeted by the Daily Login Bonus screen where players are rewarded for logging in each day. In the main menu, the player’s character is displayed in the center in a manner reminiscent of the PC game.

The top right of the screen has tabs namely Crew, Rank, Inventory, Supplies, Mail and Settings. Crew is an option in the game to create your own crew or team with friends and be known by that name when playing. Rank shows your current rank and the worldwide leaderboards according to servers, and has separate ranking for Survival, Kill and Season.

The Inventory tab takes you to the inventory screen where players can check what items they have and dress up their in-game avatar. And just like in the PC version of the game, the mobile version has crates for clothes which can be purchased using the in-game currency known as Battle Points. These crates can be obtained from the Supplies tab which then show up in the Inventory tab.

The Mail tab contains all the invites, and mails from friends and the devs. The settings tab next to it is rather important. Though the game automatically identifies the hardware of you phone and changes the settings accordingly. You always have an option to change them in case you are not happy. I changed mine since the game for some reason choose the medium settings for my phone which should run fine on the highest settings.

Your profile level, image and Battle Points are displayed right beneath the settings tab and the bottom of the screen houses the invite friends tab along with the global chat, Missions and Events tab. Inviting friends is an easy job as the game displays all you Facebook friends that have the game. Completing daily missions reward the player with experience. This is used to level up the profile.

The option to select a server is on top of the screen and the game mode selection is on the top left beneath the Start button.

Gameplay

The elements in the game are essentially the same as the full fledged PC version and all the weapons, attachments and armor are all present.

The top right corner shows the map which can be interacted with to mark and zoom in. Players can move the the camera with the camera button to look around and this is useful since only the Third Person Perspective is available on mobile.

Shooting is a simple business here, and all players need to do is point in the general direction of the enemy and start firing. The auto aiming takes care of the rest, and though this sounds like it takes the fun out of the game, without this (there is an option to turn it off) you won’t be killing half as many in the game. And opponents will definitely be using the auto aiming, so it’s pointless to not use it.

Switching guns has also been made simple with whatever attachments are on the present gun are automatically added to the one you pick up. Looting also had some help and the AI will automatically detect better items and pick them up. Healing has also been made convenient with the AI detecting whichever is the best healing item to use in the current health and automatically showing it for use.

Moving and running is close to the experience of PC and walking and running can be toggled by extending the virtual joystick. And unlike the PC version, the mobile version of PUBG shows the ping on the top of the screen.

Maneuvering vehicles has also been reworked and when inside a vehicle, players will be given a accelerate and decelerate button as well as buttons to turn left and right.

The game performs rather well and without bugs, but a consistent problem that I faced was ping. When playing on PC my ping stays stable, but while on the same network, the mobile version of the game faces serious lag where the screen freezes.

Verdict

A port of PUBG can hardly be called a replacement for the PC version as it does not offer any cross platform capabilities. The gameplay is reminiscent of the PC version, and is rather good for a standalone mobile game. But if you are looking to replace your experience for the PC version with the mobile one I would say that you will feel a lack of the soul that the PC verison offers.

When we compare it to the other prominent battle royale game on phones, like Rules of Survival, which incidentally is from Tencent Games as well and inspired from PUBG, PUBG Mobile stands out as a much better experience with more refinements.

Rating: 4/5

 

  • Published Date: March 29, 2018 10:10 AM IST