Reviews - Updated on April 12, 2022

Almost every game that goes into release is easy enough to give a balanced assessment, subjective – due to the prevailing impressions and mood – or objective – if the game is meticulously disassembled into cogs.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is the sort of game that is almost impossible to give a final rating on any system: not amazing or trash, not 10/10 or 2/10. Like many other “eternal” games, PUBG causes a flurry of emotions that invariably overpower each other with their onslaught, preventing a consensus from being reached within itself.

Why is PUBG loved and hated at the same time?

See the car over there, behind the hangar? An excellent bait – an enemy who has just sat behind the wheel will become an ideal target.

Terrible end or horror without end

“Eternal” games (this is not a term – just a convenient word) – multiplayer session projects with unlimited potential that can absorb all your free time alone.

Although we are accustomed to equating interactive entertainment with other forms of media that retell stories and immerse us in fictional worlds (cinema, literature), their role in leisure and everyday life is completely different. For starters, it is only in games that we can stretch our stay in the world we like for an ugly long time, and any decent example of media leaves melancholy behind: the adventure is over, although the viewer (reader, player) still does not want to leave the world so close to him. This is also why video games value duration, and why some people are willing to build it up in the most brutal ways.

In the “eternal” game, the duration is eternal. Here the world consists not so much of a fictional universe, but of an infinite variety of game situations, expectations of bright events, and you can return here as much as you like. Over time, a person turns any constancy into a habit, tradition or ritual – the same happens with any “eternal” game. I will not say that this is the only reason why people play five thousand hours of Dota 2, but our internal conformity, common to all, is definitely to blame.

And the more time a person devotes to an occupation (work, hobby or another person), the brighter he sees the shortcomings, the roughness seems to be potholes, but at the same time, attachment grows. So it turns out that after five thousand hours you can tell in all colors why Dota 2 is shameful garbage, but you will continue to play it anyway.

I have not spent five thousand or five hundred hours in PUBG, but I can still explain what it binds – and what makes you hate yourself.

Why is PUBG loved and hated at the same time?

The bus feels best on the highway, while driving it off-road is a desperate business and is fraught with loss of HP out of the blue.

Attraction factors

• Perhaps the most important trump card of the game is an unprecedented level of excitement achieved by such seemingly simple methods. One hundred people, a huge map, the safe zone narrows with each move, and only one will win. Why wasn’t Battle Royale invented earlier, it’s so obvious! And scorchingly attractive. Every minute the list of survivors is shrinking. Subjectively, this is assessed as an achievement of the player himself, even if he was just hiding in the mountains. And since the circle is getting narrower and narrower, there is a growing danger of accidentally getting hit by a bullet, at the wrong time to enter the house, at the wrong time to leave. At the same time, all other survivors are doomed to the same mistakes that must be exploited. At any second, slightly nervous looting is replaced by a lightning-fast, adrenaline fight, the price of which is not “loot” or the number of murders, but first place. Hands tremble a little even in anticipation of such a skirmish, not to mention a successful conclusion.

• The principles of PUBG mechanics are not just obvious – they are understandable at some basic level of the subconscious. You grab the “trunk”, try to survive, kill everyone you meet. I’m willing to bet that PUBG could be a middle-aged dude’s replacement for World of Tanks – it’s probably the only shooter the mechanics of which wouldn’t have to be explained to the dudes. The vein of the “tank” theme, so close in the CIS space, has already been developed to the end.

• PUBG does not contain a single recipe for survival. That is, I am sure that with the help of a special formula you can calculate a line of behavior, following which you will significantly increase your chances of getting into the top 10 and above, but its existence is guaranteed until the next patch at most. In general, PUBG allows you to bend your line: break into the very “meat” from two legs and rely on shooter skills, hide for as long as possible and guard enemies like a spider, move from one sniper position to another and kill opponents through half a map (if you find an eight-fold sight ). The player does not have to change their habits to stay afloat in PUBG, and changing habits is painful, and, to be honest, you don’t want to do this.

Why is PUBG loved and hated at the same time?

In a detachment, the first thing that is easy to fail is a joint landing.

• PUBG puts pressure on the ancient mechanisms of our monkey mind, forcing “loot”. It’s the most fun part of the game! To look for “gun” after “gun”, replacing the inferior ones with good ones, and the good ones with “imb ones”. Pick up modifications, look for sights with increasing magnification. Stuff your pockets with ammo, bandages and grenades. Even with a full set of armor and weapons, you will still be tempted to search that corpse over there, although there is no longer any chance of finding something better. It doesn’t matter if it’s better or not better. The main thing is to find it and put it in your backpack!

• The perception of the enemy is changing. In most shooters (and other online games as well), the enemy is evaluated as a target that can kill. The enemy’s behavior is not perceived in any way separately and remains only a part of your overall behavior pattern. In addition, contact with the enemy immediately results in a skirmish or other form of battle, and ends, as a rule, with death or flight.

In PUBG, contact with the enemy is a different story. You eavesdrop on each other, stalking each other, not daring to fire a shot unless it’s guaranteed to kill, and when the fight begins, a painful clash of your fighting qualities lies ahead. Agility, orientation to the terrain, hearing and positioning – if you are very close. Endurance, accuracy and caution – if far away. And in some cases, you won’t shoot at each other at all. Sometimes you don’t even see it. Close enough to such a multidimensional model of relations “friend or foe” is perhaps Rainbow Six Siege.

• Like other “eternal” games, PUBG allows you to spend your time as you like. Forty minutes for one or two calls or the whole evening – for a series of victories and defeats. Almost all multiplayer games have this kind of flexibility, but PUBG has almost no “metagame”, which means the game won’t push you to play a dozen more matches to unlock a new hero. There are no new heroes here, all weapons are picked up in the field, and there are only clothes in the cases.

Why is PUBG loved and hated at the same time?

I guessed where the last survivor would jump out from, but with a fright I put half a magazine through the door. You’re going to be crazy here!

Rejection factors

Over time, PUBG is showing its dark side brighter and brighter, which would not have time to spoil the mood if the gaming experience was comparable in time to a single game. But, fortunately or unfortunately, here you will spend many days of pure time, and therefore, sooner or later, something will start to enrage.

• The heavy legacy of Arma – in PUBG there is little enough realism not to die from one bullet, but enough to not understand where it came from. A good, intelligent enemy will always try to hook you in such a way that you do not have time or cannot assess the direction of the blow. And if he also properly adapted to the management or just an excellent shooter, death will be instantaneous (at least in solo mode). The cry “Yes, your mother, where from ?!” guaranteed, especially if you spent the last half hour hiding flawlessly from enemies. It is best to maintain Buddhist calmness and understand how he was framed for a shot, because two are to blame for any death – the shooter and the victim: one was marksman, the other was not careful enough.

• This trouble logically comes from the previous one. The longer the game lasts, the higher the cost of a mistake, reaching a simply monstrous value. It is enough not to slam the door behind you, to leave the car in the wrong place, not to look back once or twice – and that’s it, the song is sung, but you can’t see the first place. From the point of view of mechanics, such a mistake looks insignificant, but its price, however, is your life. Because of this, PUBG is able to bring to an incredible degree of nervous tension, to complete paralysis of the will, when the situation escalates, they shoot on the right, the border of the zone creeps on the left, and it’s at least a dozen steps to run to your buggy. The game exerts such pressure that even a well-balanced shooter runs the risk of becoming terribly dull and, therefore, losing. The whole game is a minefield.

But after death, there is some relief – PUBG immediately throws it into the menu, as soon as you die. Only in team modes you can watch your comrades while they are alive – then the losing situation may well drag on.

Why is PUBG loved and hated at the same time?

The red zone marks the place of spontaneous bombing, so everyone usually runs out of it like cockroaches from the kitchen.

• “Lag” will easily ruin your person if it starts at the wrong time. And the further, the more negative experience accumulates, aggravating each subsequent failure. Even without tragedy, when an accidental freeze results in death, the very presence of framerate drops and lag adds to the tension, as if reminding of the player’s extreme vulnerability at such moments.

***

As I mentioned, the longer you play, the stronger, deeper and more painful the negative experience becomes. And I’m sure my list is incomplete. Let’s discuss in the comments what would be worth adding there.

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