Posted June 17, 2017 by Andrew Cathie in Feature

I’m Addicted To PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

While I love online co-operative gaming, I’ve never been able to get into online competitive gaming. While my skills certainly aren’t terrible, I don’t have the twitch reflexes that others have honed over years of competitive situations. So, imagine my surprise when I began watching other’s play PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and found myself desperately wanting to jump into the game myself. After weeks of watching videos a friend gifted me the game so that we could play together and it’s safe to say that I’ve quickly come to love the battle royale.

There’s something in the basic gameplay loop that I find intrinsically fascinating. You and up to 99 other players eject from the back of a plane onto an island that is otherwise uninhabited. You begin with nothing but the clothes on your back, as you make a mad dash towards the closest building to find whatever equipment you can. After searching your first house you find nothing, so you madly dash to another. As you get towards it you begin to wonder, has someone else already made it here? Is someone just around the corner with a gun ready to wipe me out? The more you explore, the more this simultaneous feeling of excitement and dread grows inside you. You know there is better equipment out there, but is checking another house worth the risk of running into another player? Should you instead just camp for a while, planning your next move? But what if someone comes into the house you’re in and you’re under-equipped and an easy target? These are just some of the thoughts that begin to swirl in my mind as I play. At this point, I’m only two minutes into my game.

I’ve never felt a cavalcade of emotions like that when playing a competitive game in the past, and it largely comes from the game’s premise and format. You’re not in a small area searching for 11 other people to wipe out before respawning, you’re on a wide, open map where 100 people could easily hide and not be easily found. You could spend a few minutes wandering the map and not find anyone, or you could be shot within seconds of being in open space. The size of the map and the number of players make the game wild and unpredictable at all times. Camping away from others is a viable option, but as the playable area of the map is decreased by a wall of blue lightning, you eventually have to move. As the available space decreases and the player count ticks ever downward, feelings of elation and trepidation begin to swell. You’re getting closer and closer to winning, but you’re also getting ever closer to others who have made an artform from death.

And so, you make it to the final thirty, or the final ten, or the final fifty, and you finally succumb to the reaper’s scythe. Do you feel disappointed? Yes. Do you think you could have done better? Yes. Do you want to take a break? No. Do you want to jump straight back in and feel that rush of exhilaration again as you jump out of the plane? Yes. Do you want to feel that maddening indecisiveness take hold again as you work out what to do next? Yes. Do you want to try once again to be the sole survivor? Hell yes. Within a couple of minutes you’re back on the island with almost a hundred other players, ready to go through the cycle of emotions once again.

There’s no doubt that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is rough around the edges. The graphics aren’t great, there’s some janky animation and frames drop regardless of your rig, but the game transcends all of that with ease. Those feelings of excitement, of trepidation, of dread and of exhilaration combine to create an experience that leave no room for anything else. At the end of the day, it’s quite safe to say, that I’m addicted to PlayerUknown’s Battlegrounds.

Andrew Cathie

Rocket Chainsaw's premier Fantasy-loving Editor. I basically play anything and everything that looks like it could be fun or interesting.


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