“Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!” I first heard this line in the Hollywood heist drama movie 21. Nearly 10 years later, I heard some friends using the line randomly and wondered if they were late in watching that movie or I had been out of earshot on something new. I then learnt this was about an online battle game for mobile – ‘PlayerUnknown’s Battleground’ – and the frenzy around it.
The game is about being the last man standing on a virtual island, where you and 99 others are dropped from a fighter plane. These 99 opponents are not internet bots but real people joining from across the world. Unlike other online battle games, PUBG starts with a casual playback and becomes serious difficulty later.
With an average file size of 1.63GB on Android, PUBG is one of the heaviest mobile games because of its graphic-intensive playback. However, graphic detailing and mobile playback seem to miss the mark, especially on previous-generation smartphones like the Google Nexus 6P or the Samsung Galaxy S6. Even the current flagships Samsung Galaxy S9+, OnePlus 6 and Huawei Nova 3 show inconsistencies.
In PUBG, you as mercenaries and your opponents are left on an island with no ammo, guns or supplies – not even clothes. You collect everything of need to protect yourself. The game starts with a big circular play zone that makes players come close as the game continues and kill each other while trying to stay alive till the end.
PUBG can be played solo or in a team of two to four. Matching is automatic and quick. Once the game starts, you get to speak to your friends or chat with them using an on-screen chat box. The game can be played using an on-screen controller, a virtual joystick actually. After each game, your performance is judged on parameters like survival instincts, damage done, total kills, supplies collected, and support provided to team members.
Overall, PUBG is fun. The transition from casual to extremely difficult provides a new experience every time. In one game, you get the “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner” title and in the next you get killed in the first few seconds for want of a weapon.
Importantly, the game is free and allows in-game purchase. It is addictive, especially if you have friends to team up with. The gameplay is not lengthy but the desire to win makes you play in loop.