App Reviewed on: iPad Pro 10.5
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PUBG Mobile is a tricky beast to sum up since there are so many factors to it. It’s competitive, and decently laid out for a mobile shooter. Plus it's a damn close representation of its parent PC/console game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
Would I recommend it? Of course. Do I like it personally? Not really, no. That’ll raise some eyebrows, but bear with me.
PUBG Mobile is a third-person shooter which champions the popularly used ‘battle royale’ layout. In a collection of 100 people, you’re ferried onto a plane, have to parachute to an isolated island, loot wherever you land, hopefully not get killed in the first 30 seconds, and ultimately be the last man standing.
Doing that is a lot harder than it sounds, however, since everyone’s out to get you. Anyone who’s played the game before will know that it’s all about kitting up, happening upon the best weapons and upgrades, responding fast to the sound of shooting, and remembering to heal.
Taste my bullets
Aside from running for your life or heading into the belly of the beast, guns a’blazing, you can hop in a selection of cars and drive around the map – either for the sake of speed or running people over for fun.
Both the controls for regular combat and driving are more simple than I’d anticipated. Sure, the UI is incredibly crowded with 12+ buttons, but everything is clear, neat, and easily accessible for the most part.
My one gripe with the controls is that the spot where you slide your thumb to look around hovers dangerously close to the ‘shoot’ button, and it’s easy to accidentally blow your load. Usually this results in death or just scaring the bejeezus out of yourself.
The vehicular controls are also surprisingly easy, offering up buttons to move forward and back and side-to-side, to sound your horn, or to switch your seat (which would come in useful for a squad match).
Every few minutes the safe zone shrinks while a large, deadly force-field pushes you and the remaining survivors closer together. Stepping outside the boundary, or in the ever-changing red zone, will take off a good chunk of your health so keep an eye on the map.
This town ain’t big enough
Despite its pedigree, a major issue is the game’s framerate. It’d go through minutes at a time where it’d be totally fine, followed by minutes where it jumped around from scene to scene. In a reaction-based shooter, that’s not particularly ideal.
If you prefer a deeper, more detailed battler with longer matches to play, PUBG Mobile is pretty perfect. It’s a huge and complex experience where you have to know your gear and keep an eye on the horizon if you want to end up eating that tasty chicken dinner.
Like I said, I don’t like it personally – but that’s because I suck at it and have a short attention span. Mechanically speaking, it’s the full PUBG experience on mobile and that’s nothing short of amazing.
Plus, it’s free to play. Whether you’re dead-set or on the fence about picking it up, it only takes a stable WiFi connection and the tap of a button, so you may as well give it a go. Don’t blame me if you get addicted, though.