With the Xbox One soon to head off into the sunset thanks to the arrival of the Series X/S it’s worth stepping back to revisit some of the games that made an impact here during this generation. Not all of them are exclusive but each of them resulted in many hours spent glued to controllers and that’s all that really matters. 🙂
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) may not have been the first Battle Royale game but it was the one that defined the core gameplay loop that all others have followed. For me it wasn’t about who got the most kills but who was left there at the end. That meant for me a lot of games where I did little except hide but it was all part of the experience which sometimes more like a survival horror with the drawn out tension followed by that one scary moment and you’re dead. Though mechanically it’s still one of the more challenging games in the genre it’s popularity has been impacted by competitors who’ve been able to produce far more polished versions and iterate more quickly. As much as I like those other games I still have to give credit where it’s due as I spent a lot of time playing this long after they had arrived.
The Xbox One version of PUBG has never been the optimal way to play the game. The frame rate has been flaky and the user interface has been less than friendly but somehow it sucked me in and for a year I was regularly trying my best to get that elusive solo chicken dinner. Even with the massive improvements afforded by running the game on an Xbox One X it still was a difficult mountain to climb and one that I only achieved only recently. I don’t think there’s even been another game I’ve played on Xbox that so resoundingly beats me yet brings me back for more.
Fortnite, Apex Legends and Call of Duty Warzone have taken a great deal of publicity (and users) from PUBG over the last couple of years but none of them have the same deliberate pacing or ability to indirectly generate pressure on your choices quite like this game. It had such an impact on me I even bought a real “winner winner chicken dinner” t-shirt to celebrate my first squad win! 😉