Skydive into Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds for an intense thrill ride, pitting you against everyone else. In this Third Person Battle Royale game out of Korea, the pressure is on from all sides as each other player in the game is out to kill. With no re-spawn and a constant search for weapons, it’s Kill or Be Killed in Battlegrounds.

A Long Time Coming

Playerunknown, aka Brendan Greene, didn’t just wake up and create Battlegrounds, it’s been a labor of love since 2012, when Greene started playing around with modding. Back then, he wasn’t into many games, but he discovered the modding scene. Starting with Arma 2, moving to Arma 3, and eventually DayZ, once he learned that you could mod and script within games like these, it renewed his passion. Eventually, he got the idea for DayZ Battle Royale mode.

After this mod was decently popular, he was approved by H1Z to help bring King of the Kill to launch. Greene made a point that “not many modders get that opportunity,” and is thankful to create a new genre in gaming. He was able to create the genre, but King of the Kill cemented it. After a while on this title, the time came to move on and Greene spoke with a producer from Bluehole in Korea. Their ideas for a new game matched up, and a year later here we are.

Brendan Greene, aka Playerunkown on left, creator of Battlegrounds

Work For It

Battle Royale is a relatively new genre in gaming, with Playerunknown introducing it with his mod of DayZ. In short, the goal is to be the last one living at the end of the round. Players enter the large map and must immediately start fighting for resources. Weapons are strewn over the playing area, and after some time the “safe” area begins to shrink, forcing players to have more interactions and kill each other faster. This encourages a high intensity match during the whole duration.

When it comes to Battlegrounds, Brendan made it a point that this wasn’t going to be an easy game. In reference to the ever-closing ring of safety, he informed that “the blue zone is deliberately punishing. It will kill you in 3 hits, it’s very brutal.” It was very purposefully designed to be tough like that, Greene is looking for a hard game. He stated that “it may take a few times to do stuff. You can cook grenades but it’s not obvious, and n00bs can kill themselves accidentally this way.”

In Battlegrounds,  there will be an ELO based ranking system. Greene indicated that the team is tweaking and tuning during Early Access so that the final game has a solid and reliable ranking system. There may be a time that some inexperienced players are inserted in a higher bracket, but mostly players should be evenly matched with those around their skill level. Luckily, they aren’t starting completely from scratch, as Arma 3 was a great testing ground for them for ranked matches. As a result, they can carry it to Battlegrounds without much difficulty.

Realistic, but not TOO Realistic

There will be a few different battlemodes to dive into, and currently there are solo and duo modes. These are pure Free For All, and teams of just 2 players working together trying to live until the end. When asked about larger teams, Greene indicated that the team was considering 4 or 5 people. A team of 2 would still be able to join servers set up for a 5 man team. Therefor, if you’re gung ho and willing to go in with just the two of you, can do gurrilla fighting.

In an intense game such as Battlegrounds, the authenticity and realism is a big factor. As such, players “can use suppressors and they don’t eliminate sound.” Especially coming from a background with Arma, Greene had a lot of feedback to be a true simulator, and those who wanted a bit less realism. Instead, he is “trying to do midway between Arma 3 and H1Z1.  Another example of this incorporation, the team of engineers are trying to incorporate air drag, but it’s proving to be quite difficult. Some things like this they’d like to try, so that it’s realistic but not super realistic. In an overly dramatized format, blood sprays are a bit more dramatic than they would be in real life. In addition, if you get hit with a frying pan there is a very loud “thunk” that is way louder and no where near what a frying pan would sound like. But it’s fun to “thunk” an enemy to death!

Early Access Available

Players can get in on the action right now, as Early Access is now available for Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds. Greene and the team are wanting to have a large volume of people to test, as they are looking for large volume of feedback from users. The more data they get, the more informed they can be when it comes to full launch. Part of the benefit of having so many people play the game in closed beta is that those invovled are passionate about the game. The players regularly post on forums and other ways of communication, so much so that Greene is “blown away by the support of the community”. When they have server issues, the community still rallies around them to support, rather than criticism for having issues.

After initially buying the game, players will be able to purchase crates with points earned in game. From the crates will be drops of cosmetic items so player will be able “to put tattoos on your arm and face scars”. The cost of a crate will go up with each purchase to limit the number of purchases per week. For those people who won’t be able to play enough  to purchase their earned crates, the team is considering, but not guaranteeing that there will be an ability to unlock the crate over time. In addition to tattoos, there will be limited edition skins. The focus is creating a real and valuable economy.

As stated, Early Access is available for a base price of 29.99 up through launch. This phase is planned to last for about 6 months. During this time, Battlegrounds is not going to add huge amounts of new features. “Overall the base game is solid now, and we jut want to improve performance.”

About The Author

Bobby C
Director, Editorial/Reviews

Bobby C is a veteran FPS and adventure gamer, starting with the NES and Super Mario Bros. The game that really started his love for the FPS Genre was Goldeneye for the N64. Since then, the love grew. From casual, to semi-pro COD with Modern Warfare 2 and 3, and back to casual, it’s a bad week when there isn’t at least 15 hours of games played.