Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds singlehandedly shot the battle royale genre to incredible heights of fame, and unsurprisingly continues to be on top of the mobile game charts even in 2021.
But any good game needs a major update to remain relevant, and PUBG Mobile received that under the title of ‘IGNITION’.
This update adds an overhaul to the game’s map with sci-fi-themed changes, a new game mode as an event, and even new things to use such as anti-gravity vehicles.
So, are the changes enough to keep PUBG mobile’s growth consistent and bring back those who got bored of the original game? Let’s play and find out.
The gameplay of PUBG Mobile is directly translated from the console version of the game and uses on-screen touch buttons for controls and things like muting players, a camera movement to see what's behind you, etc.
It can be very confusing for a new player to be presented with so many buttons on the screen, but you get used to it fast because most of them don’t require mandatory use.
Now if you only play mobile games, you will find the general controls good enough as it's similar to what most shooting games on the mobile platform have to offer.
But if you played the console version of the game first or emulated it on PC, the experience will feel unsatisfactory because aiming always needs a lot of rotation. People who aren’t using gamepads will have the same problem as you though, so it won’t be particularly unfair. However, if you don’t use gamepads but go against someone who does – you’re going to have a hard time.
In general, the matches last a specific amount of time, and it’s mostly pretty uneventful compared to games like Fortnite as you’ll just be going from building to building scavenging for stuff and occasionally run into a fire-fight - while always trying to stay within the ever-shrinking safe boundary of the map.
As for the content in the game, well, it's extremely oversaturated, as the developers have thrown in everything from other shooting games that they could find.
The one thing that hasn’t changed from older versions is that the majority of non-Erangel maps are mostly filled with bots rather than real players. The reason behind this is the fact that there are so many different maps and modes now, that it’s impossible to fill all of them with hundreds of real players at all times. Erangel is a map that comes with the game by default, so it’s no wonder that people play it the most.
The gameplay of the battle royale modes has remained unchanged over time, as even the much-advertised Ignition mode plays exactly the same way. You find loot, kill people, loot the dead people, find more people to kill, and stay within the circle. All that the recent update adds are things like deployable shields and anti-gravity vehicles – but the latter is so rare to find that you’ll be playing most of your matches without experiencing these things.
If you’re new to the game, you will certainly have a good time playing it because PUBG Mobile remains one of the best battle royale experiences on the mobile market.
However, if you were burnt out by playing the earlier renditions of the game and came back to give the new update another chance – you will find yourself bored within half an hour because there’s hardly anything that truly makes the game feel different.
The extra modes include things like Team Deathmatch, capturing bases, gun-game, and other modes with very slight variations to what is mentioned here already.
All of those modes are a decent break from the general formula of the game and can help you brush off some of your boredom – but these things are done much better by other games like Call of Duty: Mobile. Not to mention that most of the players that you’ll find in these modes happen to be bots, so that kills half the fun anyway.
Unless you’re someone who is bored of the genre, PUBG Mobile is a very entertaining game that will let you have fun with your friends and even let you make new ones along the way. Even though other games in the genre exist, PUBG still does what it does best and offers a console-like battle royale experience in the palm of your hands.
It’s just that if you want to enjoy the other modes or have had enough of the game, you’re better off giving something like Call of Duty: Mobile or Fortnite a chance.
The graphics of PUBG Mobile are great, as everything is full of detail and the different maps offer a fair bit of variety.
There are multiple options available for textures and frame rates for different mobile devices based on their capabilities, and the HD textures are sure to push your phone to its limits.
Since the game relies heavily on selling cosmetic items as a source of revenue, even things like planes, cars, and weapons have a lot of detail and different types of skins available for them.
There are hundreds of unique outfits to unlock at all times, with every season in the game adding more and more.
It’s definitely one of the best-looking games in the smartphone market, but it’s also something easy to feel a sense of repetition from if you’re not a new player because we have been seeing the game for too many years at this point.
The UI does a good job of holding all of the features together since there are far too many, but it does feel a bit ugly and annoying for the same reason. The game does not need so many random things crammed inside and the UI suffers due to that.
The polish of the game is pretty good in terms of the gameplay and graphics, but there are a few headaches in other departments. For example, if your internet is not 100% perfect, it will keep showing random loading times no matter what you’re doing and since the game desperately needs to connect to the internet for every single tap that you do even in the menus, it gets tedious to have to wait so often for everything.
Aside from these things, the UI and polish are both pretty decent for a game that is close to console-quality, but it could benefit a lot from a more grounded approach and removal of unnecessary features crammed in for no reason.
The sound design features directional sound, high-quality sound effects, and a couple of pleasant announcer voices to choose from. However, if you’ve been playing since its early days – you'll notice the theme still has not changed, and even when it does for events, the main rhythm remains the same.
So you’ll be better off just muting the game’s music forever.
That being said, the sound design of PUBG Mobile is still top-notch in comparison to most other mobile games.
PUBG Mobile is practically two different games. If you’re new to it, you will be hooked to the addicting battle royale experience and have dozens of hours of fun. The game has a lot to offer and there are new things to try that will keep you refreshed.
However, if you’re a returning player – you would be better off going back. Despite everything that the IGNITION update adds, the game does not feel different whatsoever and you’ll be bored to tears because of that. It’s a bit too slow and once you’ve had enough of it, you’re done.
It’s got everything a good battle royale game should have, but its worth to you depends on just how much you still care about that unchanged formula in 2021.