In many ways, 2017 should be Playerunknown’s Battleground’s year. It’s a freak of nature, a gaming phenomenon that millions are talking about. We’ve all at least have heard of it, and most definitely watched someone play it if not playing it ourselves. PUBG regardless of what critics will say, is in the conversation because of its popularity. It’s the highest played Steam game based on averages. It is stuck in the top seller category and have been there for months now!
But popularity alone isn’t enough for any award. It comes down to the meat and potatoes – the game play, the depth of content, and in PUBG’s case, the multiplayer aspects. Some gaming sites are handing PUBG the GOTY award no questions asked. Others like Gamespot, have valid reasons for not doing so. The main argument here (and it makes sense) is that PUBG is still in beta. It wears the Early Access tag, which means the game isn’t even released yet. It is still in development, and changes are bound to happen. In any other medium, nothing wins awards for being incomplete. And that’s what the game is currently – incomplete.
Take nothing away from what it offers however. Multiplayer matches are awesome fun. The unpredictability of matches and player strategies, the chaos, the unintentional moments – there’s just so much magic that happens in-game. It’s the closest thing to a re-imagined Day Z, with a higher player base. It does a lot of things right too. BlueHole does listen to feedback somewhat, and they are now bringing the game to consoles. So why shouldn’t they get a nomination at least?
Verdict: Better Luck Next Year
Well, let’s not forget the negatives as well. For an Early Access title, issues are the norm. PUBG was plagued with glitches early in its existence which made for some pretty funny montages on YouTube. It wasn’t game breaking, but funny, yet still it is a thorn in a game’s side when one critique’s a game. And then, the Chinese hackers arrived in droves, ruining the fun for so many of us that we decided to take a break until the game sorted it out. That resulted in the ban apocalypse, with PUBG banning an average of 6,000 players a day. Issues like these would definitely leave a scar on an established fully release game, so all is fair.
Ultimately, PUBG will be one of the most talked about games this year. It’s just not going to be the game of the year.