“We’re surrounded and I’ve got no ammo, what are we going to do?” My teammate is breathless over his mic. We’ve been stuck in a two-story farmhouse for over ten minutes, taking fire while occasionally executing whatever random, unlucky soul sprints up to our staircase amidst the gunfire.
My four-man squad has been ripped to shreds over the last half hour. After dropping from an airplane holding 100 players divided into 25 teams with only one goal — be the last standing — we’ve sprinted our way across Miramar, the sprawling brand-new Mexico-inspired map Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds just rolled out for its official release. We know there are at least two snipers that have a bead on us, and we just heard the footsteps of another squad around the corner. I pop an energy drink and count my ammo as shots echo in the distance. “We’ve gotta move now. The circle is closing. We stay here for another two minutes and we’re dead.”
“We go out that door and we’re dead,” my teammate replies.
We pull out our map and consider our options as quickly as possible. In PUBG,the map randomly gets smaller and smaller inside of a safe zone every three minutes. Get stuck outside of it, and you’re slowly killed via deadly poison. In our particular situation, it’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
The plan: We decide to make use of PUBG‘s new vaulting techniques introduced in the 1.0 update and crash through a second story window. From there, we’ll sprint in a serpentine pattern, throw our only smoke grenade for some cover, and, god-willing, survive.
As soon as our boots hit the dirt I’m shot directly in the chest and drop down to my knees, bleeding out. “Just go!” I scream as a chorus of gunfire erupts around us. The squad that was stalking us has made their presence known to the snipers on the hill that have been calmly staking out our little safehouse.
I’m crawling aimlessly under a crossfire as my health bar ticks down trying to relay what I can see to my lone, surviving friend. He’s sprinting like he’s trying to qualify for the Olympics, only he is either going to die or win a chicken dinner. The circle is closing, and the snipers are caught outside of it. I see one of them drop as the other hustles down the hill. We might just do this. “Keep running!”
“I’m hit! I’m being shot!” My teammate is bellowing, cracking the levels in his mic and causing me to take off my headset and bury my head in my hands. “I’m dead,” he says quietly. There were 12 players left. We survived when 84 other people couldn’t. We almost had it.
So goes PUBG, one of the most addictive and infuriating shooters in modern gaming history. The hardcore nature of the game combines the best parts of cult-classic movie Battle Royale and the hardcore nature of zombie survival granddaddy DayZ into a concise and focused experience that now, with its full release, is a delight to play.