The funny thing about ‘Hunger Games’ and ‘Battle Royale’ games isn’t that they miss how awful those dystopian murdergames are, rather that they recreate the experience of the antagonists – those hated and feared few who relish the killing and thrive in murderland. They’re the Hunger Royale All-Stars, dozens of Kiriyamas and Catos thrown into murderlands where the would-be suicides and pacifists are already winnowed by not buying the game. The genre’s mighty popular these days — H1Z1: King of the Kill is the third most-played game on Steam — and today a new blooddrenched contender swaggers into the arena. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds [official site] has just entered early access, with some pedigree to its name.The eponymous PlayerUnknown is Brendan Greene, a chap who was behind Arma’s big Battle Royale mod and helped out on King of the Kill. He joined Tera developers Bluehole to work on a Hungerer with his own name on it, quite literally, and here it is.
PlayerUnknown’s Battleground airdrops dozens of players onto 64 square kilometres of murder island to scavenge for weapons and supplies, find vehicles, and ultimately try to off each other. Last murderer (or squad) standing wins, chummos.
Battlegrounds is £26.99/29,99€/$26.99 on Steam Early Access. Bluehole expect it’ll leave early access and launch properly within six months. They plan to use this time to add more features and content, following player feedback, and to make mod tools.
If you’ve been playing in the beta (or watching it – it’s topped 110,000 concurrent viewers on Twitch) then have a peek at what arrived in the launch day patch. Performance improvements, additional translations, and bug fixes, mostly.