The creator of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds [official site] has shown off corners of a desert map coming to the early access Battle Royale 'em up with a future update. Yeah yeah it looks a bit like Fallout: New Vegas's nuclear wasteland but the real point is: a bicycle is visible in one screenshot. Is this a cheeky tease of rideable bicycles coming? We can only hope. Will the bicycle have a ringable bell? We can only dream!
You see that in the second screenshot? Poking its back wheel around the corner? It might just be a map prop there for decoration (because bicycles are an essential part of desert decor?) but let's assume:
1) This is a bicycle I can ride;
2) This bicycle is faster than running and quite quiet;
3) This bicycle has a bell I can ring;
4) Several bell variants exist, including a rare broken grinding bell;
5) This bicycle can always be found when I want one;
6) This bicycle lets one of my pals sit on my handlebars as another takes a backie while the third either stands on the pegs or runs alongside (no strong preference).
Because if it were any other way, why would you even bother?
I'm mighty excited by the prospect of bicycles in Plunkbat. Between this and the upcoming climbing, vaulting, and diving, it seems to be taking clunky military-style combat somewhere slightly more agile - and unconventional. Sure, using big guns and explosives to escape a siege is a lark, but I'm definitely up for slipping out a window and quietly pedalling away.
My favourite parts of Plunkbat are slightly scrappy, items I can get by with but need to make work for me. I'd take a bicycle and an UMP over a jeep and an M249 any day. High-end gear is boring, just like camouflage. This is probably why my first win only came last weekend.
Bicycles are so great and it's a huge shame they appear casually in so few games. My favourite good-times virtuabikes are both from Bernband creator Tom van den Boogaart, who has bicycles for ducks (with such cheery bells!) in his upcoming Digital Bird Playground and his free Bird Snapper offers bicycles (left-click to ring bell) to explore a vast plateau covered in weird. Bicycles shouldn't be limited to stunt games.
Given how Plunkbat is just cartoony enough to allow ridiculous shenanigans with motorbikes and cars that amaze and astonish players expecting serious military tactics, I keenly await silly bicycle stunts.
I mean, assuming this is a real bicycle we'll get to ride. I have no idea. And no idea when that new map will arrive either. Last I heard, the desert map was planned to be 4x4km while the new snowy map would be the regulation 8x8km. That might have changed, given that the game is still in early access. But the point is: ring ring!
Ring ring ring!