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Codename Savage: A PUBG Preview

If you have been awake at all this last week you probably noticed a lot of changes to this years most popular game: PUBG. From new maps and skins to brand new custom game types, the face of PUBG is changing drastically. Being a devoted player since launch, I have watched this game through the good and bad times, so naturally I was a bit concerned about the sweeping changes planned by PUBG Inc on their flagship title.

First I want to talk about Codename: Savage, the new 4x4 map that was released earlier this week for closed beta. If you were lucky enough to snag a code you probably spent some time playing what I'll call the new version of PUBG. I want to call it a new version because so much has changed; from the obvious size of the map being half that of the others, to the more subtle nuances that affect game play. For instance, the developers increased the amount of loot and appear to have doubled the amount of natural cover scattered around the map. These, combined with increased circle speeds and pre-marked starting zones really help to move the pace of the game along.

We have all found ourselves looting entire small villages only to walk away with pitiful weapons and a severe lack of attachments. This was one of the more frustrating parts of the game. It felt as though the first four minutes of every game was really up to the RNG gods, and if they felt all you deserved was a revolver and some fingerless gloves you just had to make do and hope for the best. When dropping into Savage I was never afraid to check out a fringe town or small outcrop of houses because I knew the new loot system was going to allow me to find enough to survive (well, more times than not). Where the same holds true for dropping hot, there is less worry that I am going to get stuck with a pistol while my not so friendly neighbor found himself an AR and enough rounds to kill me three times. This really allows players to get down to the heart of the game: Kill everyone else; not grind out loot.

Overall, Savage is going to be an awesome addition to the game, I hope they decided to take a few of the tweaks they made and implement them across the board. Savage was not the only surprise we got this week, we were also given a few new custom game types to play. I am going to focus on the game War Mode as it seems to be the most popular and really illustrates how PUBG is trying to pull away from the pack, differentiating themselves from other games like Fortnite.

If you are unaware, the new craze in PUBG is playing custom game types. Until this week that meant just altered versions of the original game, allowing the host to change things like what weapons spawn and team sizes. This has been growing in popularity with PUBG players and streamers as it gave a bit more variety and allowed for some pretty interesting game types to be born, like Derby, which is basically just Death Race 2000 in video game form. The developers have noticed this trend and have begun creating new games types exclusively for custom matchmaking; one of which is War Mode.

War is like a mix of Call of Duty and PUBG with a splash of insanity. It is an exciting, fast paced game type, where the goal is no longer being the last man standing but to instead rack up points the fastest and win the game. Points are accumulated by getting kills and are shared for your team. The host can set a score limit and the first team to reach it wins. You may be asking yourself, “well that does not make a lot of sense since you only get one life in PUBG...” and you would be right! To solve this, War Mode has a customizable respawn timer that allows players to fast drop from a plane to get back into the action, which makes for a very interesting dynamic. You have to not only be aware of those on the ground, but also where the people respawning are dropping. Especially since the guy you just killed is probably looking for that sweet, sweet, revenge kill.

Image credit: YouTube: Vnorovnog

The releases this week have been a breath of fresh air in the PUBG world, at least for me. As someone about to cross that thousand hour mark, I found the game getting stale and I was beginning to lose interest in the genre of “Battle Royale” as a whole. Now I can see how the PUBG devs are envisioning the future for this game, and they realize that their greatest asset is custom matches and interesting game types. I am once again excited to log in and play. I think this is a very positive move, though I want to see performance tweaks and bugs being resolved as well. I am excited nonetheless to see that the developers invest in providing veteran players with longevity and replay value without having to buy a DLC.

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