"PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds" — "PUBG," as it's known — is the most fun I've had with any game in 2017.
Never heard of it? The premise is simple: Parachute to a deserted island with 100 actual people, scavenge for weapons, and fight to the death. It's basically "The Hunger Games," but without the obvious dystopian hero story.
The game is essentially a mixed first- and third-person multiplayer shooter. The twist is that it's a 1-vs-100 death match on a massive, deserted island. And everyone starts unarmed, by parachuting onto the island from a nightmarish plane. When and where you choose to leap out is the first choice you'll make of many. Let's say another player lands near you in a town. Here's how that might play out:
-You both land around the same time, see each other, and head toward separate buildings.
-Maybe your building has a good weapon, or maybe it has a police vest for protection. Maybe it has nothing.
-But what about that other player? You've lost them, and they could have a killer weapon. Do you head out to another nearby building, hoping they aren't in the same one? Do you wait near a window, keeping an eye on the building they're in, waiting for them to leave? Do you take off running toward another nearby town, hoping for better supplies?
This is the central tension of "Battlegrounds," and it starts immediately.
But don't just take my word for it: The game is only available on PC thus far (it launches for Xbox One on December 12) and it's only got one map, but over 13 million people have bought it. It's consistently the most popular game on the world's largest gaming platform (Steam). And there's a good reason for that: "PUBG" is like nothing else that came out in 2017.