Photo Credit: Robin John/Gadgets 360
PUBG is a name that is quite familiar with almost everyone now, not just India's youngsters. The mobile version of the game has grown to massive popularity since it came out in 2018, a year after the official release of the PUBG PC version. But after PUBG was banned in India players had to look for different games — though the craze for one of the most popular battle royale games on mobile never died. Earlier this year, Krafton curated a special edition for Indian mobile gamers, Battlegrounds Mobile India, also known as BGMI.
With BGMI, nothing major was changed compared to PUBG except for some elements here and there. It was essentially PUBG with a new coat of paint. But that's not the case with PUBG: New State. With it, Krafton gets to re-introduce the PUBG moniker in India, and in a new avatar that is going to catch the eye. But can PUBG: New State rope in the gamers that belong to the BGMI camp? What new things does it have to offer? I played the game for around a week, read on to find out about our take on the new entrant in mobile gaming — PUBG: New State.
On the graphics front, there have been some changes that Krafton has incorporated into PUBG: New State. Visually, the game looks much better than its counterparts. The graphics, details in the grass, walls and their texture along with the player mechanism provide a realistic look and feel to the game.
PUBG: New State currently offers a bunch of graphics settings starting with Lite, Medium, High, Ultra and Extreme. The lite option is the new introduction. As for framerate settings, you now get Low, Medium, High, Very High, Ultra, Max and Extreme — which is not accessible at launch. In my experience, loading time on the first boot has increased. I tested this on the iPhone 12 and the Realme 6 Pro. The iPhone 12 was able to extract Ultra + Max, whereas, the Realme 6 Pro maxed out at Ultra + Very High. In our testing, the back of the phone (on both devices) was a bit warm to the touch after playing the game for around 15 minutes or so.
In the early days with PUBG: New State, I stumbled upon some server issues as well, though these were later fixed after the game was taken down for maintenance a couple of times. Besides that, I also came across a bunch of bugs such as the "open door" button on vehicles not appearing, drones getting stuck in trees, cars getting stuck right in the middle of the map, and in some cases, I also found the waiting time in the lobby to be interminable.
With PUBG: New State, everything has a new look. Starting with the UI, the way they have polished the lobby, the character models, et cetera. Unfortunately, you cannot port your old account from the previous versions of the battle royale game into PUBG: New State. You'll have to start from scratch. Talking about starting from scratch, you can now log in using your Facebook account, as well as your Google account. However, you can no longer use your Twitter credentials to log in.
PUBG: New State brings two new maps, namely Troi and Erangel 2051. As for Team Deathmatch (TDM), you get to see just one map as of now: Station. Erangel is by far the most popular map among PUBG players— it's a classic after all. Erangel 2051, as the name suggests, is based in the year 2051 with all the cities similar to the earlier versions. But, this time around, parts of the buildings and walls are broken. It's meant to be the aftermath of the multiple battles that have taken place in Erangel.
The entirely new map Troi is also very well designed and welcomes chaos just like any other map in the PUBG franchise. Troi brings in a bunch of new cities for the battleground gamers to hop into, namely City Hall, Graveyard, Factory, and Garrison. This is also an 8x8 km map similar to Erangel. During my time of play, I saw a bunch of players dropping down into "The Mall". It's likely that this place is the equivalent of "Pochinki" from Erangel. You also get some fun locations such as ‘Trailer Park' which has ramps over the place so if you are ever under unwelcomed enemy attacks, you can use these to run them off in style. Although I always managed to fall face-first from my bike, but that's a story for another day.
The Exhibit Hall sits right in the heart of Troi and provides you with an ample amount of loot in order to take down the enemy teams. It has an open roof and you can just envision the number of battles that can take place. Interestingly, though not surprisingly, Troi has bulletproof glasses which you can use to take cover under enemy attacks. You can differentiate them from normal glasses by looking out for blue tints on the bulletproof ones. A bunch of them have been laid down in the Exhibit Hall and Laboratory in PUBG: New State.
One thing I loved seeing in PUBG: New State is the name of all the cities floating across the map during the start of a game. So, you could see Pochinki, Rozhok, School, and every other city's name from a bird's eye view while seated in the plane. Thanks to this, it's now impossible to confuse two cities that look somewhat similar.
With Troi, you also get to experience a bunch of new vehicles— and not just any vehicle, these cars and bikes are futuristic. Don't follow? Well, to start with, they run on batteries instead of fuel — as you would expect cars and bikes to be running on in the year 2051. Not just that, cars also have auto-pilot. The driver gets the option to toggle between manual and auto-pilot mode in PUBG: New State.
However, it is not fully controlled by AI, the driver will still have to steer around the map — the PUBG: New State AI just accelerates on its own. Battery-operated cars are naturally less noisy when compared to their gassy counterparts but it's still audible at close range. Also, if you are outside the zone and driving an EV, the amount of battery consumption increases.
In case you get bored of driving around the map in your new auto-pilot car, you can always choose the trams. These trams run around the battlefield in PUBG: New State and are very helpful if you are stuck in a dire situation. I have found these to be useful for taking cover as well. Although the trams are really slow, then again, that's how they are supposed to be.
Moving on to PUBG: New State gameplay. The player movement and gun mechanics all seem to be quite similar to the previous iterations of the battle royale game, PUBG Mobile and BGMI. That being said, they have definitely made some changes that cannot be overlooked.
For starters, the gameplay now looks and feels a lot like the PC version of PUBG. This is something I previously mentioned in our PUBG: New State first impressions. If you are ever stuck in a battle and need to run away from your enemies, you can roll to take quick cover. Double tapping the crouch button initiates this—you can also add a separate button for the same. This can be enabled in the settings.
With BGMI, every gun you picked needed a sight of some sort, be it Red Dot, Holographic, or any of the major scopes. But with PUBG: New State, they have changed things around a bit. You get the red dot sight pre-equipped with all the guns. For me, that was good, since I always preferred the red dot over the Holographic sight thanks to the minimalistic reticle. They have also introduced a new sight which goes by the name of ‘Viper'. It's somewhat similar to the red dot and looks quite innovative. Pretty much following the theme of PUBG: New State.
PUBG: New State also brings along with itself a new technique for quickfire. You can now use the shoulder-fire option if you do not wish to scope during combat. This gives a more realistic feel to close combat. This helped me control the recoil and my spray patterns a bit better than before. However, it does take you some time to get accustomed to this new feature. You can of course switch between hip-fire and shoulder-fire in the settings if you prefer to go the old route.
If you get stuck in a situation wherein you are out in the open without any cover? In PUBG: New State, you can take the help of a deployable shield that will provide you with cover. This has proven to be a lifesaver when running out wild in the open and an enemy team is trying to gun you down. You get two variants of shields: one with a single shield and another with a three-door shield. Both are quite effective.
PUBG: New State also brings a bunch of new melee weapons such as a hatchet, wrench and shovel. You can also throw these at enemies to keep them at bay— if thrown properly, it can cause some serious damage.
As for weapons, you can find all the same guns and weapons with just minor additions to the inventory in PUBG: New State. The DSR-I is a bolt-action rifle that uses the same ammo as the M24, the 7.62mm. The firearm does look a bit taller when compared to Kar98k or M24. The sound it makes after a bullet is shot is also quite immaculate. Of course, it's not as satisfactory as the AWM. DSR-I can be found on the ground and not in specific loot boxes, so you'll have plenty of time to choose between the 7.62mm trio.
Dyneema Vest makes its way into PUBG: New State with some minor tweaks from the developers. The Dyneema Vest provides you with more protection against short and mid-range weapons that use the 9mm, 5.56mm, and .45ACP. However, everything has its pros and cons. With Dyneema Vest, you are more vulnerable when under fire from a gun that packs in the 7.62mm, 12 Gauge and of course, the .300 Magnum. Along with this, they have also added gun customization kits. With these kits, you can change the way a gun operates.
For example, the double-barrel S685-6 can be customised in a way that it fires both the bullets in a single shot. Whereas, you can also decrease the horizontal recoil of the Mini 14. The best part about this is that you can change the fire mechanics of a gun in PUBG: New State. I picked up an MK47 Mutant and applied the customisation kit to it, and it went from burst mode to auto, which I prefer in most circumstances. There are a tonne of other customisations you can do with the horde of guns the game provides.
By now it's pretty clear that PUBG: New State is set in the future. Nothing at this point can shock you, right? Well, that's what I thought. We now have drones. To be precise, you now have a ‘Drone Shop' wherein you can buy ammo, medical kits, EV batteries, and essentially everything required in an emergency. But along with that, you also get to buy flare guns, both red and green (more on that later).
You can buy items from the shop using drone credits which you can find laid down across the map. After adding the necessary items to your cart, the player can then go ahead and place the order. A drone, emitting blue smoke, hovers above you and drops a case with your items in PUBG: New State.
If you were wondering if this transaction can attract enemies, then the answer to that is a solid, yes! The drone does make some noise and the blue smoke can lure nearby enemies. On the other hand, you can also use this in PUBG: New State to lay down traps for enemies that you think might be camping nearby.
The shop also lets you get hands-on a ‘Scout Drone' that can help you fish out enemies that might be hiding inside a building. If you are well-versed with the idea of Crypto — a legend in Apex Legends, for those who know what I mean — you know how this goes. However, unlike Crypto's drone, this one does not cause any damage and is purely for scouting purposes. It's perfect to plan out an ambush on anyone in hiding.
PUBG: New State brings with itself a new recruit system. A normal squad of players consists of four people. If you wipe out an enemy squad, all the players will be knocked down instead of finished, unless you willingly do that. You can then go ahead and pick a player and revive them. Once the revival process is done, the player now belongs to your team. The player not only joins your team but can also join the voice chat. However, keep in mind, you cannot at any time in the game have more than 4 players in your squad. You can only recruit an opponent if a player from your team has either died or disconnected.
As for the respawn system, remember the green flare gun we discussed a couple of paragraphs ago? Yes, those are used to revive your teammates. The green flare gun costs around 1,200 drone credits in PUBG: New State. You can only use this to revive a single teammate at a time. This was earlier introduced in the Payload Mode wherein you needed the teammate's ID to resurrect them — that is not the case here. The revived comrade lands empty-handed from the sky with the will to start from scratch. Make sure you do not revive your teammate in the middle of chaos, or it will not be a pretty sight.
I believe PUBG: New State is a very good game with a new map, new weapons, new features and a whole lot of things to offer. Barring some initial bugs and glitches, I had an amazing experience playing the game. The gameplay was refreshing and it lured me in with all the fancy gear. However, with PUBG: New State you will have to start your battle royale career in the franchise from scratch.
As I mentioned before, you can't port your old account with all the achievements, ranks, and accolades into the new PUBG game. This is something that makes me not want to switch to PUBG: New State. Besides that, the game asks a lot from your smartphone. So, if you are someone on a budget device, it's possible that you will not have a seamless experience, similar to mine.
Nevertheless, the game provides you with a new experience and a quick trip to the future. It'll take some time to adapt to the refined gameplay but I suggest you give it a try before completely axing it. Who knows? Maybe you'll enjoy the future.
Rating (out of 10): 8
PUBG: New State is available for download on Android and iOS. It's free-to-play and features microtransactions. In-app purchases include skins for guns and cosmetics for the player model. There is no pay-to-win behaviour here.