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The Feud of the Battle Royales

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David Njoku is Team PUBG. Two of our own SOTU contributors break down their allegiances

So far in his young life, David Njoku has made three very smart decisions. He came to the University of Miami, he left early to be a first round draft pick and he enjoys Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (or PUBG for short) over Fortnite.

Here at SOTU, the games on Saturday aren’t the only fields of competition that we are obsessed with. Myself? I have to side with Mr. Njoku. I am defiantly Team PUBG. My friend and fellow writer Kevin Fielder is Team Fortnite. What is it that makes one better than the other? In today’s dual-written-article, you’ll get all the information you didn’t know you needed about the fight for the honor of being called the best battle royale game.

Category 1: Game Updates

KF: When it comes to updates, Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite: Battle Royale, are second to none on this front. Each time there is a new season that releases, there are new skins, new maps and even new guns. The team has announced new guns in order to keep replayability high and allow players an even playing field. The team has also shown that they can take weapons out of the game if they are too overpowered, as was evident with the Guided Missile, that was removed from the game after just one week.

Furthermore, the game updates with new modes about weekly. From 50 v 50 to a limited time game mode where users could play as Thanos, the popular character from the Marvel series, the game has shown that even if the typical 100 player mode is not your forte, you can still have fun.

NY: PUGB is not the flashiest when it comes to updating their games. And yes some may argue that their desire to port the game over to as many platforms as possible while it is still new and exciting has hurt the quality of its updates, but PUBG still has done a good job of providing solid updates to their still-unfinished game.

The platform version has not seen as many updates and features as the PC yet but what PUBG has done on the computer is nothing short of overwhelming for its competitor. Tons of modes like the exciting co-op zombie mode, survivors arm themselves to kill user-controlled “zombies,” and sniper mode, where teams of snipers and only snipers battle to be the best squad, have made PUBG extremely unique. In addition to new modes, the game has also been adding new, sprawling maps with regularity and new loot drops.

Category 2: Availability

KF: In terms of availability, there may not be a game that is even close to Fortnite. Even if you don’t have a PC capable of running games like Fortnite, users can play on their PS4s, Xbox Ones, Nintendo Switches and even smartphones. This allows users to experience the game in both different ways and from different platforms. What makes this a key feature for Epic Games is that regardless of what device you play on, the game itself remains the same. Users will play on the same map, with the same guns and resources.

Another positive for Fortnite in this front is that users can play with players from other devices in the same game. Even if your friend has the game on their smartphone, you can still play with them if you are on a console or PC.

NY: PUBG does take a backseat in this area but not for lack of trying. Since starting on the PC, Battlegrounds has stretched to the Xbox One and mobile devices. In particular, its mobile version has had critics raving that that is how a phone-version of a shooter like PUBG should be done. Speculation continues to fill the air that PUBG will eventually release for the PS4, and with the 1.0 version announced for Xbox, that day could be coming sooner rather than later.

Category 3: Map/World

KF: Fortnite’s world is where the game really has an advantage over others. While other games will keep the same map from release date, Fortnite is ever changing. In the span of just months, new locations will be released while other locations get removed from the game. This allows users a constant immersive experience, where players can land in new locations and always play a new game. With the additive of a storm that constantly moves, it forces players to always be moving and never stop and camp in one location. This gives any user a chance to win a game even if you don’t start off in the best spot.

NY: I’ll have to disagree with Kevin here, I think PUBG has a leg up when it comes to its map. PUGB on the PC has been especially good at getting new maps up and ready for users to virtually shoot it out on. Each new release has its own theme and environmental specialties, from the woods and hills of the first release to the jungles nearly untouched by man in the third one. Every new map is something new and different than the previous one and allows users different arenas for their matches. While Fortnite does change their map with each season, it is still, generally, not too different from the one that released when the game first did.

Category 4: Graphics

KF: Admittingly, the graphics of Fortnite may be a disadvantage for the game series. While games like PUBG, Call of Duty or Battlefield have maps that are more realistic in detail, Fortnite took a different approach with graphics that have a cartoon feel to them. What this means is that each skin looks like something out of a children’s TV show instead of a movie. For some this is viewed as a disadvantage but for others, it can be viewed as a positive. While the skins sometimes look like something out of Wreck-it-Ralph and not a War documentary, it means players get to experience a change of pace when it comes to graphics. The cartoon-like graphics is also something Fortnite has executed really well. The skins, backblings, pickaxes and parachutes that users can receive are aesthetically pleasing. The work put in by the graphics team is impressive and it’s clear they executed this well.

NY: Yes, like previously mentioned, PUBG is not the flashiest game. Its graphics are not as clean and sharp as some may like but it gets the job done at the end of the day. And what PUBG is missing in terms of the nitty-gritty detail of the appearance of its game, it more than makes up for with the vastness of its world. It’s hard not to appreciate the game when you’re standing on top of a sloping hill, looking down at a field strewn with haystacks and houses dotting the landscape. Still, the realism of PUBG’s graphics are what helps to immerse players in the game and make it an exceptional military simulation. Despite the general averageness of the overall graphics, compared to games like Call of Duty and Battlefield, PUBG still gives users enough indication of being able to spot things of importance such as usable items or opposing players.

Category 5: Gameplay

KF: Like every video game released, Fortnite has its issues with gameplay. Despite the 8 damage on shotguns of a higher caliber to the occasional issues with traps and players cheating, the game still has good gameplay overall. There are very few glitches in the game and if they are any, they are often patched quickly. The game feels smooth and it doesn’t feel like a chore to play. The game also has various adjustments that can be made to make the game feel better, among these are horizontal and vertical sensitivities and a mode for people who struggle to see color, allowing for the game to be accessible for anyone.

NY: This. Now this is the meat and potatoes of why I am Team PUBG. To me PUBG has some of the most fun, inventive and truly unique gameplay that any multiplayer shooter I have played does. PUBG thrives in its shooting mechanics and you really feel the difference when you play this compared to Fortnite. Grabbing a shotgun will make you nearly impossible to stop in close-quarters combat. A submachinegun gives you a fire rate advantage but doesn’t quite have the damage you may need for long-distance affairs. Assault rifles are the kings of combat in my opinion. The ability to switch between single shot and carefully pick off targets from far away or switch to full-auto and go in guns blazing in close-quarters is part of what makes PUBG so fun. Every situation is different and, as a result, you need to plan tactically.

In addition to the gunplay of the game, right up there with any shooter, the game’s ability to switch from first to third person at any given time is a new and exceptional idea for today’s shooters. Most FPS games today stick you in first person without any ability to move out of it. Fortnite keeps you in third person. PUBG allows you to switch your viewpoint in order to best execute the situation. Need to see around a corner before you enter a room? Use third person. Want to have the best possible accuracy for a long range sniping battle? Switch to first person and aim down the sights. I could go on and on with what I like about PUBG gameplay wise (weapon attachments, vehicles, etc.) but for the sake of brevity let’s just say the guns and POV are the defining characteristics of Battlegrounds’ gameplay.

Category 6: Customization

KF: As I’ve eluded to at various points throughout my defending of Fortnite, there’s a clear advantage to customization that other games struggle at. The concept that no one character in the game is the same is something that Epic Games has fully lived up to. Each character can have a different skin, backbling, pickaxe, light trail, parachute and emotes, which are often based on real life moves. What this means is that if you want to have a character that is completely out this world wacky, you can have it by mixing-and-matching all of the different parts to make a character that is truly unique to you. The game also does a great job of releasing new stuff, allowing you to constantly switch up your character.

NY: Going back to my previous assertion, PUBG is style over substance. It’s true, you won’t be able to have access to tons of colorful, crazy player and weapon skins as a PUBG player. However, being able to equip your in-game persona with a gasmask or varsity jacket does do enough to add a solid element of customization to the game. Once the game has released fully, hopefully we will be able to see more player skins or attire made available.

Make your allegiances known below – are you Team Fortnite or Team PUBG?