PUBG New State Hands-On: Futuristic Enough?


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PUBG Mobile — one of the most popular mobile games — was banned more than a year ago in India. It left gamers and content creators distressed. But as time moved on, they had to look for different ways to spend their hours during the quarantine. Most of them found solace in Call of Duty Mobile — they spent their time playing deathmatches, and other modes that the game offered. All along, everyone kept hoping that PUBG would make a comeback one day.

Fast forward to June 2021 when we were greeted with an “Indian” version of PUBG Mobile, under the name of Battlegrounds Mobile India. Owing to the ban, Krafton chose to hide the PUBG moniker, it was nowhere to be seen. BGMI, as they call it, was similar to PUBG but with “Indian” elements. More importantly, it only allowed players to connect to the Indian server which meant that they couldn’t play on global servers. But now, it seems like Krafton is ready to re-introduce India to the good old name of PUBG. Except it’s got a new avatar in PUBG: New State. We’ve played a couple of games and here’s what we make of it.

PUBG: New State first impressions

Announced back in February 2021, PUBG: New State officially launched this Thursday — for both Android and iOS devices. The Android package that we downloaded from the Google Play Store clocked in at 1.4GB, whereas the iOS version weighed in at 1.5GB. Initially, the game had a couple of server issues. Players were not able to get past the loading screen. Although, after a 200MB update was pushed out, we were able to log in and hop into the game.

This time around, PUBG: New State allows you to log in using a Google or Facebook account. The first thing that comes up is the character model and column to register your name. You can customize them according to your liking, just like what we’ve seen in the previous PUBG and BGMI variants.

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Visuals in PUBG New State look refined
Photo Credit: Robin John/Gadgets360

PUBG: New State then asks you whether you are a novice, intermediate or expert in battle royale games. Besides this, I noticed another prompt that shows you three different templates of playing style: two fingers, three fingers and the one that most of the professional players use, four fingers. The UI of the game feels refreshing and less congested compared to that of BGMI, the lobby looks cleaner, and it feels a lot like the PC version of PUBG that was launched back in 2017.

The settings panel is almost the same with a couple of new options in the graphics menu. Under performance, you get to choose between Low, Medium, High, Very High, Ultra, Max and Extreme for frame rates. As for graphics, you get to choose between Lite, Medium, High, Ultra and Extreme. You still get to choose a Screen Filter, although the Colorblind Mode is nowhere to be seen. The game allows you to choose a Graphics API: OpenGL ES or Vulkan. There are a couple of additions in the Gameplay section as well in PUBG: New State.

Overall, the visuals look good, especially in the Ultra + Max settings. We tried the game on Realme 6 Pro which could only go up to Lite + Max. However, on the iPhone 12, we were able to achieve Max + Ultra.

PUBG New State map: hello Troi

With PUBG: New State, Krafton has introduced us to a bunch of new maps. You get a new field that goes by the name of Troi and the age-old Erangel. However, there’s a twist, this time around Erangel is based in the year 2051. You also get a Team Deathmatch (TDM) map that goes by the name of Station — this map is currently under beta.

We quickly jumped into a game on the new map, Troi. The usual lobby of players looks the same with everyone throwing fists around. In PUBG: New State, you can switch between your outfits using the portable closet, something similar to PUBG Mobile.

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Bird’s eye view from the plane now shows you the name of cities
Photo Credit: Robin John/Gadgets360

The plane graphics look a bit refined and as the plane enters the map, we can see that the names of all the cities are etched and tracked live with the map. It’s a beautiful view. There’s no way you can confuse two cities now. The new map in PUBG: New State has different cities such as Loganville, Mid Town, Cornwall, Graveyard, and etc.

Erangel 2051 in PUBG: New State does not have any new cities but just a few additions to some places. Jumping off the plane has the same animations — though while landing, unlike BGMI or the first edition of PUBG, the parachute stays on your back and lands along with you which feels more realistic.

PUBG: New State — this feels different

The main theme of PUBG: New State is to show off the futuristic view of the game. And what better tool to showcase this with besides cars and bikes. They have deployed a couple of new rides in the game which includes a bike that looks sporty and a bunch of cars that seem otherworldly.

They have also added trams to the map, which is crazy. These trams move along the map and can also be used as shelter. And if you think this was surprising, wait till you find out that the cars in this game have auto-pilot. These all seem a bit overkill for a battle royale game on mobile, but since the theme of PUBG: New State is to keep things futuristic, we’ll play along.

Besides that, you can now unload your ammo and weapons in the car’s trunk if your bag gets too heavy. Vehicles now also have a start engine/stop engine toggle to save fuel in the game. All the cars in PUBG: New State allow you to open the door and take cover behind it whenever you are under threat, a real lifesaver in some situations.

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You can now take cover behind a car’s door when under enemy attack
Photo Credit: Robin John/Gadgets360

That said, the weapons are all the same as BGMI and PUBG, except for a few additions such as a new bolt-action rifle called DSR-I. The sniper uses 7.62mm, much like the M24. Alongside, you will also see deployable shields that can be used as cover, and a couple of new entrants in the melee section in PUBG: New State.

The player movements and game mechanism still feel the same in PUBG: New State, save for some minor tweaks for hip-fire which has now been switched to shoulder fire. Krafton has also introduced a roll move in combat which might help you get away from your enemy in close battles. To activate this, you can double-tap the crouch button in quick succession.

PUBG: New State also brings in a heads-up display (HUD) that helps you see the amount of ammo right next to the player’s character. This is really helpful during battles as you do not have to peek at the bottom of your screen to keep the ammo in check. You can toggle it on or off in the settings.

Apart from all of these new inclusions, we also get to see a Drone Store. Yes, you can go for a quick shopping session amidst all the chaos. Picture yourself in a situation wherein you are cornered in a shack without enough ammo and no medical supplies. Well, what do you do? Just open up the drone store, and order some medical kits and ammo for yourself. A drone will deliver everything needed to your doorstep. You need “drone credits” to be able to buy items from the store. These credits can be found all along the map, similar to normal loot.

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You can also buy a flare gun from the drone store
Photo Credit: Robin John/Gadgets360

You can also buy a flare gun from the store — and this time around, they have brought in a new flare gun which is green in colour. This flare gun will allow you to respawn a dead team member so that you can continue the battle with some support alongside. The green flare gun costs 1,200 drone credits in the store.

Unlike with BGMI, you can switch between servers in PUBG: New State since the game is the same for the world. The options are South Asia, Europe, MENA, Asia and America. Yes, PUBG is back in India for real. We’re not playing by ourselves anymore. How do you feel about the launch of PUBG: New State? Tell us in the comments below.

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