With Krafton making an early access version of Battlegrounds Mobile India available for download, I checked it out on a Xiaomi Mi 10i 5G to see what Krafton employees claim is an “India-focussed” version of PUBG Mobile. This would imply it’s different from the company’s battle royale mega hit. And if the title didn’t give it away, this isn’t the case. Rather, Battlegrounds Mobile India more of the same with some changes that make it annoying to play.
On the bright side this means that everything you know and love about Battlegrounds Mobile India is back. From map layouts that promote exploration, to the satisfying shooting mechanics, it seems that nothing is amiss when compared to PUBG Mobile. Performance in-game is solid too, defaulting at the maximum possible settings available for the phone — HD graphics and High frame rate.
Options like UHD, HDR, and Ultra HD were unavailable at the moment, though tapping them displayed a message suggesting they’re coming soon. Be it pulling off headshots from afar or driving across Erangel with your squad in tow, when you’re in-game every single bit of Battlegrounds Mobile is as good as PUBG Mobile was.
And while retaining everything that made PUBG Mobile is great, there are a host of issues that may ruin your experience with the game.
Ever so often the game’s announcer will tell you that you’re in a virtual world and that it isn’t real. Sure it sounds amusing at first, and almost a self-parody since, well, this is a video game. However when you consider the spate of real world violence, arrests, and suicides when PUBG Mobile was around, it seems like a heavy-handed way for Krafton to wash its hands off any possible litigation that may result from those that could get addicted to the game.
Other changes are less egregious; shooting an enemy has them bleed green blood, though when you eventually kill them, they’re not called kills as they are in PUBG Mobile. Instead, Krafton’s using the term ‘finish’, which seems a bit odd as you’ll see notifications about player A ‘finished with Vector’ player B. These messages don’t read too well and seem poorly edited. It appears that all Krafton did was find the words ‘kill’ and ‘killed’ and replaced then with ‘finish’ or ‘finished’ where applicable.
With the rest of the game being as polished as it is, this stands out as being extremely jarring. This also applies to the giant wall of text thrown in your direction when you boot up the game for the second time which essentially is a bunch of tips on how to maintain your health while playing like staying hydrated, maintaining good posture, and paying attention to possible eyestrain.
You’ll end up catching some snippets of this before you close it as you can’t shut it down immediately — rather you have to scroll through the entire thing and then close it. Krafton refers to this as ‘Gameplay Management System’ and you can disable it in the settings provided you’re above 18, and even then you can only do so after a month.
While some of these features are borrowed from the Chinese version of PUBG Mobile, it doesn’t seem like Krafton’s thought them through. The premise itself doesn’t seem to have been worked out either and every piece of new messaging seems clunky. Perhaps this is why Krafton’s dubbed this as an early access version.
Hopefully the full release of Battlegrounds Mobile India is better. Granted the core of what made PUBG such a hit is present and accounted for, it’s the India-specific additions that could do with some time and attention.
At the moment, they appear to serve as a convenient get out of jail card for Krafton in the event of any drama caused by the game’s release versus appearing like a genuine intent of caring for its vocal, rabid userbase.
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