Kshitij PujariJul 31, 2019 09:11:34 IST
PUBG Mobile is, in my opinion, the best shooter game currently available on mobile and the success of the title is showing. It is the top-grossing app on Play Store and it has spawned various global mobile esports tournaments which have thrown India into the spotlight as a rising giant in the mobile gaming world. PUBG Mobile has been optimised to operate at great efficiency even on a typical smartphone costing around Rs 10,000 - Rs 12,000. But what about devices that cost less.... way less? PUBG Mobile Lite has come to your rescue. Sort off.
The concept of a lite version of PUBG Mobile had been in works ever since news broke that a free lite version of the main PUBG PC game is coming soon. With PUBG Lite launching early this month, it was only a matter of time before a lite version of the mobile came, and come it did on 26 July. I tried the game on the Vivo Z1 Pro (Review), the cheapest smartphone in my possession, while my colleague Abhijit tried it on his Redmi 7A. Here are my first impressions of the game along with inputs from Abhijit.
(The game is still under testing from Tencent and does not represent the final build)
Design and UI
PUBG Mobile Lite (henceforth referred to as PML in the rest of the piece) has a home page that is similar to PUBG Mobile. All the starting notifications popped up in front of me giving me weekly rewards, sign in rewards and explaining the various collaborations the game is having. The invite friends in the game and add friends tab is present at the bottom. Apart from that, the Clan and Crew tabs are missing which means you can't form a clan and also the Season, Armory and Inventory tabs are shifted on the top right. PML has something called WinnersPass instead of Royal Pass which I could not check out since it had ended.
Gameplay and Graphics
The entire point of PML is that it can run on phones that have about 2 GB of RAM and to that end, I feel that Tencent has achieved its objective. Like PUBG Lite is to PUBG PC, PML is a heavily stripped-down version of PUBG Mobile and it becomes quite obvious. For starters, there is only one map, Erangel and there is only one arcade mode option which is War mode. There are also just 60 players in the game instead of 100 and the game also lasts for just about 10 minutes instead of 30. Apart from being about 3/4th the size of the real map, the names of popular places such as Pochinki, Rozhok, School have changed to things like Stadium, Pilot Plaza, and Downtown. There are also just the Asia and South America servers in play but I believe more will be added soon.
Talking about the graphics, we see that trees, leaves, buildings, doors, and the water have much less detail. In fact, the detailing is so low that if you are prone in the grass, you can still be easily spotted from a mile away. In a way that appears to be good as it does not stress the GPU much, but you can pretty much forget about snaking your way through open areas. However, the overall appeal is still that of PUBG Mobile, with vehicles, guns and equipment along with all movement options such as peeking and crouching all ported from PUBG Mobile to PML.
In terms of gameplay, it is still pretty much PUBG Mobile except for key bullet dynamic differences. It would appear the game has been designed for minimal effort from the player's side. One can easily take a gun with a high recoil such as the AKM, shoot a spray at an enemy more than 200 meters away and still manage to hit him every time. There is literally no vertical or horizontal spread which makes me wonder what is the use of those attachments. The damage from bullets has also been reduced a lot which means that it takes a lot of hits for you to finish off a player and Tencent has said this is to promote a 'more aggressive gameplay'. In my game, I shot down two people standing 300 meters away with a UMP9 having just a regular iron sight and another player needed 20 bullets at point-blank range from my M416 to get knocked down. Basically, it is not clear how much damage is done by what gun and I will have to play the game more to find out.
The game ran super smooth on my Vivo Z1 Pro, which I had expected since it has 4 GB of RAM, Snapdragon 712 and can run even the original PUBG Mobile game without any lag. The real test was on the Redmi 7A, which has 2 GB of RAM and entry-level Snapdragon 439 chipset. As per Abhijit, the game ran smoothly without any lag nor did the phone get warm. This is in fact the true testament of PUBG Mobile Lite enabling mobile users with low-specs to effortlessly enjoy the original game albeit with a few drawbacks mentioned above.
For people with smartphones having a really low configuration, this game looks to be the perfect replacement for PUBG Mobile. However, if you are into competitive mobile gaming the PML is not for you. Stay tuned for a full review of the game later.
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