PUBG New State Review: Enough New Features to Win Over PUBG Mobile and BGMI Fans

More than just a simple re-skin of PUBG Mobile.

PUBG New State

PUBG New State was always going to be a massive affair for the mobile game community as it was poised to be the next step in the evolution of PUBG Mobile – a proper sequel. For the Indian gaming community, as much as we adore BGMI, New State sort of felt like returning to PUBG Mobile in a brand-new way that feels familiar yet fresh in all the right ways.

A major concern leading up to the release of New State was whether the game would be able to live up to the hype and whether it brings enough new toys to the table for it to justify its existence as a sequel. The short answer to that question is that it does – PUBG New State is very much the next logical step in the evolution of PUBG Mobile – as it brings a bunch of new mechanics to the table, but along with them, a whole new set of complications and issues.

PUBG New State – New dog, new tricks

Combat Mechanics and Gameplay

PUBG New State

In terms of gameplay, PUBG New State does feel extremely familiar, if one has spent enough time with BGMI or PUBG Mobile, they should feel right at home with New State. There is nothing about the traversal or the shooting that will catch players off-guard, except for the combat roll, which was featured in the game’s promotion, and ultimately, doesn’t feel all that significant in the grand scheme of things. The combat roll is but a small part of the new combat mechanics, as New State also introduces Peek, which allows players to get a look around a corner and perhaps get a drop on enemies. However, Peek does little to truly offer a tactical advantage and ends up being a feature that players can find very little use of.

The combat roll is best used in tight, one-on-fights as breaking the player’s aim might provide you with the opening you need to get a drop on your enemy. The new Radio messages certainly help communication in-game in case players happen to be playing without a microphone – and it combined with Waypoints make the squad makes communication a lot more efficient in the game. A couple of quality-of-life changes have been made to the Inventory such as being able to drop a bunch of loot at once by simply dragging them to that part of the Inventory.

PUBG New State
The “Peek” feature does very little to shake things up.

The biggest highlight of PUBG New State, I discovered, was ultimately – the Drone Store. It is the single most significant addition to the formula and changes up things quite dramatically. Essentially, players will be able to collect Drone Credits strewn across the map and through them, they will be able to purchase items through the Drone Store, which will then be delivered right to a location of your choosing. The Drone Store contains incredibly powerful items such as the Green Flare which can revive downed teammates and the Scout Drone, which can be used to check out areas and figure out your next move without you being under threat personally. Throughout TROI, there are plenty of interiors with bulletproof glass that provides some room for creativity as it can be used to bait enemy players, and in the best case, leave them vulnerable should they stop to reload.

New State
The Drone Store is a real game-changer

In the end, the bulletproof glass doesn’t really make that much of a difference as its use-case is fairly unique and players won’t find themselves surrounded by bulletproof glass all the time. A nice little touch are these small, contained mobile rooms across TROI that contain a bunch of loot that players can choose to camp in or set traps for enemy players in. A molotov cocktail inside one of these rooms is a recipe for easy kills – plus, them running out of the room only leaves them open to gunfire from your squad. The new combat mechanics do a great job of providing players with an all-new experience that doesn’t just feel like PUBG Mobile with a new skin, which was a major concern within the community.

The Battle Royale mode feels pretty impressive and succeeds in every way fans were hoping, but the same cannot be said for the TDM mode. Right now, there is only one map available for TDM – Station, which is a pretty uninteresting map with nothing really of note, and because TDM is so fast-paced, there isn’t really any use for the new mechanics, and thus, the mode just ends up being a little distraction, but mostly an afterthought. The hope is that new maps will introduce more variety, and ultimately, make the feel worthwhile.

TROI and Graphics

New State

TROI feels original, but in parts. Meaning, that parts of it are genuinely brilliant such – especially the futuristic urban parts of the city, but the rest of it is pretty much standard PUBG Mobile, and it feels like a missed opportunity. TROI can often feel like Auroa from Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, and its clearly taken inspiration from the same as the architecture plus the “futuristic road in the middle of nowhere” feel very Breakpoint-ish. While there is a ton of interesting spots throughout TROI, PUBG New State feels like it doesn’t really take enough advantage of its futuristic setting.

As previously mentioned, certain parts of TROI, such as Vermont, seem like exactly what players might have been expecting from PUBG New State, but these are only pockets of urban settings in an otherwise stark map. The vehicles certainly make the extremely long stretches of barren land feel a little less cumbersome, and this time, there is a far bigger incentive for going around in a vehicle as the Trunk provides extra space for your Inventory. Yet, the Trunk will take some getting used to as stashing weapons and loot still isn’t part of players’ muscle memory yet.

PUBG New State

Krafton was talking a big game when it comes to the technical mastery of PUBG New State and tech like “global illumination” were front-and-center in the game’s marketing. The game does look pretty good, if your device can handle it. TROI’s futuristic architecture allows the interiors to be lit in an interesting way sometimes, which gives the game a distinct look and the outside looks pretty for the most part as well. While the game looked decent on “Ultra” on my iPhone XR, the “Extreme” graphics preset is still on the way, so it will be interesting to see if New State manages to look that much better later down the line. Ultimately, PUBG New State feels like a step-up from PUBG Mobile, but not to the point where it becomes nearly impossible to go back to BGMI or PUBG Mobile, fearing a major graphical downgrade.

Final Score – PUBG New State

PUBG New State

PUBG New State does a great job by introducing new mechanics to the standard PUBG Mobile formula, which helps it justify its existence as a proper sequel rather than simply a futuristic re-skin. While some of the new features in the game are a lot more significant than others, the overall experience is fresh enough for BGMI players and PUBG Mobile players to make this their new, preferred experience.

The game begins to lose some of its well-deserved goodwill in the TDM mode which feels very barebones at this point, but the battle royale mode does enough to sway the needle in the positive direction. Will New State now replace BGMI and PUBG Mobile as the go-to mobile shooter experience for players? Probably. But will it sway COD Mobile or Free Fire fans? That can be a little tricky, mostly because while New State does introduce a bunch of fresh ideas, it very much feels like a PUBG Mobile game, something to which fans of COD Mobile and Free Fire won’t likely respond to well.

PUBG New State is a fun, engaging affair that does a lot of things right – with a little more polish to features like Peek and the Trunk, there is a lot of potential, here. Plus, with the addition of some new maps in TDM and perhaps even some new mechanics specifically for that mode, New State can be truly great in the near future.

Final Score – 8/10

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I possess the dexterity of a toddler when it comes to fighting games, but the confidence of a hundred Jay-Z's. Absolutely love narrative-driven games - with a particular obsession with indie side scrollers and retrowave scores. Currently playing: Stray.