This weekend marked the first test for PUBG’s newest map addition Codename Savage, a 4x4 map, reminiscent of Arma 3: Battle Royale’s maps. Filled with lots of close quarters fighting, bountiful cover, and promising changes based on community input, Savage is what the public has been asking for. Fitting the need for both a faster match, and an exciting landscape the map provides everything for an action packed map that needs just a few adjustments.
I need to say first that this is a very, very early version of the map so everything I write needs to be taken with a grain of salt as anything could change between now and final release. So my first comment on the map is that the FPS is certainly not the best, especially when compared to the other two maps. However I found that while using a GTX 980, i7 4790, and 16 gb of RAM, I never dropped below 30 FPS in any area other than densely populated parts of the map. This was all while playing on fairly high settings, and I found that when fighting in most areas full of vegetation and rocks I had well above 60 FPS.
While exploring I noticed a lot of textures seemed to be missing from the majority of buildings, also a lack of furniture and objects inside said buildings. This didn’t bother me much as I know that this is a very early build and all of that will be filled in the future. While some elements of the map are missing, the overall design for PvP is much more thought out in Savage. The larger towns have a fantastic amount of cover setup to allow fights while moving between buildings without having to constantly run out in the open, I problem that is quite common with Erangal and Miramar. This isn’t the only thing the devs have taken note of from previous complaints of the other maps. There is cover everywhere on the map, everywhere! I found that while I was playing, most hills and long stretches of grass with no buildings had a healthy mix of rocks and trees to move between.
Overall I only have two major issues with the new map and one of them isn’t even Savage’s fault as far as I can tell. The first is that it seems to have a major problem that Fortnite suffered from when Tilted Towers was added; massive player count drops after a few minutes of play. I found that after the first five to eight minutes of play there were only about 35 players left, which is considerably less than the other maps. The main thing I would attribute this to, is that everyone just wants to have fun with the high guns spawns in highly populated areas. I’m sure that the rapid death of players will peter out as people feel the need to explore more and more of the map. My second concern is one that has more to do with servers than the map itself. It feels like the hit registration is slightly off which could be due to the fact that so many players are on test servers that aren’t necessarily as good as the experimental or stable servers, not that those servers are that great either.
Now when the map first came out there was a massive outcry that it was solo mode only. People begged for them to add squads so that they could play with their friends, and at first it looked like the dev team were going to keep quiet on the matter. Contrary to what I thought, the team actually posted an update that not only added squads to the map, they also made some other significant changes that the players were asking for. They added a lot more loot to the buildings that felt sparse, made the first circle visible as soon as you are in the plane, and adjusted said circle so that the gameplay was sped up. One of the biggest problems with the map was also fixe, that horrible red circle. While I would have preferred the red zone be removed from the game as I believe random death doesn’t belong in a BR game, they did actually reduce the frequency of red zones, and there are also fewer explosions inside of each red zone.
Overall Codename: Savage is a promising looking map filled with lots of action and some truly awesome opportunities to outplay your opponents. PUBG solos have felt a little slow on the other maps, however Savage has brought new life into solo games with this bite size map. I’m truly looking forward to what this new map means for the future of PUBG and while I don’t necessarily see it as the best map for squads, it certainly provides a nice bit of variety to what was becoming a bit of a stale game of not seeing anyone for 30 minutes and then dying to a single bullet.