The current map in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is a huge, sprawling affair that makes it easy for players to avoid others in the first half of matches if they so choose. Bluehole, Inc shared an image at Gamescom Wednesday for the next map coming to the Battle Royale shooter and it condenses the action into a much smaller area with the lack of horizontal space countered by new vertical battlegrounds.
Game Director Brendan Green previously teased the new desert map back in July via Twitter with a couple of shots of what now appears to be the outskirts of a desert city ravaged by war and sandstorms. The new screenshot of the work-in-progress map looks out over what appears to be the secondary downtown in the foreground and the primary downtown and main square in the background.
The most noticeable feature are buildings standing up to nine-stories tall. Despite the buildings towering over the ones in the current Erangel map, they do not appear to offer much in the way of sniper sight lines to the rest of the map above the second floor due to the windows being boarded up. This sets the stage for close quarter firefights inside individual buildings as the circle closes tighter on PUBG players.
Players will be able to land on top of the tall buildings when parachuting in at the start of a PUBG match. Fire escapes on the sides of the building provide a path to get from the roof to at least the second floor. The current map uses roofs as a prime loot spot currently but it is unknown if that will continue with the new desert map. Most of the the building roofs do not provide much cover while others do provide some.
There are still some open spaces around the 4×4 km PUBG desert map. A sketch of the map layout shared by Game Informer shows the edges of the map to be slightly open areas around the city with a couple of small villages and towns. Other major landmarks include a stadium just outside of the main downtown area and hillside slums just beyond that.
The good news is there does not appear to be much, if any, reuse of existing PUBG assets. The new desert map is being developed out of Bluehole’s new Madison, Wisconsin offices instead of in South Korea. Game Director Brendan Greene explained during Gamescom appearances yesterday that the desert map will feature map specific weapons and vehicles.
There is no timeline on when the desert map will be released. PUBG is currently targeting a Steam Early Access launch on PC in the fourth quarter of this year. An Xbox One Game Preview launch will happen around the same time thanks to a publishing partnership with Microsoft.
[Featured Image by Bluehole, Inc]