In the latest update, PUBG Corp. introduced a massive visual enhancement to PUBG's original map Erangel. We spent some time with Erangel over the last few weeks and it's safe to say that the map was in desperate need of such a makeover.
Earlier this month, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds received a massive update which introduced Season 4 and brought a visual upgrade to the game's first map - Erangel.
Being the original map, it's understandable that Erangel lacked in both visual and design terms when compared to the latest map Vikendi or the smaller, action-packed Sanhok.
The update brings Erangel more in line with these new maps adding new buildings, structures, changes to terrain and overall graphical enhancements such as sharper textures and new models.
We spent the last week playing Erangel along with the snowy Vikendi, just for the sake of the comparison and while Erangel still lacks depth and creativity in terms of the map design, the improvements that the developers and art team made are more than enough to breathe new life into the by now almost classic map.
Both occasional and hardcore PUBG players will certainly appreciate reworks of popular locations like the prison, mansion and Mylta power plant. The first apparent change to Erangel is that it looks much more desolate and barren.
Add a couple of survival elements and many would start calling it a Day Z clone.
There's a reason why PUBG Corp. opted for such a design. The new version of Erangel is a fast forward to the future which shows the map's battle-ravaged history with abandoned vehicles, tanks, artillery, trenches, shoreline barriers, and signs of damage on structures. In a sense, this could almost be called enviromental storytelling.
The changes give Erangel the unique feel and vibe that is present in tropical Sanhok, frosty Vikendi and even the least popular map Miramar. Furthermore, these adjustments are not only cosmetic additions that will make you stop and admire the visuals and stop looking for the sweet AK-47s and life-saving pans.
Several areas received a massive rework adding more variety when it comes to possible tactical approaches with these locations. There are a lot more buildings, abandoned cars and new objects around cities and facilities.
As can be seen below, the Prison locale has received quite an overhaul and now offers more cover, encourages a stealthy approach and has several new towers for those with a sharp eye. The Power Plant ditched the huge concrete area in the middle of the yard, replacing it with several new buildings, which again, allows for more playstyle variety.
Ever since PUBG entered Early Access on Steam, Erangel was always considered camper heaven with its high grass density and vast open fields. Being expansive and slow, Erangel encouraged patient and stealthier strategies if one is looking to actually win, at least that was the case in a lot of our matches.
Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean that Erangel is completely devoid of explosive action. Quite the contrary, you'll find a lot of locations that guarantee carnage.
However, you won't be able to camp as much on new Erangel as grass density is much lower, which is something that the devs changed after community feedback. High grass fields, bushes and forests that were favourite sniping spots may not be as viable as they used to be.
While Erangel will still appear quite familiar to PUBG players after hundreds of hours of chicken farming, it's safe to say that the update added just enough to make the map feel fresh again.
If you gave up on PUBG or simply moved on to something else, as yours truly did with Rainbow Six Siege, we suggest that you give it another go. Have a short excursion to Erangel, drop a couple of times at the iconic School, loot the Prison and drive around the military base in a Dacia.
If the new look still isn't your cup of tea, the gameplay changes that PUBG received in the last few updates, especially in 4.0, should appease even the biggest detractors.