After much controversy, it seems like Krafton has finally managed to bring back PUBG Mobile to India but in a different form which it is calling Battlegrounds Mobile India.
While Krafton claims that Battlegrounds Mobile India has been made from the ground up for the Indian audience, the posters and teasers up until now seem to show the same assets as PUBG Mobile.
And while the developers have not yet confirmed when Battlegrounds Mobile India will officially launch in India, the beta version of the game is live for those that are in the early access program. Hence we can expect that the game will be made live for everyone sooner than later.
Menus, interface and settings
To start off the download size of Battlegrounds Mobile India is just over 700MB along with a 600MB resource file that is not optional, but does not include most of the high-resolution assets in the game. This means that users now have the choice to download which assets they want and which ones they don't hence save them some much-needed space on the internal storage of their smartphones.
Krafton has ensured that users can retrieve their previous account data from PUBG Mobile. This means that the time and money that they previously spent on the game can be recovered and used to play on this game as well. Here's how to retrieve the PUBG Mobile data on Battlegrounds Mobile India.
At first look, the main menu of Battlegrounds Mobile India is hardly any different from that of PUBG Mobile and has all the assets that are used in PUBG Mobile. It comes will all the Missions, Inventory, Challenges, and the Royale Pass that players are used to.
On the Settings front, it now comes with options for Ultra HD and Ultra frame rate options which will make it convenient for users that have smartphones that can play the game with those settings.
Gameplay, visuals and mechanics
Visuals aside, what really made PUBG Mobile successful is the core gameplay, and that remains consistent with Battlegrounds Mobile India. Users get the same battle royale experience as well as the arcade modes in the game.
The weapons, vehicles, items, and consumables are all the same as PUBG Mobile. What has been changed is the damage effect in the game which instead of a blood spatter is one where characters bleed green leaves. And instead of enemies being 'killed' or players dying, they are now 'defeated'.
But there is definitely a significant increase in terms of the performance of the game from back when it was not banned in India. The frame rate drops that players used to suffer from when enemies were close by is now significantly improved, with hardly any frame rate drops.
Besides this, the game keeps repeating a disclaimer that this is a virtual world every time a new match is being played. There are disclaimers of the action not taking place somewhere in the real world as well. Despite us playing in the beta phase of the game, we seemed to encounter fewer bots in the game than before which is definitely a positive.
Battlegrounds Mobile India is a reskin of PUBG Mobile and a bad one at that with the lack of India-specific assets. The developers are essentially using everything from the global version of PUBG Mobile with hardly anything to differentiate the two. This seems like a far cry from being a completely new game that has been made for the India narrative that Krafton is peddling.
Those that have been following the developments of PUBG Mobile's global version will realize that while the game might be slightly different from when it was banned in India, it is consistent with what is currently being offered in the global version of the game. This includes the cosmetic items as well
But for the PUBG Mobile fans in India, this is good news, considering that they get the game they are used to playing with the experience untarnished. Granted that there are a few more disclaimers in the game, but that really does not affect the gameplay.
But the concern here is that while the Ministry has said that it can't ban a game before it's launched, it definitely means that it has its eyes on this game in particular. And what with the ministers from the ruling party of India asking for a ban on the game. While Krafton may argue that the game has its data in India, it can't argue that this is a different game, which could pose problems.