OK, I just got #2 in my first day playing, and the way I did it is kind of lame. Overall there are some things this game does extraordinarily well, and I can see why it’s so popular:
the sense of apocalypse is overwhelming. You airdrop into this empty island, full of buildings and weapons but no life. It’s one of the best zombie games I’ve ever played, and there are no zombies! We all knew the humans were the real enemy anyway, right? If you haven’t played this @tomchick you should. It’s the best zombie game without zombies ever!
you wander this abandoned, desolate wasteland, scavenging for weapons and armor, while hearing the occasional pak-pak-pak of gunfire off in the distance. Or maybe it was closer?
a huge airplane occasionally roars overhead, impassive, sometimes dropping supplies to fight over.
airstrikes randomly target areas on the map, masking footfalls and raining arbitrary terror.
the dread of never knowing when another of the 100 players on this enormous island is gonna suddenly show up around the corner, is intense. You crank the volume and footfalls are a constant implied threat. Did I hear one, or was that just me?
the terrordome areas are always shrinking, always impending, in an ever narrowing cone, forcing the survivors closer and closer together.
Anyway, the existential thrill is incredible. That alone is enough to explain the popularity of the game. It’s really something.
However, about that gameplay… it’s basically never in your best interests to engage anyone. Once you’ve scavenged “good enough” stuff, you’re as equipped as anyone is going to be, and your best bet is to hide out near where you think the epicenter of the map will end up, let the others finish each other off, and ambush anyone unfortunate enough to get in your line of fire.
That’s… fuckin’ boring.
And that’s how I got #2. I killled a dude on an airplane crate after he killed someone, got the M249 (I also had the Kriss Vector, which is pretty sweet, but when do you ever have the chance to really use more than one weapon in this game?), and hunkered down near where I thought the center of the map would end up being; the first 1-2 circles were already drawn.
I was literally alt-tabbing away from the game to read strategy guides while I was playing the game. For like 10+ minutes. And I got second. I also opened that game by punching a man to death with my bare hands, so that was pretty cool.
I dunno, this gameplay has massive potential, but it really needs some tweaks to be more engaging. Maybe squads is where it’s at? The solo 100 player maps end up feeling either random, as in whoops-that-guy-happened-to-be-right-there-sucks-to-be-you, or a campfest if you’re actually trying in earnest to win. It feels like it should be more.