A Fan-Made Trailer Perfectly Captures Why I Love PUBG

I’ve been playing Battlegrounds longer and with more consistency that I have played any other multiplayer game, and this cinematic fan-made trailer helps express why.


PUBG has been a game that I haven’t burned out on, and I’m always down to play a couple fast games. If I’m not playing it, it’s because I’m pressed for time and have other things to do, not because I’m not still enjoying it. The variety of interactions, the sheer number of things that can happen with a finite number of guns, geological features, and vehicles, keeps me coming back game after game.

Battlegrounds isn’t the first multiplayer game that I’ve enjoyed, but it is the first one that I’ve had this always-exciting relationship toward. I don’t ever seem to get tired of it, I love the maps, and I think that the new content coming down the pipeline seems interesting as long as it doesn’t mess with the core experience.

I’ve watched this cinematic fan-made trailer for the game, created by a YouTube user called Awkward Monkey, a couple times now. It captures exactly why I enjoy PUBG more than any of the other multiplayer games I’ve put time into. It’s a tactical game, but it’s also a game about driving cars around in the most outrageous ways possible. It’s a game that rewards pinpoint accuracy as much as it rewards “Yakety Sax” running in and out of defensive structures.

PUBG is often clunky, but it’s clunky because it is such an open system that allows for so many ways of navigating its world and fighting with other players. Awkward Monkey’s trailer shows the thrill of making it around a corner to avoid gunfire, getting into car chases, and doing a tactical barrel roll in a small sedan. It shows how great it feels to lean into the clunkiness instead of being frustrated by it. There’s an emergent, ephemeral joy that comes out of how strange the game often is that other games, even ones in the battle royale genre, can’t seem to evoke for me.

I've played all of the Baldur's Gate games.


Nick Ha

Excellent cinematography and editing. It’s aesthetically pleasing, and there’s little to really criticize about it. But whether it’d actually work as a trailer for the game is up to question.

I get this gnawing sense that anyone watching this trailer from the outside looking in wouldn’t know what separates it from other shooters, or really be able to describe how the game works based on just the trailer. It’s a beautiful piece of film work, but it doesn’t really scream PUBG to me. It could be a trailer for a Battlefield game, for all we know. There are very few shots that convey the context of the game’s setting or mechanics. The only ones you really see that are unique to PUBG in particular are the shot of the characters moving past the blue wall, and the shot of the angel statue as people parachute in behind. But not much in these shots actually explain what’s going on.

It’s clear that the filmographer was trying very hard to “show, not tell”, which is definitely the right direction to go. No dialogue or narration or titling to explain what’s going on, very atmospheric.

But one of the hallmarks of good cinematography is being able to communicate a lot using very little. With that in mind, a few shots that exhibit gameplay that’s unique to PUBG would probably have helped the piece a lot. The chaos of dropping into a hot zone with dozens of other players frantically rushing for loot. A macro shot of the zone closing in on the last few unsuspecting players, something that communicates the claustrophobia of the end game. The tension of preparing an ambush on unsuspecting players. The desperation of trying to outrun the zone during a gunfight. Things like that.

It’s still gorgeous, and the filmmaker has a ton of obvious talent. It just needs a tiny dash of context to really say that it can accurately describe exactly what makes PUBG special.