Features

Is Fortnite Battle Royale a worthy PUBG console alternative?

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PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is gaming’s latest phenomenon, and like anything that’s super hot in the industry, it’s already being cloned by other game developers. Fortnite Battle Royale is the most popular clone so far. How well does it stack up as a console alternative?


With over 13 million units sold and a Steam record of almost two million concurrent players at its peak as of this article’s writing, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (also known as PUBG) is 2017’s biggest game. No surprise then that copycats have sprung up since PUBG went viral. Fortnite Battle Royale comes closest to the former’s success, having over one million players when it launched on September 26.

So what exactly is it about these games that has gamers flocking to them?

As mentioned in our quick play games list, PUBG is an online competitive multiplayer shooter heavily inspired by the film adaptation of the Japanese novel Battle Royale. 100 players parachute from a cargo plane onto an island where they have to fight over limited resources and stay within a safe space that gets increasingly smaller over time. Last person or team standing wins.

Fortnite Battle Royale copies that concept wholesale, with very minor cosmetic differences such as the “party bus” replacing the cargo plane and the “storm” signified by a transparent pink wall replacing the contracting blue wall of death.

Well, there is also the one major difference, which is the entire crafting mechanic from the original version of Fortnite.

A short background on Fortnite

Fortnite is a cooperative survival game where players have to gather materials to build structures and weapons to fight off a zombie horde. It’s still in beta with a full free-to-play release planned for next year, but it’s available now on PS4, XB1, and PC for US$ 30. Epic Games, the company that created Fortnite, saw the popularity of PUBG and decided to make their own free-to-play version of it. This stirred up a whole controversy with Bluehole, the makers of PUBG.

Setting aside this spat between two extremely profitable companies, does Fortnite Battle Royale actually compare to PUBG as a good alternative, especially since the former is available on consoles while the latter isn’t?

Colorful contrast

While not being terribly original visually, Fortnite Battle Royale at the very least pops with its bright DreamWorks-like design, unlike PUBG’s drab late-2000s action shooter aesthetic. Overwatch might be the king of cool cartoony 3D graphics, but there isn’t a whole lot of competition in that market that Fortnite Battle Royale can’t still be nice to look at.

The verdant hills and small living spaces evoking suburban and countryside Americana of Fortnite Battle Royale stand out next to the barren, brown, and bombed-out quasi-Eastern Europe of PUBG. The former’s one map is significantly smaller than the latter’s, but it shows more character.

Dynamic environments

The kiddy CGI scenery isn’t just a backdrop for mayhem. Because of the crafting mechanic from vanilla Fortnite in place, almost every object and structure in Fortnite Battle Royale can be harvested for resources. That also means just about anything can be destroyed, whether it’s a pre-made house or a custom-built room that a player is hiding in.

In PUBG, environmental destruction is limited to tiny wooden shacks, glass windows, and doors. Safety can still be guaranteed behind a concrete wall or boulder. Not so in Fortnite Battle Royale, which adds a whole new level of anxiety, as no place is truly secure.

It also works the other way, since you can build yourself a makeshift fort complete with stairs and traps in the middle of an open field if you have the resources. This obviously makes you a target, but it can spell the difference between a rousing win or a crushing defeat when it’s down to a handful of players and the safe zone is limited to a small spot of land.


Switching to the building mode also leaves you vulnerable. Anyone can just shoot you when you’re busy buttoning through the types of structure you can build and the materials to build them with. It’s a risk-reward dimension that just isn’t present in PUBG.

Slow and floaty

It might not be such a dangerous proposition to switch to building mode, though, if the game were more responsive and the controls more intuitive. The button layout for the combat controls maps closely to standard shooting games on consoles, but there is no immediate example that comes to mind for the crafting controls. It’s not the easiest thing to wrap your head around, so going back and forth between the different layouts when you’re in a heated situation can lead to fumbling through your building options.

The shooting as well as general character control aren’t perfect either. The guns don’t have much of a kick when you’re firing them, nor do they give much force feedback when you’re the one getting fired on. Your avatar doesn’t have much weight to its movement, too. There’s a distinct delay when picking up items from the ground and when tabbing through your inventory.

Fortnite: Battle Royale has a very light, dare I say, cheap feel to it. It’s all the more apparent after playing Overwatch and Destiny 2, both games that provide a very tight and tactile sensation with every push of a button and pull of a trigger.

Emulating the core thrills

Despite bungling the controls, Fortnite Battle Royale still captures the excitement that’s core to PUBG’s success. That is, trying to survive against overwhelming odds in a massive map that slowly but surely forces confrontation in wildly different ways.


Whether it’s going in guns blazing and wiping out numerous opponents or avoiding fights and getting the one crucial kill at the very end, it gets the blood pumping either way. Being able to jump right into a new game when you do fail is also retained from PUBG’s formula, so it’s easy to keep on playing after dying.

Fortnite Battle Royale, like PUBG, doesn’t have an official “1.0” version release, so here’s hoping for more polish on the product in the future. Right now, it’s a decent facsimile to PUBG, and being the only option on consoles that provides a PUBG-like experience, it’s worth checking out. It’ll only cost you about 16GB of hard drive space and US$ 0.

SEE ALSO: Best Video Games of 2017 (Q3 Edition)

[irp posts=”21299″ name=”Best Video Games of 2017 (Q3 Edition)”]

Camera Shootouts

vivo V25 vs V23 5G: Camera Shootout

Are there even significant improvements?

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vivo V25

It hasn’t even been a year but vivo has already revealed the successor to the V23 5G that was launched earlier this 2022. But is it actually worth upgrading to the new vivo V25? Or should you save yourself some money and buy the older V23 5G instead?

vivo V25

Don’t let that new camera bump with bigger circular cutouts on the vivo V25 fool you. On paper, the cameras are close to one another but the V25 has the advantage of having a slightly wider aperture and OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) that the V23 5G doesn’t have.

vivo V25 vivo V23 5G
Wide 64MP f/1.79
PDAF, OIS + EIS
64MP f/1.89
PDAF, EIS
Ultra-WIde 8MP 120º f/2.2
Macro 2MP f/2.4
Selfie 50MP f/2.0 wide

 

50MP f/2.0 wide
8MP f/2.28 ultra-wide
+ Dual-tone Spotlight

The sad news though is that, vivo has decided to remove the extra ultra-wide selfie camera and dual flash system on the new V25.

vivo V23 with the Dual-tone Spotlight Flash feature

But how do these phones perform side-by-side knowing the new V25 also has a slightly less-powerful MediaTek Dimensity 900 chipset over V23 5G’s Dimensity 920? Are there enough convincing differences or is the older model actually better? Feed yourself some photo sample comparisons below.

Daylight

In any given circumstance, a valuable Android midranger should take at least a decent photo with natural light around — thus me taking lesser photos to compare.
Still, your judgment matters.

#1A (Ultra-wide)

vivo V25

#1B (Wide)

vivo V25

#2

#3A (Wide)

#3B (Zoom)

Food

Taking food shots (mostly with indoor lighting) is a better way to test which phone camera is capable of producing the better image output with the right amount of highlights, shadows, contrast, sharpness, temperature, as well as Dynamic Range.

#4

#5

#6

#7

#8

#9

#10

#11

*Left photo was taken multiple times with the focus tapped on the baked roll. Lens coating was also cleaned several times but still resulted to the same output.

#12

Night Mode

Low-light photos can either make or break the capabilities of a smartphone’s camera.
While it’s a mixed bag of outputs, it still depends on the user if Night Mode photos are important in a midranger or not.

#13A (Wide)

#13B (Ultra-wide)

#14

#15

#16

#17

#18

vivo V25

#19

vivo V25

#20

vivo V25

BONUS: Low-Light Selfie

For users who love taking selfies even in the dark, both phones can take fill-in flash (using the display) to brighten up your faces.

Without Flash

vivo V25

However, the ultra-wide selfie and Dual-tone Spotlight feature were removed completely from the vivo V25. You just have to guess and pick which is which.

With Flash (Aura Fill, Dual-Tone Dual Spotlight Flash)

vivo V25

Results

No more confusions, the results are consistent all throughout the board:

Photo A — vivo V23 5G

Photo B — vivo V25

Conclusion

vivo V25

While it’s barely a big camera quality improvement, the vivo V25 has rendered some of the scenes quite well such as in Photos 1A, 11, and 12 which the V23 5G failed to display at least an acceptable output. Other times, the vivo V23 5G delivered better results like in Photos 1B, 2, 3A, 4, and 13A. Those images delivered overall better photos with a sufficient amount of HDR (High Dynamic Range) and AWB (Auto White Balance).

Overall, the V25 produced better images with decent amount of highlights, shadows, contrast, sharpness. The newer model also has some slight edge on focusing and making shots brighter and more stable at night.

vivo V25

While only two selfies were provided, the V23 5G obviously has the edge — especially with its extra selfie lens and dual-flash feature.

vivo V25

If you’re coming from the V23 5G, you don’t need to upgrade to the vivo V25. Period. But, if you’re looking for a phone to replace your old vivo smartphone (or pretty much any old budget phone or midranger for that matter), buying the V25 won’t hurt.

vivo V25

Unless you’re looking for a used unit, a brand new vivo V23 5G is being sold at PhP 27,999. Whereas, a brand new V25 retails at a cheaper PhP 23,999 price tag.

vivo V25

Imho, choosing the V23 5G over the V25 is advantageous for some reasons: a more premium-looking design with metallic sides, slightly faster chipset, and the extra selfie camera.

vivo V25

But realizing how more capable the cameras of the V25 are, you can also choose it for its bigger battery and brighter display. Also, the OIS feature is very handy if you love taking photos in action or at night or just record stable-free videos without worrying about warping and jitters. At the end of the day, you should know what you value the most in buying a new smartphone.

SEE ALSO:

vivo V25 is a Night Portrait Master

Taking photos to the next level with the vivo V23 5G

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Camera Shootouts

iPhone 14 Pro Max vs 13 Pro Max vs S22 Ultra: Camera Shootout

A Very Different Camera Test

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The iPhone 14 Pro Max finally has an upgraded camera system — highlighted by its 48MP main camera sensor.

But does it really take better photos vs the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra?

Find out in our photo-walk style camera shootout with the pro-photographer and Apple’s #ShotoniPhone Macro Challenge Global Winner Tom Reeves.

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Accessories

Apple Watch Ultra Unboxing and Review (Part 1)

Is it really worth your hard-earned savings?

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After several years of waiting, an Apple Watch dedicated for explorers, adventure-seekers, and elite athletes is finally here!

Lo and behold, the new Apple Watch Ultra.

While just being a first product of its kind, it actually offers features that can rival its popular competitors.

But is it worth your hard-earned money considering its price tag starts at a whopping US$ 799 / S$ 1199 / ₱53,990?

Watch how Michael Josh unwraps the new watch in the latest Apple Watch Ultra Unboxing and First Review.

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