I thought it would make the game less tense and provide players with an even bigger excuse to camp. But PUBG’s new foggy weather system has made the game that much more enthralling. Now, players are being forced to engage at closer range, making firefights more thrilling than ever before. The addition of foggy weather is the best example yet of why PUBG is such a phenomenon.
The whole idea behind adding fog is to severely limit visibility. When you can only see 50 yards in front of you, it adds an entirely new layer of tension to the experience. You can no longer use an 8x scope to survey your surroundings. And driving—already a difficult endeavor in PUBG—is nigh impossible. Even parachuting onto the map is tough because you can’t see what’s below until the final few seconds.
The fog also affects the in-game strategy during matches. You might think twice about approaching a seemingly empty house because the fog makes it difficult to peer into windows. Seeing out of windows becomes that much harder, too, because you can only observe your immediate vicinity. Shots that ring out, meanwhile, aren’t as easily traced because muzzle flashes are nearly invisible. You’re liable to run into a squad without realizing it until the last moment.
The sound also presents a new and uniquely terrifying challenge—the constant howling is reminiscent of horror films. It’s eerie and deeply unsettling. Anytime you move outdoors, it feels as though someone is always right behind you. And there very well could be, because players appear and disappear into the foggy abyss like specters—one second they’re there, the next they’re gone, as if it to evaporate into thin air.
Your preferred loadout may also change to something designed for close range combat. A Kar98K loses its powerful precision, while racing toward a drop in the hopes of getting the M24 is no longer a priority. The shotgun, UMP, and mini UZI, often considered secondary weapons useful in the early minutes of a round, become important for the endgame because they’re fantastic for close range combat.
In the rounds I’ve played in fog, I’ve also noticed a few things that don’t typically happen during a normal round: The fog emboldens people to run freely in open fields, and a lot of people are usually alive in the final few circles. Both situations make PUBG’s already frenetic gameplay that much more unpredictable. When players you can barely see are shooting at you from just a few yards away, it makes for some incredible finales.
It’s too bad the fog weather system is so rare. Out of the dozens of times I’ve played PUBG in the past few weeks, I’ve gotten fog maybe five times. Its rarity is made more frustrating when you die quickly in the round. Worse, you’ll probably get the dreaded rain weather system multiple times before you see fog again, if at all.
The solitary map in PUBG (there are others on the way) has felt pretty stale over the past few months. But the addition of fog freshens up the formula significantly, mostly because it looks completely new when veiled in a murky brume. With a zombie mode on the way, the prospects of PUBG turning into a full-on horror game become that much more enticing.