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H1Z1

by James Wright

H1Z1; The game where Rick Grimes feels like Frank Grimes.

H1Z1 is a open-world survival game made by Daybreak Studios (previously Sony Online Entertainment). I originally played this game a few months back and thought it was utter garbage, mainly due to server lag and a massive amount of bugs. Now that Australian servers have been released, I thought I would give it another shot and see how the game has progressed and if these bugs had been ironed out.

 Before I begin I would like to say that H1Z1 is in early access; The game is constantly updating and changing meaning that the game will be drastically different when officially released. 


Setting

The environments in this game a honestly pretty bland. You have forest areas, small towns and one ‘big’ city. Most of the houses in the game are literally copy and pastes of each other, which I suspect will change as the game progresses further in its alpha stage, but at the moment I find it really disappointing. There are other landmarks in the wilderness such lakes, mountains and a Dam, just to name a few.
The games visual style isn’t terrible, but it also isn’t great. The issues I find are mainly with reused assets that really take away from the immersion of the game, but other than that, it can look really nice.

Zombies are the least of your worries in H1Z1

Zombies are the least of your worries in H1Z1


Gameplay

In H1Z1 there are many different servers you can join that have different rules and attributes that affect how the server functions . At the time of me playing the server rule-sets were PVP, PvE Only, Headshot only, Recipe wipe (which means when you die, you have to learn all of your recipes for crafting again), First Person Only and Battle Royale (which I will go into detail further down).

You begin by being dropped into the world with nothing but the clothes you wear. You must scavenge for berries to keep you from dehydrating, sticks to craft makeshift bows and arrows to protect yourself from wildlife, other players and of course, Zombies. Now interestingly enough, the Zombies pose barely any threat. The main threat in this game is the other players and most of the time they will kill you on sight, especially if you have anything valuable on you. You have 4 stats: Hunger, Dehydration, Energy and Health, which you will need to keep up in order to survive. After savaging the necessities, you can then start building an arsenal of weapons, crafting items and even build a safe house to store your equipment.
If you die, you lose everything that you have on you. This is what makes this game difficult. You can talk to other players in your area via your Mic, which is a nice touch, but I found most of the time I just got threatened to give up my belongings.

Guns are plenty in H1Z1. Ammo on the other hand...

Guns are plenty in H1Z1. Ammo on the other hand…

I’m going to be honest, when I thought to review this game, I was going to rip it to shreds. Last time I played it, it was awful, nothing seemed to work like intended, bugs all over the place, and game crashes constantly. BUT with the new Australian servers, it actually plays rather well. Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of bugs and issues with the game, but it’s an improvement, and hopefully will shape up into a very nice game.

Some of the bugs include zombies and wildlife clipping through walls and the ground, audio dropping out completely and not being able to access the Settings Menu, which was mildly frustrating, and falling through the ground and having to kill myself to continue playing.

Now onto the worst part about this game. I am not a fan of micro-transactions in games that I have already paid for. H1Z1 contains a marketplace. In the marketplace you can buy keys for crates you find in the world which contain cosmetic items; Airdrop tickets where you will get an Airdrop of supplies containing Weapons, ammo and other supplies. H1Z1 justifies this by having the drop made very public, so other survivors can actually loot them if you are not quick enough. I absolutely despise this, and I think it ruins an otherwise decent game. This brings me to the Battle Royale game mode. Battle Royale is a newly added game mode that requires an Event Ticket to be played. These can be paid for in the marketplace or can be found in the world. The basic premise of this is the last man standing wins. Over 100 players are thrown into the game and periodically poisonous gas spawns forcing players into a smaller and smaller area until all players are dead. If you die, game over. Players get rewards for surviving longest, they are mostly cosmetic items, and extra event tickets so you can play again. Battle Royale is actually really fun, but irritating if you are one of the first to die.


Conclusion

H1Z1 is still very buggy, but it is making improvements. Hopefully Daybreak get away from Pay-walling game modes, especially in Early Access. I think that this game will live up to its hype eventually, but in its current state, it just doesn’t do it for me.

SCORE: 5/10

Release Date: Early Access
Available from: Steam ($19.99 USD)
Developed by: Daybreak Game Company
Published by: Daybreak Game Company

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