H1Z1by Mikhail Jun 1, 2018 | 1 Votes | 1 Played | 0 Reviews
People Also PlayedNote: This is a review of H1Z1’s PlayStation 4 version, not the PC version which is also free-to-play and available on Steam.
H1Z1: King of the Kill has finally arrived on the PlayStation 4, making it the second free-to-play battle royale game to hit the console. It is a breath of fresh air to battle royale fans on the console, especially those who aren’t huge fans of (or are just terrible at) Fortnite’s building elements. Considering that this is an open beta release, it is suffering from a multitude of issues. Regardless, the core gameplay experience is solid and once Daybreak Games manages to sort these out and iron the creases, you’ll be treated to a survival bullet-fest like no other.
With that said, should you attempt to be the King of the Kill or are you better off waiting for the full v1.0 release? Let’s take an in-depth look at what the game has to offer:
There is no coherent story in H1Z1, although it starts off the same way as any battle royale game. You drop into an area, scavenging for weapons, equipment, and supplies to become the last man standing. You’ll also end up driving cars that are scattered across the battlefield to escape from both enemies and the poisonous gas which is rapidly swallowing up the play area.
The map itself - or the setting - is rather intriguing. When you roam around the map, you will see various camps and boarded up buildings that were definitely built to escape or block off the undead. Considering that the original H1Z1 game was all about fighting zeds, we can safely assume the map had zombie apocalypse origins. In turn, the eerie atmosphere amps up the tension, making every step take whether inside a building or a forest full of suspense.
In most battle royale games, you drop into the map via an airplane, a flying bus, or a helicopter. H1Z1 somehow doesn’t let its players do this. Instead, they scatter players across the map and make them land on random points. This ensures that players won’t be concentrated on a single location. The downside is that combatants won’t be able to make a choice regarding where to land. If you’re dropped in the middle of the boonies, you’ll have to contend with loot scarcity.
Fortunately, you can still move around the battlefield freely by simply finding vehicles (which are indicated on the map). Variety is quite low: the only ones available are police cruisers, jeeps, ATVs, and pickup trucks. Getting a car is mandatory, considering that the poisonous gas is reducing the safe zone’s size moves rapidly. The driving mechanics are actually pretty smooth, but require a lot of practice and getting used to. Don’t be surprised if you end up running over a teammate while learning the ropes. In addition, vehicles barely feel any different, although they vary a little in speed and durability. Furthermore, you will also need to watch your car’s gas, but these feel negligible considering that you can drive the same car from the start of the game and still have 30 points remaining in the tank.
Most of the floor loot readily available on the post-apocalyptic battlefield are subpar weapons and equipment. To get stronger weapons and more durable equipment, you need to find military crates scattered across the map. An indication that one is nearby is when you hear a radio static sound nearby. In addition, the game provides supply drops which has extremely powerful weapons categorized into four rarity types: green, blue, purple, and gold. As the play area dwindles in size, the supply drops get rarer, increasing the chances of encountering enemies to contend with the loot. Gunplay requires a lot of skill, considering that aim assist here is considerably nonexistent.
As stated earlier, the game suffers from a number of issues which severely hampers the gameplay experience. Server and connectivity problems are the most notable issues, and at times, you’ll end up being stuck in a perpetual loading screen. Though this isn’t a surprise considering that the game has grown to have over 4.5 million players, you would have thought the devs had the foresight to anticipate the influx of battle royale-hungry gamers. In addition, there are also problems when attempting to join parties. Sometimes, you will end up with a different group or disconnecting. There are also bugs like players dropping directly into the bottom into the abyss which is under the map when parachuting downwards at full speed, and frequent crashes. Fortunately, the devs send out a patch a day to try and address these issues, and the game improves with each release.
H1Z1 is a multiplayer game, and apart from mowing down other players, you can opt to join up with them. Apart from Solos, groups of five and Duos are now available. Unfortunately, it is recommended to play with your friends, given that team killing is a problem, especially if you’ve joined a group of randoms with short fuses who instantly shower you with lead if you were the first to pick up a sniper from the supply drop. If you’re looking for decent players to pair up with or to discuss the game with friends, you can visit the H1Z1 subreddit or look for PSN communities
In terms of visual presentation, H1Z1 is outstanding. Although people will complain about the lack of colours and dark palettes, it fits perfectly with the game’s post-apocalyptic setting. Well hey, you don’t exactly see freshly-painted buildings and bright yellow jackets in a zombie apocalypse, right? However, the draw distance is quite horrendous, and the moment you drop into the map, the place is enveloped with fog which is utilized to hide that fact. Again, this fits well with the setting, giving it Silent Hill-like vibes.
Game chat sounds horrendous, and it feels as if your teammates are speaking through a can. It’s recommended to use party chat on the PlayStation if you’re playing with friends. The closed beta had proximity chat before, but the feature isn’t in the open beta. Though there are no announcements regarding this, we can safely assume they will be putting it in the open beta once the game chat service improves.
Overall, H1Z1 is arguably one of the games you really need to get your hands on. Though the issues it has is annoying, the gameplay experience keeps on improving every day. Once the developers fix the deficiencies, you will be treated to a fantastic gameplay experience that will keep you playing for hundreds of hours.