Author Topic: [Video Game] H1Z1 (PC, Early Access)  (Read 1512 times)

MiniVanMan

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[Video Game] H1Z1 (PC, Early Access)
« on: April 14, 2015, 09:39:14 PM »
Steam's Green Light program started off as a wonderful thing and has evolved into what can only be described as a portal into hell. The amount of pure shit showing up with ridiculous price tags is almost hard to believe, and it truly, truly makes me sad to see what Valve has devolved into, to allow this kind of thing.

H1Z1 appeared to be just another one of those "me too" zombie survival games with absolutely no outstanding features to lay claim to. I was ready to write it off, to the point that I was actually avoiding the Let's Play's showing up in my YouTube Subscriptions feed.

But people kept talking about it. It just wasn't going away. Then I learned something - it was being developed by Sony Online Entertainment. That got my attention, as I knew there was no way that SOE would associate themselves with a half-assed cash in like MOST of the stuff coming from Green Light is.

But there was still controversy. $20 for an Early Access game that is slated to end up as Free to Play when finished? And supposedly the game was set up "pay to win" micro transactions. (which is a topic I'll touch on shortly).

So I had a beer or two one night and decided, fuck it, I've spent $20 on worse, let's see what this is all about.


H1Z1 is now one of my top 5 favorite games of all time.




First, let me get the controversial crap out of the way.
1. Yes, SOE (now known as Daybreak Gaming Company) plans for the game to be "Free to Play" when it's finished. I'm not convinced that will actually happen, as the game has had some major developmental shifts since it first appeared on Green Light. The developers are VERY in tune with the community and interact with the players every single day. As a matter of fact, one person was live-streaming the game when he ran across a glitched door. Literally within 5 minutes, the official H1Z1 twitter posted a video of one of the developers in the map editor fixing the problem.

2. It's not pay to win. The controversy surrounds "air drops", which are purchased with real money. You go to the in-game store, buy an air drop ticket, then call in an air drop, which contains supplies. Supplies can be anything from a bow and some arrows, health kits, food, to an AR15 and tons of ammo. It's total luck of the draw... and not only that, but ANYBODY can take the air drop, so if you call it in and someone kills you, you just lost real money. Besides all of that, an air drop does not give you any sort of advantage whatsoever. Any items contained in an air drop can be found within the world. People were up in arms over this at first, but nobody talks about it anymore because it was quickly realized that air drops are really pointless.


Anyway.

Graphics - I'm not grading graphics, because they're a work in progress. The lighting is currently pretty good, and the map design is very nice. Rural Midwest America is not a location often seen in video games so it's nice to see it represented so faithfully here, even though the locations are all entirely fictional. The game looks pretty good in its current state, and given that the graphics are essentially just place holders until the final polish, that's sort of impressive.

Sound - Ok, this game probably has the best sound of any game ever created, and I'm not exaggerating. Gun shots will fucking SCARE THE SHIT out of you - they are LOUD. I mean, if you're wearing head phones and you touch off a shotgun inside a building, you actually feel like you have hearing damage. These are the most realistic sounding guns I've ever heard in a game, and that's counting the Battlefield series.

Sound is a VITAL game play mechanic - hearing zombies, foot steps, and distant gun shots (which sound so, so good) completely dictates what actions you take. If I hear gun shots to the West, I'm fucking going East. Sound carries based on volume, so gun shots can be heard from a very long way away. It's incredibly cool to be looting a car and hear a short burst of gun fire a few miles away. What happened? Two players get in a skirmish? Did they run across some zombies? Bears? Was it a hunting party murdering an innocent newbie?

Same goes for voice - the louder you speak, the farther your voice carries, and you can only hear people talking when you're withing audible range.

This game has the best sound effects and use of sound of any game I've ever played and I don't say that lightly.


Game Play - Right now there isn't much to do in standard PvP or PvE modes. You just wander around and loot, maybe build a base, just do whatever you want. The game in its current state absolutely requires players to play in a way that contributes to the experience - and when they do, it's a fucking INCREDIBLE experience.

Things I've experienced so far:
-Running into two players in my travels who asked me for directions and warned me that there was a hunting party a few miles North on the same road we were on that had killed two of their group. That literally gave me the chills, so I changed course and went somewhere else. Wasn't long before I heard gun shots off in that direction - they weren't lying to me.

-Getting into a 4-way stand off immediately followed by a 4-way gang battle in the Police Station basement. My group (5 or 6 players I randomly met) showed up at the Police Station just as two cars arrived. The cars fought with each other, we barged inside and closed the door, taking shelter in a room. Finally we knew we had to get into the basement (where the weapon storage is), so we forced our way down. Lost two guys getting down the stairs, and the basement dwellers barricaded themselves in the weapons storage room. We had a stand off for quite some time. Flung open the door and killed one of them, lost another guy or two and then got pushed back into the holding cells by a third group that made it into the station. So 1 group in the weapon storage, 1 group on the stairs and my group in the holding cell area. The FOURTH group shows up, starts fighting with the 3rd group, the weapons group comes out, we barge out, and it's a 4 way gang shoot out in a stair well. ONE person survived. That person was not me.

-Met another group of 9 and after some shenanigans lost 3 guys to a couple snipers on an apartment roof. We charged up the stairs and killed them, held the roof for an hour but keep losing guys in the various attacks. My favorite part was providing sniper cover for one of our guys when he had to make a supply run (we were running out of food and ammo). As he was down on the ground crafting some ammo at a work bench that was set up in a parking lot, another player tried to hold him up with a knife. I shot at his feet, he put his hands up and ran off into the night. It was awesome.

-Alerted a Horde of zombies and got myself trapped on an HVAC unit on the police station roof with little ammo and no escape. Another player showed up and promptly was chased off by some of the zombies. I died of starvation after running out of ammo.


So, think of H1Z1 as the game DayZ WANTS to be. It's clear by now that the DayZ devs had a great idea but lack the skill to see it to its final form. H1Z1, on the other hand, is often an INCREDIBLE experience. The remarkable thing about H1Z1 is that it works, right now. It's playable, and everything in it works very well. Yeah it has some bugs and stuff, but nothing on the level of DayZ. You can go into H1Z1 and have an incredible experience (provided other players aren't being douchebag trolls).

Some screens.

Watching over my guys as they craft ammo


Yes, this zombie has been chasing me as far as this road is long.


Found a truck, then two players in a cop car started chasing me.


The crew I was with in the Police Station basement battle


I was prone in a hill in a bush watching over this area when this player decided to loot a cabinet, so I killed him. He had lots of good shit on him, too.


Another player who didn't see me hiding in the bushes with my rifle...


Found a Jeep, got spark plugs and a battery, flipped it within 20ft.


Trapped in the Police Station. There are way, way more zombies outside.


Found a couple guys driving along in a truck who gave me a ride into town.


Got chased by this guy who continually shouted "u sucka my dik" and hit me whenever he got close enough. Another player ended up shooting him dead when we ran past.


Zombies like to congregate near towns.


My perch on the police station HVAC unit, watching this other player get chased away by a horde. There were twice as many on the roof with me. And no, the ammo I had for the shot gun was not enough to get me out of it, because every shot just brought more zombies.


Church is in session!


Got chased by this bear for a long while. Led him into town where he terrorized a few people who didn't have guns.


This is the crew we had before the apartment rooftop snipers got 3 of us. I'm not wearing clothes because just a few minutes prior to this I was someone's prisoner, but managed to escape.