So I have heard a crap ton about this game, seen in on Youtube and seen it on stream. Honestly I thought it wasn’t for me. So when our Editor in Chief @kitsune86 said “hey you wanna explore some H1Z1?” I was pretty eager. I had started looking in to this game when I wrote a news story about how the game was splitting off in two separate games; the survival aspect and the battle royale. I was given a chance to try the battle royal by the developers and this is my log of the results.
The first hour:
Im trying to play this game with Rae @kitsune86 and Im too stupid to figure out the group mechanic so we just both try to join the same server. We join in and are dropped directly in to what I now know is a lobby. I immediately started punching the person in front of me thinking that I was in the Deathmatch portion of the game.
Nope just the lobby, and while I listened to the screamed insults of squeaky children calling my mother bad names, and questioning my sexuality a time showed up counting down to the actual battle. The counter hits zero and I get a loading screen. Suddenly, I am in the air, WTF?! Im falling on a parachute, towards a verdant green landscape dotted with houses and other buildings.
“ok Rae lets aim for the large buildings” I say
“wait what? Im already in a game on the ground she says” then after a moments wait “Oh crap, we are in separate games, aren’t we?”
I would like to say I didn’t laugh at this point, but I did. We were indeed in separate games, and so I headed off on my own. I managed to land ok, and found myself in an apartment building. Now, iv seen enough of this game to know im supposed to go find some guns, so I start looking. All right I found a gun! Now to go find someone, what is the server telling me about this gas? Oh shit where am I? The game must have a map right? There is the map, but im not marked on it! At least I have a compass to navigate by. I start to head north, my pistol in hand. A few seconds later I hear a few gunshots, and then I see my first other player. I aim down my sight, but before I can even toss off a couple of shots at him im dead.
“You lost you placed 68th.” Ok game now its on, I exit back out, navigate back in and a quick google search later Rae and I are in a group and able to play together.
The next few games:
Finally in to a game Rae and I managed to meet up and navigate down the river looking for loot. Unfortunately its been enough time that the game is now releasing the toxic gas and we are hemmed in. Dead again. A bit of googling later, and we have a plan, get on the ground, aim for houses and try to get some guns, and ammo.
Rae and I finally manage to get down on the ground and to a house. I find myself with a shotgun, and an AR-15, ready to go. Im loaded up im kitted out im going to win this time! Rae and I move through the map, looking for anyone foolish enough to challenge us.
Two minutes later we are both dead. I ran in to a building and took a shotgun blast right in the face, and Rae followed me trying to avenge my death. That was the end of my first play session. Total time invested three hours, total deaths, 7.
Despite my many deaths, and lack of ability to kill my enemies, and slay those who opposed me, I am in love with game. Mostly its how this game handles its mechanics. There is just so much tension. Walking around waiting to shoot someone or get shot at. The world is abandoned not a sound, then gunfire, and you’re not sure where it came from and if you should run and hide or stay and fight.
The final nail in this tension coffin is the releasing of the poison gas. The game slowly closes the playable map area (which is huge) down to just a few meters of space in a circle. Forcing all of the players to fight in the final small space the game gives them. Most of the time you either die immediately in the early rush for supplies, or end up in this gas related melee. Rae and I have yet to win a match, but we have been able to get to 8th and 9th places.
Overall I give this game a 7/10. Its poorly optimized, has all kinds of glitches, will win no awards for graphics, and plays straight out of the early 2000’s, but god dam is it fun. I find myself often choosing this game to play over say a Call of Duty or even my old standby time killer Heroes of the Storm.