H1Z1 – King of the Hill – Review

With the recent boom in popularity that Player Unknowns Battleground has seen, the massively multiplayer survival style game is once again topping the streamers playlists. Whilst the likes of League of Legends, DOTA2 and CS:Go will regularly dominate the top of most viewed list in Twitch, PUGB is now often in the top 5.

Why is this relevant to H1Z1? The game is very much similar in terms of game style and therefore is popular to watch and stream by those looking at making a decision between a very high priced Early Access game (PUBG is £27) versus H1Z1s current Steam Summer Sale price of £7.50 (normally £14.99) and at the time of writing H1Z1 is being watched by an audience of around 10,000 which places it in the top 20 list and gives it huge visibility.

Daybreak Games would be wise to make huge improvements to their game now to capitalize and ensure they attract those not willing to part with £27 for an early access game. And with the recent update (May 18th) it appears as if Daybreak Games are doing just that.

Along with the main game feature of 174 odd players parachuting down and surviving the ever decreasing map until one player is left, they have also re added a skirmish mode which is available every weekend and has a unique ruleset each week such as “snipers and shotties”. This definitely adds a fun element to the game if you need a break from the loot and survive mechanic of the main game mode and is a one up on PUGB which currently only has the one main game mode.

In the recent update they have also made some major UI changes making looting and crafting much more simplified as it is currently in PUBG. Fast looting and menu access can be the difference between surviving and being killed cheaply, so it’s a welcome update to remove that possible frustration.

Also included in the update are three new Points of Interest which allow for some different styles of battle for those caught up in these zones. I for one much prefer close combat than being sniped by someone setting up camp for the game duration, so the shipping yard is often my first point of call if possible. The developers have also stated that gunplay has been improved with better hit detection, I can’t comment on this improvement as I don’t know if this was a major issue before however during my games, I hit other players when it looked like it should have up close or from distance so had no complaints about it.

Whilst I don’t have hundreds of hours put into this game, you get a good feel for a title when playing after a few hours and rounds and from what I played I enjoyed a lot. I have recommended that others try this out before they consider jumping on the hype wagon for PUBG as H1Z1 has got a good developmental head start and does show that polish over PUBG, vehicles for instance are a pleasure to drive but in PUBG they aren’t. Whilst graphically PUBG is the better looking game, H1Z1 does have its own style and doesn’t need a super computer to run it well, however when maxed out still has fantastic draw distance and does look great.

Both games are also updated very frequently and since reviewing the recent May 18th patch a newer update was also pushed out on June 29th featuring another huge list of improvements and fixes and more about that update can be watched below.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KDU5oHtGm8[/embedyt]

As much as I wanted this piece to be about H1Z1 and the progress it’s making I couldn’t ignore that PUBG is out there and is already on its way to console such is the popularity of it whereas the development for H1Z1 for console has paused and is 100% focused on PC. Only time will tell if this was a good or bad move for either title however PUBG continues to gain fans and traction and I can’t help but feel that it will remain the more popular game.

Personally there is nothing wrong with H1Z1 and it is a great game, even the most recent reviews on Steam are mostly positive. If you pick it up you won’t be disappointed and will get the same survival game you would had you chosen to purchase PUBG instead, however the hype surrounding PUBG is huge and unfortunately people will go with the hype.

If you are new to this genre I highly recommend picking this up on the Steam Summer sale which ends July 5th.