On February 28th, 2018, San Diego based developer and publisher Daybreak Game Company finally released their free-to-play battle royale game titled H1Z1 on PC after spending three years in early access. With the addition of an Auto Royale mode and the announcement of an official eSports Pro League partnership between Daybreak Games and Twin Galaxies, the studio’s next goal was to shift their focus towards bringing H1Z1 to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Prior to the kickoff event this past weekend for the H1Z1 Pro League in Las Vegas, Nevada, I had the opportunity to see H1Z1 running on the PlayStation 4 and walked away very impressed. Here are more details on H1Z1 along with my thoughts on what you can expect from this upcoming console version of the free-to-play battle royale phenomenon.
H1Z1 is currently billed as the original standalone battle royal game in which up to 150 players compete against each other in exciting last man standing deathmatches. After players are parachuted into random locations on a map, they are tasked with finding weapons and vehicles to aid them in taking our their adversaries. As the game progresses, a toxic gas cloud slowly consumes the map and forces players to engage in close quarters combat scenarios until there’s only one person or team left standing.
For H1Z1 on the PlayStation 4, Daybreak Games decided to ditch the idea of a port and essentially created a new version of the game built entirely from the ground up to cater primarily to console owners. They wanted to focus their energy and efforts on the core elements that make battle royale games fun and have in turn built a competitive title that’s fully accessible for every and any type of player regardless of skill level. The end result of their hard work is a much more streamlined experience with a fully reworked user interface, new weapon progression system, and more weapons and gadgets than ever before.
Slick UI design and intuitive combat controls have to be at the forefront of every type of battle royale experience and luckily Daybreak doesn’t disappoint with the changes that they have made for this particular version of the game. PS4 players will have the luxury of using a newly added weapon wheel system to easily access equipment at any given time.
Scrapping and crafting have also been entirely removed from the game in favor of a simplified loot system that can be used by pressing the triangle button. Backpacks naturally allow you to carry more weapons and the revamped HUD clearly displays important information throughout each match. These changes were made to keep players fully engaged in the action at all times without getting bogged down by having to learn too many new things at once.
Gameplay progression mechanics within matchups have been significantly sped up on consoles resulting in 15-18 minute long sessions. A dynamic mass airdrop system has also been implemented to encourage players to move faster and eliminate any and every enemy blocking their path towards obtaining newer, more efficient weapons. Shorter sessions like these were designed in mind to keep the fast-paced atmosphere intact and players always on their toes from start to finish.
Several other additions that players can expect from H1Z1 on PS4 include six new weapons, hidden crates with leveled-up gear, and full access to the same grenades featured in the PC version of the game. Auto Royale fans will also be able to use a larger inventory of vehicles than ever before and gameplay feels extremely fluid and satisfying when pinning enemies against objects.
In terms of performance, H1Z1 has been fully optimized for the PlayStation 4 and runs at 60 frames per second on PS4 Pro. While this game is entirely free-to-play, players do have the option of pre-ordering a special bundle for $29.99 that includes in-game cosmetic items and a dynamic theme that will be available once the open beta starts on May 22nd. PlayStation Plus subscribers will also receive 20% off their pre-order should they decide to buy now. Daybreak is committed to making H1Z1 a community-driven game and any and all feedback received will ultimately shape how the title turns out over time.
While the gameplay presentation was short, it’s evident that H1Z1 is without a doubt the perfect example of a battle royale game done right for consoles. Daybreak has gone above and beyond in making the entire experience feel authentic for PS4 players and if you’re a fan of the genre, then you definitely owe it to yourself to see what this title has to offer.
H1Z1 will launch as a free-to-play title on PlayStation 4 with an open beta starting on May 22nd. A closed beta weekend is also expected to take place soon and you will be able to sign up shortly at the game’s official website. Are any of you planning on checking out the PS4 version of H1Z1 next month? Please feel free to let us know your thoughts on the game and more in the comments section below.