H1Z1 PS4 Hands-On Preview: Where The Green Gas Glows

The team at Daybreak is bringing their battle royale baby to Sony's console, but this isn't just a straight-ahead port. 


Not to get too “back in my day” about games, but it used to be once you bought a game that was basically it. There wasn’t any DLC or patches, or special events that could be downloaded at the snap of a finger. But beyond the general benefits of regular updates, we’re now starting to see games completely pivot on their concepts in order to maintain competitive in the market. H1Z1 is one such title that has chosen to evolve itself from a zombiepocalypse survival game, into a King of the Hill format. But it didn’t stop there, and now H1Z1 is a full-fledged battle royale title. Now, as the game prepares to head to the PS4, I got some hands-on time with what may be the series’ final form.

While the PS4 version is essentially the same core game as its PC counterpart, players can take on the battle royale mode straight up 1v100, as a duo with a friend, or join a squad of five in an attempt to be the last standing. However, H1Z1 for the PS4 has been streamlined to offer up faster rounds that get players into the action quicker.

The green toxic gas that encircles the game map and shrinks the safe area down until players are forced into a final showdown now moves faster to help expedite rounds into a more bite-sized format. Daybreak Game Company also made the decision to remove the crafting system from the game for its console port, so now instead of scavenging for materials to make armor players will simply find helmets and chest plates scattered throughout the playing field.

All the weapons from the PC version will be heading over to the console along with few new guns including a semi-auto Combat Shotgun, a brand-new Scout Rifle, and a silenced CNQ-09 SMG. Also, for the first time, there will be a heavy machine gun that can only be found in a gold tier supply drop.

Supply drops in general will also be more frequent in the PS4 version. It plays into the new level system for the guns as well. The way the levelling system works is pretty straightforward; when the game begins players will only be able to find handguns and SMGs while scavenging, and possibly a hard-to-find crossbow with explosive ammo. As the toxic glass closes in and players start dropping, the next level of weapons will open up and supply drops should become more consistent.

While my matches were a bit expedited more than the final game will be, it appeared to me that H1Z1 was hitting its mark when it comes to creating a faster-paced battle royale experience. I can’t say for sure just yet that vibe will carry over to the final PS4 version but fans will be able to find out for themselves soon enough when H1Z1 launches free-to-play later this year. For now, the closed beta begins tomorrow on May 9 with a larger round of closed beta keys going out on May 14.

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Blake has been writing and making videos about pop-culture and games for over 10 years now. Although he'd probably prefer you thought of him as a musician and listened to his band, www.cartoonviolencemusic.com. If you see him on the street, buy him a taco or something. Follow him on twitter @ProfRobot

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