H1Z1 Preview


Looking for a good zombie survival game? You’re possibly in the wrong place! H1Z1 may not be complete, but people are playing it every single day, and so far the reviews are just terrible. It’s not a game I would personally pay to start playing, at least not until it’s 100% complete. Right now, it’s $20 on Steam, which is odd, as there are better freebies available.

When I first heard about the game it was still in development by Sony Online Entertainment, but now it’s under the control of Daybreak Game Company, who is doing a horrible job at listening to the players. I am not one to nag or use harsh words against a developer, as I know it’s hard work and most players take it for granted. However, they’ve been working on this game for a long time, and it seems like they’re interested in putting things for sale then fixing bugs.

Many folks are already complaining about the developer adding more game modes to Battle Royale, when the rest of the game is flooded with bugs and constantly causes computers to crash. It’s frustrating for players who spent money to play an unfinished game only for the developer to ignore the obvious mistakes that need to be fixed. It would be nice to know they’re fixing mistakes and not just spending time and resources on adding more broken features.

Maybe the developer has a system where they hope to add everything first, and then fix it later. Regardless, let’s talk about what the finished game will be like and not what it’s like now!


H1Z1 is all about multiplayer cooperation, trading and working together as a team to survive against an endless amount of zombies. There is no “safe zone” on the map, and the map is massive. From the moment you spawn into the game you will be in danger, so get with a team and start killing zombies. That’s the idea, and it seems to work well, as none of the game’s bad reviews are against the survival gameplay (they’re about bugs, but mainly the developer’s lack of working on survival mode over Battle Royale).


In the game you will have the ability to craft items, and it will play a major role in keeping you alive. There’s a lot of scavenging required to get the parts you need for crafting, but you must definitely use everything at your disposal to survive in H1Z1. So basically, you’re able to make important zombie-apocalypse items like campfires, bandages, and of course, food.

First, you must find out what it takes to make an item, then you have to combine the ingredients to make it. It’s basic crafting, nothing new in comparison to crafting systems in other games. However, it’s a necessity in H1Z1 and it makes the gameplay more interesting. It’s one thing to scavenge for items like food and health, but when you have to scavenge for the ingredients to actually make those useful items, it gets more challenging.

When you die, you still know the recipes you learned, however certain server’s rules might prevent that from happening so you might have to relearn the recipes. Not only that, but some of them will require you to have the right tools, such as having a furnace to melt scrap metal, hammers to put stuff together, an oven to cook, and a workbench to build stuff. It probably sounds basic, but in the game this can make things more challenging than your average game’s crafting system.

Players can become stressed from dealing with day-to-day apocalypse living, and therefore items like moonshine may be produced. Why? To get rid of the man’s stress!

Base building is another interesting feature in H1Z1, and there are two types of bases you can build. The first type is Player-Built Bases, which are when a player crafts a Deck Foundation or Ground Tamper. From there, the player can start adding watchtowers, walls, rooms, etc. If the player just wants a small place to hideout he can create a Shack, which is useful for storing items.

The second type of base is a barricade, which you generally don’t want to build unless it’s an emergency. Basically, you run into a house and live there until the barricades are broken down by zombies. It’s not fun, which is why it’s the least common method of base building in the game.


Combat in H1Z1 is never boring, and you will often raid infected towns and hunt animals. Obviously, hunting and raiding an infected town will require way different strategies, and that’s why the combat in H1Z1 never gets boring. Combat against enemy players can be very difficult, and it will often require a tactical withdrawal when up against too many people.

Zombies will attack differently each time thanks to an adaptive AI system, so don’t expect the next encounter to play out the same way as the last. The developer did a great job with the AI and the zombies can be difficult to fight, which is why raiding an infected town requires a great deal of strategy.

Like how limbs can be blown off in Fallout and other games? Well, the developers have mentioned that the feature will be coming to the game in the near future, so you will be able to blow off a zombie’s arm or leg in combat. Sounds like a feature they should have had since the start, but it’s nice to know they’re working on adding it to the game.

Hunting in H1Z1 is also a nice feature, as it’s a realistic way to gather resources, and animal fat will definitely come in handy. Sometimes, the animals will attack you so you might kill them in order to survive, so watch out! Besides from the obvious ways of hunting (with a gun), you can set up traps and snares to do most of the work for you.

There are even predatory animals in the game that will go after the weaker animals (and the zombies) so the game is definitely realistic in terms of the habitat. For instance, wolves will hunt deer, but they will also attack you or zombies if given the chance.

Thankfully, there are vehicles in H1Z1 so you won’t have to walk or run everywhere you go. With a vehicle you can transport cargo to a different base much quicker than walking, and of course you will be able to travel with more cargo as you will have more room. Often, you will find vehicles broken down, but they’re salvageable.

Vehicles are somewhat multipurpose in this game, as you can use them to take cover from your enemies, run from your enemies, or actually run down your enemies. Most of the time they give you away and make you a target, it’s not like you’re going to be driving around in a silent Prius. They also require maintenance and fuel, so think twice before using one and only use it when you need to. There are three types of vehicles in the game, they are the OffRoader, Pickup Truck and Police Cruiser.

Progression in H1Z1

Here’s the unique part about this game – there is no leveling system or set progression. All you do is survive! That’s it. Your goal is stay alive and not die for as long as possible, just like a real zombie apocalypse. Those who survive the longest are likely to have large bases, a ton of weapons, medical supplies, drinks, and food. Those who are new won’t have much of anything, and some just prefer to walk light with a backpack full of food, drinks and ammo. It’s an interesting concept, but it works.



I wrote this after watching an episode of Fear the Walking Dead, and I love zombie video games. I might be biased, but I think H1Z1 will become a great game by the time the developer has finished it. Right now you can pay $20 to play, but I recommend waiting until it’s complete. There are many new features they plan on adding, such as fishing and possibly owning pets. They’re adding horses and dogs to the game and it’s not clear how you will interact with them, but we know one is man’s best friend and the other is an awesome (silent) method of transportation. What do you think?

H1Z1 was released as an early access title on Steam at the beginning of this year, and it has suffered from technical issues since then. When the developer released a patch to fix most of these problems, another bug was introduced, causing the servers to go offline. Still, the game has somehow sold over 1 million copies already and more people are purchasing it everyday. The reviews are suffering though, and if you look at the reviews on Steam you will see some angry users who probably want their money back. Is it worth $20 right now? Find out for yourself, I would hate to recommend it now with all the bugs, it might spoil your opinion of a great game before it becomes great.


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