Tuesday, 20 January 2015

H1Z1 First Impressions

For the first time I've decided to get involved with an early access game, a few days in to the much talked about Steam Early Access Alpha of Sony's Zombie Survival game, H1Z1.

I heard about this game some time ago and being a fan of The Zed Genre in general and played to bits Left for Dead 1 and 2, it really piqued my interest. When news of the release of forerunner, Day Z came out with it's horrific PVP making it a griefers holiday, I was excited that not only would H1Z1 focus more on crafting and building but would have PVE servers. Being the Care Bear I am, I was sold and when the opportunity to get in early in the game's development appeared, I jumped in, having watched a few Twitch streams first (and reading about Belghast's experience, over on Tales of the Aggronaut)

Being early access, I was ready for a battle to just get in the game, and it was that. A couple of hours fiddling various settings but eventually I got in. Finding a medium populated PVE server, I was thrown in to field of blackberries with nothing but my wits.

I won't lie, there was a definite feeling of excitement entering, something I've not felt from a game in some time. I had no clue where I was or what to do, but I set about picking blackberries, knowing food would be scarce, and found a nice solid branch for a weapon. After filling my pockets, I spotted a deer, so started stalking it. I couldn't get close enough so set about sprinting, trying to smack it down. I failed miserably. Hunger was setting in and the blackberries weren't cutting it. I stumbled across a road  full of deserted wrecked cars. Searching about twenty, I found nothing. It's hard to know if that's as intended, they'd be ransacked already or it's just bugged. Either way, it was disappointing. Soon enough I found a town, a deserted church offered nothing until I spotted a police station. I figured there must be an armoury of some kind, if not a gun in a desk somewhere, so I moved in, dodging the odd zombie on the way.

I searched every desk and drawer and went to the basement where I found the armoury. Nothing. Again, cleared out or bugged, but very frustrating. Hunger had almost killed me, so I headed upstairs, noticing wooden spikes on the stairs. I must have stepped on one, as I collapsed onto them and died.

Not a great start to my career, but it was fun if frustrating. I had to log out and have been unable to get back in following a patch, something a number of players have reported.

Overall, I'm enjoying H1Z1. My main complaint, aside from the lack of loot, are the zombies. Graphically they are not great, Left 4 Dead did a better job, but I'm assuming that will improve as the game develops. They are also not especially active. One stood stock still, arms out, staring at me then vanished as I got close. The patch today has apparently dealt with loot issues, though not much use to me if I can't log in. Hopefully will get to try again tomorrow.

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