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H1Z1: King of the Kill Review

H1Z1: King of the Kill is a mostly free-for-all PvP orientated game based in a post apocalyptic world. The main theme of the game is kill or be killed. With the toxic gas in Battle Royale and the timed bombs in Ignition, the player is more or less forced to fight for their survival. The game is still in development, but I’ll treat is as a full game for the purposes of the review.

Battle Royale

H1Z1: King of the Kill has two game modes, Battle Royale and Ignition. The first game mode is pretty basic, after waiting for the game to start, the player parachutes down onto the map, hopefully near loot, and everyone fights to the death as a toxic gas cloud rolls over the map. The servers have many players, I’ve played in a server with one hundred and fifty players before. The denser the population of a server, the faster the players kill each other. Most players try to land near the good loot, but if they don’t get their hands on it first they’re gonna be shot down by someone quicker.

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Battle Royal has a few variations in H1Z1, the classic “free-for-all” type game mode is the standard, but there is Battle Royale Zombies with two-man teams and five-man teams. They are more or less just the standard game mode with zombies or teams; it’s rather simple. Honestly, I think the standard game mode is the best. At the end of every game the top players get rewards along with glory.

When I tried to play Battle Royale Zombies, the round never started. I believe it was because there weren’t enough players, but if that was the case then they need to reduce the amount of players required. I was waiting in the waiting area for fifteen minutes and the maximum players in the server at any given time was twenty three.

Ignition

Ignition is actually pretty interesting. The players are dropped into the map on ATVs and have a limited amount of time to get to a safe zone. If they fail to reach one of these safe zones in time they explode. The less people in a server the less safe zones there are, and the higher the population the more safe zones. There are five waves, after each wave there are fewer safe zones and all of the safe zone sizes decrease along with the time the player has to reach them. Remember to be careful when scavenging for weapons and gear and eliminate every player you come across before they kill you.

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When the player finally reaches the safe zone, they can’t leave as the zone locks down for a time. This requires the player to be able to protect themselves as well as find adequate protection. Throughout the game there is gear airdropped onto the map, including geared up off-road vehicles, which can certainly tip the scales in your favor. Again, at the end of the game the top players receive in-game rewards.

In my experience playing Ignition, the larger the server the better, as I said, less players means less safe zones. The game mode is fun, and the timer on the player’s bomb sets a sense of urgency to survive, along with the inevitable conflict with other players. It’s similar to Battle Royal at its core: find gear, kill everyone you see and move on to a safe area. The only real difference between the game modes is the fact the player is dropped in on an ATV and has to get to safe zones in Ignition. Whereas in Battle Royale they aren’t forced into such a small area, they just have to avoid the gas.

The World

Of course, as I’ve said H1Z1 is based in a post-apocalyptic America. There are cars scattered across the streets, whole towns abandoned and evidence of little camps set up around the map. The map is pretty large, and in one game of Ignition I played there was only one safe zone and I was dropped in on the other side of the map at the beginning. I tried my best to get to the safe zone in time but exploded before I could reach it. I think the landmarks and towns of H1Z1 are fairly well done, maybe a little too far apart, however, due to my experiences spending ages walking from area to area in Just Survive.

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King of the Kill’s game modes add unique alterations to the map. Battle Royale has the toxic gas, Ignition has the safe zones, and both utilizing the map to play the objective. In King of the Kill, loot is pretty common. Practically every building, camp, and simple man-made set up has some form of gear scattered around it. I think this is pretty much necessary as players are literally set up to fight to the death from the second they spawn in.

Combat

H1Z1 has a decent amount of weaponry at the player’s disposal, and in King of the Kill’s game modes it is pretty easy to come across. However, if you don’t get good gear, more or less, instantly you’ll be quickly overpowered. My first time playing H1Z1 was over in a few minutes. After parachuting in and finding a pistol, half the server was already dead, I ran up the street to find something a little better and I got riddled from behind by some guy with an assault rifle.

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The constant threat of other players in H1Z1 just amplifies my enjoyment, and the large player base actually makes it fun. The combat is fine, pretty much the same as most other PvP games, just point and shoot, or punch if you are stupid enough to try that. Houses in H1Z1 are usually full of equipment, guns and ammo, which are very important, but the player should make sure to keep some medical equipment just in case they are wounded in battle.

The actual combat mechanics are fine but nothing special. If you shoot while moving your aim is thrown off and you are less accurate, as in most games. Also, crouching and standing still makes your shots land on target. I don’t believe any guns are too overpowered.

Gameplay 7/10

The game plays like Just Survive and vice versa, which means it’s fine but nothing special and very similar to others in its genre. The combat isn’t unique but it’s fun. While there aren’t many dull moments in King of the Kill, it also isn’t amazing either. The game modes kept me entertained for a bit, but they can get repetitive and boring eventually.

Innovation 6/10

The game mode Ignition is pretty unique. I haven’t come across anything much like it in my time playing videogames. Other than this, the game isn’t extremely original. There are really no new mechanics in King of the Kill, which makes it a pretty typical survival scenario with forced PvP.

Community 5/10

It’s difficult to gauge the quality of the community in a mostly PvP game, but the other players seem fairly average. I never had much contact with them unless you include driving bullets into each other. No one ever really tried to communicate and there wasn’t a great sense of cooperation involved. One gets used to going it alone when everyone wants to kill them. On a positive note, I never came across any cheaters.

Graphics/Sounds 6/10

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Again, as in Just survive I don’t think the graphics are too spectacular, and neither are the sound effects. Of course they are fine, but with the recent leaps in graphics quality it takes a lot to keep up. So yes, the game looks fine, but it’s not revolutionary.

Value For Money 7/10

H1Z1 King of the Kill is only $20, which isn’t too bad. Yes, it’s the same price as Just Survive and I rated that less. The reason being is because I just didn’t think Just Survive worked as well as King of the Kill. It is more multiplayer orientated and you get more action out of it, so I think the price is decent.

Overall 6/10

H1Z1 King of the Kill is a good game in my opinion, and I preferred it to Just Survive. I think it is fun, but nothing revolutionary. I think the game was a bit better than average, but with all the great games out there, it doesn’t go much farther than that.

Pros:

  • Big servers
  • Full of action
  • Plentiful gear
  • Fun game modes

Cons:

  • Not the most original
  • The game becomes rather repetitive
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