While nothing entirely new in the survival genre of modern videogames, H1Z1 is certainly entertaining at points. The game takes many great aspects from similar games whilst putting its own spin on them. Many complain about how long it’s taking to be released as a full game, but this seems to be a recurring theme for survival games these days. H1Z1 doesn’t bring too much to the table for the genre, but I’m sure fans of similar games will still enjoy it. That being said, I thought the game was overall fairly bland, but I will still give as honest a review as I can muster.
Surviving in H1Z1
There are a few aspects of H1Z1 that determine your survival, or at the very least, make your life a bit better. As H1Z1 is a survival game I will be pretty in depth with this section of my review. Five stats are displayed on your HUD, Health, Stamina, Energy, Hydration and Comfort.
Energy and Hydration more or less go hand in hand, eating food and and certain beverages replenish your Energy and drinking refills your Hydration bar, pretty straight forward as usual. Food can be found all over the world, canned food is usually found in shops but the player could kill some animals or farm and forage if they prefer. The downside to hunting is the effort taken and the fact one must build a fire to cook the meat. In my experience, beverages are far more difficult to come across, but the same principles apply. One can purify water by boiling it, and afterwards it can be used to make coffee or juice.
Health is obvious, you lose Health after taking damage or contracting the H1Z1 virus, which I’ll talk about later. There are a couple ways to get your health back up, bandages and other medical resources are instant, but the player’s health will slowly regenerate if they keep their Energy and hydration up. Of course, the player dies if their Health reaches zero percent.
Stamina is used when performing actions, as in most other survival games. It can be refilled by drinking coffee, resting or sleeping in a bed when you are tired. Probably the most simple stat in H1Z1.
Comfort isn’t an essential, but it helps along the road of survival. One’s Comfort level increases after drinking moonshine, eating certain food and sitting by a campfire. Having high Comfort increases your Stamina and Health regeneration times, which can be very useful.
Finally, the H1Z1 virus can be transmitted to the player in combat with zombies. There are a few stages to the virus, each one more deadly than the last, and when the virus reaches one hundred percent the player dies. When a player contracts the H1Z1 virus their Health and other stats begin to deteriorate and the longer one is infected the faster they’ll die. Once the player is infected long enough they can only eat raw flesh and eventually cannot even heal themselves. Pills and hyperpheron injections help but the only cure is death.
Traveling around the world of H1Z1 can be pretty irritating without a vehicle. There is so much distance between locations of interest and so little to scavenge when you finally arrive. The zombies all spawn in tiny clusters, which is not too well programmed in my eyes. I found myself exploring identical houses and finding identical equipment in each one
Some places in the game look pretty nice, but that’s not the most important aspect of a survival game. There are too few zombies in the world to be a veritable “zombie apocalypse,” and the players are mostly cooped up in their tidy little structures; there’s not much chance of a confrontation on equal ground unless you meet in the wilderness.
The crafting mechanics of H1Z1 are not too complex, but they aren’t so basic that they become tedious either. The player can discover recipes in the discovery menu by clicking on an item, or multiple items, that they are carrying in their inventory. H1Z1 has many, many items the player can craft, which range from necessities such as medical equipment and campfires to weapons and buildings. Pretty much everything you find in the world can be used to make something more useful. Some items will require a furnace, oven or other appliance to craft them, and sometimes even crafted items can be used to craft something else.
With the basics out of the way, I think the crafting aspect of H1Z1 is pretty decent, but perhaps a bit too similar to other survival games. It’s not very unique, but at least it works. Others might like the ease of access, but I would prefer something a bit more original. However, most games have a difficult time making crafting engaging or interesting.
The combat and weaponry in H1Z1 seems to be rather well thought out. While I despised fighting with zombies at the beginning, armed with only a half broken hatchet, I appreciated the sense of danger. If you rush at the zombies and expect to come out unscathed, you are sorely mistaken. The zombies will not let up, grabbing at you and making you bleed. I thought melee combat was a little boring but it was still decently programmed. On the other hand, the ranged weaponry was perfectly fine and far better than I expected, as with hunting and stealth.
For a survival based game, H1Z1 does a pretty good job with the firearms. Each weapon is unique, the bullets travel at different speeds, each gun has different bullet drop and recoil as well. Crouching or laying down greatly increase your accuracy and moving does the opposite. Heavier weaponry may sway when aiming down the sights, putting off one’s aim, so the player must be wary of this when mowing down zombies or fellow players.
The game has a decent stealth system. When I looked into it I found out that even the weather can affect whether a zombie detects you. If it is raining, for example, the NPCs are less likely to notice you, making it easier to sneak by or kill them without raising alarm. The player is less likely to be detected when moving slowly and crouching or laying down of course, and you are far more likely to be seen in broad daylight. Utilizing stealth to hunt down wild animals is highly advised, as some animals will bolt as soon as they see or hear you. Hunting in H1Z1 is fairly difficult, which is a plus, and you need a blade to skin animals and get meat.
I thought the combat mechanics were pretty decent, but most of the other gameplay elements were severely lacking. Too many gameplay mechanics were designed to be functional, but this also led to the game becoming boring at times. Sometimes I had fun, but most of the time I was strolling around doing absolutely nothing for ages.
Unfortunately, H1Z1 wasn’t very innovative at all. As I’ve said, it is nothing entirely new. It’s no more unique than the next game. However, it does have its own identity and a slightly different feel than other games, but it’s not enough to make it stand out in the crowd.
I had barely any run-ins with other players, but the first guy I saw I ended up threatening with my revolver. He responded by jumping around after surrendering and we just messed about together for a while, so I don’t have much of a problem with the H1Z1 community. Other than most players building houses and staying in them all the time, of course. But maybe they aren’t always like that. I’m sure the game would be so much more fun with relaible companions.
The game looked decent enough but the graphics are already kind of outdated. The scenery was beautiful at certain areas of the game, at a distance at least. However, graphics aren’t the most import aspect of a survival game to me. While I thought they were probably about average I’m sure you’ll have your own opinion on it.
Value For Money 5/10
H1Z1: Just Survive is fairly cheap for a game, at $19.99, but I didn’t think the game was as great as some others that are even cheaper. If you enjoy survival games, and like how H1Z1 looks, then it might be a good value. As someone who enjoys survival games, I found other titles more worth my money. Apparently, H1Z1 will eventually be free, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. Expect even more in-game purchases if this happens to be true.
This game had so much potential, but I honestly can’t grasp how it turned out so uninteresting. It had fairly good combat and stealth mechanics, the crafting was fine and it had a large map, but it just wasn’t executed well enough overall. I hope the creators improve their game, I’ve heard of many new mechanics they hope to bring to H1Z1 like playable zombies, but I am reviewing the game as it is and not how they hope it will be one day. In conclusion, I honestly wouldn’t recommend the game. It wasn’t terrible but I didn’t think it was great most of the time.
- Big map
- In-depth survival mechanics
- Many weapons to use and a good combat system
- Identical loot
- Identical buildings
- Very little to do much of the time
- Not very fun when playing alone
Related: Daybreak Game Company, H1Z1, MMORPG, Review, Survival