H1Z1, the King of the Kill

Objective: Kill Everyone.

Kill Everyone You Can.

This game is believed to be the daddy of the Battle Royale genre. It was the first of the survival type games to transform into a game inspired by the Battle Royale movie released back in 2000. H1Z1 was developed by Daybreak Game Company and NantG in January 2015 and remained exclusive on Steam for a few years until it was released to the public back in February 2018. In the beginning, it was primarily a hardcore zombie survival game but was kind of trash, and was about to written off as such until Brendan Greene, who went on to creator PUBG, brought H1Z1 back to life with his addition of a Battle Royale concept. As a result, the game’s popularity grew tremendously on Steam and became the number one played game for a good chunk of time until PUBG took its spot.

This game is full of death, explosions, and fast pace action that hooks players instantly. However; it lacks a niche idea to make it truly stand out among its competitors like the realistic feeling of PUBG, the goofy animation and building of Fortnite, or the prime pinging system and unique character abilities of Apex Legends. Even with all these new Battle Royale games coming out, H1Z1 has been able to differentiate just enough to remain relevant in a very competitive industry in a few specific ways. As well as show a particular Values at Play element that caught my eye compared to other games in this genre.

H1Z1 Originals

This is just one of the many comical bugs in H1Z1.

Oddly enough, H1Z1 is known for its humble beginnings of random bugs and glitches that players found strangely enjoyable to the point where it became a memorable staple. At first, I thought this was an annoying result of the game being unpolished but the fans seem to show love for it so I guess I should too. I’ve never played the it but when I watched some earlier game play I saw tons of unpredictable character and vehicle movements, distortion of avatars, and disappearing objects that were pretty dam funny.

Twisted Metal on a whole new level!

The creators of H1Z1 conjured up a brilliant new mode that they call “Auto Royale” that brings me back to the Twisted Metal days. This game type features a bunch of cars with one driver and up to three passengers. It’s essentially a bloody mess of blown up cars and constant gun fire until there is one car standing. My favorite part about this game type is the loot system. For instance; instead of the classic style that you see in other Battle Royale games where players loot buildings and bodies, items in Auto Royale are obtained in a sort of Mario Cart style by destroying crates and running over items with the vehicle. Also, there are random ramps and structures to do crazy vehicle stunts off of for some added style points.

Unlike what seems to be every other game in its genre, H1Z1 has no “pay to win” concept by revealing strictly cosmetic items when a crate is blasted open. It’s refreshing because I feel like every Battle Royale has incorporated this “pay to win” idea and it’s getting old. Plus, I’ve recently learned through my research of video game addiction that the “pay to win” concept causes similar addictive behaviors as gambling at a casino would.

H1Z1, Values at Play

Rules of Interaction with the Environment

There is no doubt in my mind that the creators of H1Z1 value their players experiencing thrills in a post-apocalyptic world. The environment of this game gives the player a true feeling of survival with an overall dark and dreary framework to set the mood of a possible adrenaline shot around any corner. It’s well designed with a great balance of scattered abandoned towns and areas of vast wilderness that players can explore.

My favorite part that I’ve seen in this game are the dope vehicles and how players can interact with them. They’re very plentiful with a bunch of fun styles ranging from ATVs to trucks. The creators value giving the players a different experience with their physics. What I mean by that is players are unable to run each other over but they can jump out going full speed without receiving any damage. This creates a mix for entertaining and very unpredictable encounters between enemies.

Endless and epic vehicle battles!

The creators wanted players to feel limitless with these vehicles! Allowing them to fly through the air, hide behind them for cover, roll-up 4 deep on other squads, and the exciting explosions created once the vehicle has exceeded the damage it can withstand. In my opinion, the creators value giving players maximum freedom to utilize and experience these machines and they do it in a way that I’ve yet to see in any other Battle Royale game.

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