E3 2014: H1Z1 Brings Free-to-Play Zombie Survival to PS4 and PC

Remember the panic over H1N1? Well, imagine how much worse it would have been if it involved zombies! The recent trailer didn’t just make zombie-killer fans happy, but should’ve made pro wrestling fans happy as well with the use of one of AJ Styles’s final TNA Wrestling themes in “Evil Ways”. Zombie survival is a notable genre now, and H1Z1 is set to be the first MMO with that backdrop. The Planetside 2 engine is being used for the game, and given how fantastic that was, this should follow in its footsteps really well.

H1Z1 is due out later this year for the PlayStation 4 and PC via Steam. Item-crafting is a huge part of the game. You’ll use that for your weapons, and also be able to use the system to build things like a tool shed. Improvised weapons can be crafted as well. You can craft a variety of shelters, and there’s a risk/reward part in there as you can make a shoddy shelter quickly or make a better one and take more time. Taking more time means you’ll make more noise and you stand a greater chance at alerting enemies. Similarly, that mechanic is at play in the item setup. You can get some dirty water quickly to hydrate yourself, but you’ll fall ill quickly – making it a short-term fix. A longer-term solution is to get a dew catcher for fresh water buildup at all times.

Ammo is scarce in this world – with 300 rounds as a max. There are more organic weapons you can use like a bow and arrow to get a kill if you need to, but it will take more time. H1Z1 is a free-to-play game, but it won’t be pay-to-win. They don’t want to affect the survival element much, and won’t be doing things like giving you the ability to run at super speed away from danger, or just blow everyone around to bits in one shot. You’ll be able to buy cosmetic stuff that will seemingly affect your shelters and perhaps items as well. Rulesets are being tinkered with as well for multiplayer action, so if you want to play on a server with higher-HP enemies, you’ll be able to if they get that in there.

Character creation is available and will allow you to make your character more like you – or perhaps you with some weight added or subtracted. H1Z1 is a permadeath game, and after you’re killed, you can even fight yourself to get your stuff back. That idea sounds like it’s got some legs to it, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll be respawned near where you died before. With Planetside 2’s engine and many of its development team behind it, this looks like it could be the best zombie survival game out there – and it being free-to-play makes it an even more appealing option for those looking to try something new in the genre.