If he is a dean in the wild jungle of royal battle, we will remember especially H1Z1 as this game that has been stolen the show. It must be said that Brendan Greene, the man, the myth, at the origin of this fashion has long since dropped his consulting role at Daybreak to focus on PUBG. Rock-star on the return, alive with the top of its 8 million users, H1Z1 has nevertheless continued its merry way, update after update, the whims of the throbbing pushed on Reddit. And if he has a hard time convincing PC players today, that did not stop him from getting out of his interminable beta less than three days ago to land on PS4 in the final version. Was the wait worth it?
Where are the zombies?
If you have not meticulously followed the news of H1Z1, you are probably wondering how a clone of DayZ could have become a royal battle without zombies. The answer is a beautiful imbroglio marketing: it is actually not the same app. Faced with the overwhelming popularity of the King of the Kill mode, Daybreak actually decided to split the original title into two separate games. To find the putrefying bodies that roam, you have to turn to Just Survive. By becoming a full-fledged game, it’s the royal battle mode that has inherited the name H1Z1 – which is paradoxical, you are granted, since it was the name of the zombie virus.
Hell is other people
But what did I do to the big boss for him to stick to me all these royal battle, while I’m not able to land in the top 10 without hiding in bushes during ¾ hours? The mystery remains, but what is certain is that while my colleagues go quietly from their selec ‘on Dead Cells, it’s still bibi who fucks the Highlander simulator. If this expression does not awaken in you the slightest image, summarize in a few words the main lines of the genre. Imagine a hundred vicious fellows parachuted into the bush, and all driven by a common dream: cheerfully massacre all their congeners to be the only survivor of the butchery. Here. No scenario, no staging, in H1Z1 the only concern is to recover the slightest bit of trolling and selling expensive skin. In short, misanthropy is a game in a way.
Well, it’s free or it’s not free?
Available free on the PlayStation Store, H1Z1 also has the good taste to be passable without subscription. “Is not there a carrot?” Asks a suspicious Yukishiro. To confess everything, not really, no. Like its major rivals, the integrated purchases do not provide any tactical advantage and are limited to cosmetic mercantile not to fling the balancing. Clearly, unless you feed a sordid obsession for this unicorn mask that illustrates each loading screen, we can very well keep his precious sesterces in the bottom of his purse without feeling aggrieved.
A few words, we could obviously reduce to this simple paragraph most of the royal battle of the market, but each paragon of the genre hides its small subtleties. At Fortnite, it is its construction possibilities, at PUBG, we will speak rather of a certain form of realism. Where H1Z1 stands out is in its extremely scholarly and even rudimentary approach. Terms that do not resonate with a very glorious echo, but are pronounced here without malice:
the title of Daybreak is simple, quite simply, and does not bother us with superfluous mechanisms. Do not rely on an endurance gauge, craft recipes, or even mods to clip on your weapons: all these trifles are dead and buried. We focus on the essential, namely: shoot fast and fair. Looking for a defouloir without making head? You knocked on the good door.
The busy man
This accessibility of the mechanics is also manifested through the rhythm of the parts which are revealed to be more “dense” than with the competition. Once dropped on the map, it takes little more than a few seconds before getting your hands on a backpack (to increase the size of his inventory), armor or a good old 9mm. The smallest suburban lodge hides all the necessary to punch his opponents with confidence – which makes us think that the action is happening somewhere in the United States. A generosity in distribution that extends even to cars, as if the whole universe invited you not to waste time in soporific preliminaries. It must be said that with the toxic gas that engulfs the world’s great speed V, idlers are not likely to frolic. In H1Z1, the urgency is always alive and pedestrians are most often endangered. The vehicle does not hold comfort, but survival.
This is because the game map is simply massive, so to avoid the participants of painful marathons, the mini-map displays absolutely everything: vehicle locations at the smallest supermarket to loot. So, although it is unfortunately impossible to choose its point of appearance, we must recognize that it is rarely the costs. All in all, we can even go so far as to say that the overall construction of the gameplay is quite clever: the empty spaces (fields, lakes, etc.) may be quite numerous, they are often nothing more than parentheses between two points of interest.
Too bad, however, given the time spent behind a steering wheel, the conduct lacks a bit of flexibility. 4x4s are windy and quads are real soap.
Positive detail for those who would be afraid to engage in the blind fray: H1Z1 is equipped with a public training server where the reappearances are instantaneous. Very handy to be at the controls and test the entire arsenal.
The big bad loot
However, as we used to say in the language of the philosophers and today in the horoscopes of fashion magazines, H1Z1 has the flaws of its qualities. Because if its frantic pace limits the camp, it also seriously limits everything related to exploration, ambushes or even just thinking, especially late in the game. When the top 20 begins to break, it is not uncommon for the last bumps in the running find themselves forced to frolic as young stallions in the middle of a barren field, to sneak haphazardly without much conviction. And the shootings, it still happens when the villains are more than fifteen meters, but as soon as the threat invades your safe space, the fighters of elegance turn into whirling whirling dervishes who try to come down with a big reinforcement of buckshot.
- After, I admit to being unable to aim decently at the stick without a big help to aim, so no red badge. And anyway, when crates fall from the sky and all the players around rush on the slobbering lips, there is a way to entertain.
The physics of the bullets as well as the feeling of the weapons are in general quite convincing and the gunpowder is inflamed in big BAM BAM which make fly.
- But here again some oddities are felt: certainly, it is necessary to establish a hierarchy of guns to make sense of their rarity, but in terms of balance, it is still doubtful. A shotgun beast can do wonders, while a Hellfire or an AR-15 is hardly more lethal than a rifle.
- Add some rigidity in the controls as well as general animations, and as much to say that H1Z1 does not necessarily give the image of a product in final version.
Even on a fat and asthmatic PS4, it happens that H1Z1 tutoie on some occasions the sacrosanct 60 images per second; an exploit that occurs mainly in country settings. In the city or in the more busy environments, however, we must deal with good framerate drops, not crippling, but which are detrimental to comfort and precision.
It’s not a bug, it’s a feature
It seems ironic considering the duration of its beta, but it is a reflection towards which we tend gradually over the bugs that animate the parties.The shadows of the characters strike half the time, the arms are just fidgeting, when you change your weapon … More annoying: victim of a violent lag or masks of strange collisions, I happened to be executed while I was under cover behind a wall. Or losing control of my vehicle because of a tiny boulder, turning my quadruple roll to end up in a wall without any impact. In a more funny register, it also happens that we have to wait a few good seconds in the lobby before seeing the avatars appear as anything other than bare and decapitated bodies. Nothing very nasty per se, however put end to end, it’s the kind of trifles that work.
Not to mention that these setbacks, are added two choices of game design extremely debatable: in the first place, the characters teleport without any other form of animation in the cars nearby. Then, the latter do not inflict a priori any damage to the opponents, even if you hit their chin with the bull bar. As a result, there are outright ubiquitous situations in which you step on the floor on the first passer-by before teleporting to the side to align it with the pump while the car blocks the view. And if it never goes wrong? No worries, a little sprint, a simple pressure on the triangle and hop, we find ourselves covered in the warm in his van. It only remains to engage the nitro to take the powder off. It’s hard to imagine how such blunders could have gone unnoticed by developers. In the current state of things, H1Z1 displays a lack of finishes for the less frightening.
Ugly on the inside
Visually, H1Z1 navigates between the tolerable (often) and the awful (sometimes). Nothing folichon outside, a bit of aliasing here, Spartan geometries there, but in the background we say hastily “go, it goes.” Serious error. It is only when one is dragging his gaiters in a building that the drama occurs: of all my career, which nevertheless extends on Nintendo consoles, never had I encountered interiors of such intense ugliness. Where are the textures? Lighting? Of course, it is not SERIOUS, of course, but I conjure you: Look. The. S.
Rotten and men
Phew, that’s right. So now that you’re expecting an unplayable and depressing purge as much as you can, we’ll still raise the level of a simple explanation: even under these conditions the royal battle formula works relatively well. As our Lord Noddus, doctor honoris causa in the matter, would say, H1Z1 is also a story game, made of dramas and small personal victories. A millimetric headshot of a fugitive who thought he had time to join his hideout. An alliance on the job between two frenglets on the brink of death who, without a word, lend a hand in adversity. A tragic betrayal that follows a minute later … Moments of grace during which we remember that the human factor is the keystone of the experience. This is also why duets and squad matches are more engaging.
- Well, the cushy did not invest all his points in charisma, even Pipo and Far Away, enthusiasm usually argues in the sense of sacrifice, refused to lend a hand during the test. So I had to concoct a great team of broken arms at random from my party research.
- And yet, when you rush into a grubby van with three strangers armed to the teeth, it’s not the fear of waking up in a tub of ice with a kidney a minus that takes you to the guts, but rather the sweet warmth of a silent companionship. Of course, we do not systematically fall on the most conciliatory allies on the planet, but as everyone knows: the more we are crazy, the more we laugh, even in the face of death. Not enough to jump to the ceiling for sure, especially as the feeling of repetition sooner or later settles down and waiting times between the parties quickly become long. Only, everything is not to be thrown away either.
What about the arcade mode?
Greed from the main menu during my period of play in beta, and still inaccessible for the moment despite its passage in final version, the Arcade mode has unfortunately eluded my review. According to the developers, this section will allow them to present different styles of play depending on the seasons to vary the pleasures. In the meantime, I will be happy to say anything, except that on paper, the idea is my very charming faith.