If you like open world, MMO, zombie-infested, free-to-play gaming then sit down for a second and try to remain calm as we unveil “H1Z1” to you. Just when you thought it was safe to come out and game, another incredible post-apocalyptic title, and of the zombie flavor, no less, decides to drop onto the PS4. This is an in-house Sony production, which largely explains why everyone’s been so tight-lipped about the project until now. Looking at some recently available screenshots, it doesn’t appear to be particularly aggressive in terms of graphical realism, but neither does it look unappealing.
Let’s face it; the concept itself is incredible enough to lure most of us in – a zombie wasteland sandbox title with MMO elements built in? Are you kidding me?! If they even accomplish half of what they’ve recently promised to bring gamers, H1Z1 will end up being one of the most badass survival horror games to come along in quite some time. For instance, the devs have already indicated that you will actually be able to work with many thousands of others on massive servers, perhaps even allowing for modern, “Minecraft-like” fortress-building and destructible environments. In other words, they seem to be introducing an entirely new level of freedom in terms of gameplay here, enough to tempt “DayZ” players to check it out.
Anyway, here are 6 things we’d really like to see in H1Z1…
A ridiculously large map
One of the things that tend to diminish the overall effect of any survival-centric game is a rather cozy map. Even if it’s a fairly large over world, it’s always fairly easy to make one’s way from safe zone to safe zone. With H1Z1, we’d like to see them introduce an impossibly massive map, you know - the sort that almost makes you scratch your head and wonder if you’ll ever make it back to town alive.
Lots of team-building options
Aside from mere exploration, what makes any good MMO work well is the way it handles teams of individuals. In short, they should really concentrate on adding various modes of gameplay which make team-building both necessary as well as a hazard. For example, allowing for special circumstances to arise when there are two or more large groups of players all competing against one another.
A truly malleable environment
All this talk of being able to actually set stuff on fire and build customized bases is particularly exciting. Assuming that they get this segment of the game right, H1Z1 will open up like a 7/11. Not only would such mechanics completely rewrite the rules of basic combat, but they would also allow one to create increasingly sophisticated series of traps to deal with zombie hordes as well as other unruly human players. This is supposed to be a completely persistent MMO as well, indicating that you’ll be free to traverse the map without any fear of pesky loading screens to get in the way.
Dynamic economics which shift in real-time
One of the things that very few sandbox titles or MMO’s tend to focus on is developing an honest-to-goodness economic system. According to H1Z1 devs, they’re doing just that. If you prefer to focus on trading in these kinds of massively online titles, this might just be a game that breaks the mold, as they say. To date they’ve been teasing about a more advanced trading system being included; let’s hope that the talk is legit.
One of the things that seem to be sorely lacking in a lot of online sandbox games are “random events”. No, not glitches or the actions of some weird people online, but bona-fide one-off events that just seem to defy explanation and are capable of occurring at any given time. Obviously, most of these would need to be rather negative in nature, but with a gigantic open-world at their fingertips, aren’t the possibilities pretty much endless?
Post-Left 4 Dead, the use of boss fights and encounters with highly individualized gigantic monsters in zombie games has sort of dropped off in favor of more standardized enemies. We get it, simply sticking to a few different “infected” models is much easier than creating a lot of diversity, but how cool would it be if H1Z1 contained a bunch of demi god-like “Bosses” randomly scattered across the map and perhaps roaming around in search of prey? One can imagine little settlements easily falling victim to some behemoth’s attack, for instance. The possibilities are endless here…