Title: H1Z1: King of the Kill
Tested On: PC
Available On: PC
Developer: Daybreak Game Company
Publisher: Daybreak Game Company
Genre: Survival, Sandbox
Release Date: February 17th, 2016
Where To Buy: Steam
H1Z1’s initial release as a stand-alone survival game is a thing of the past. After Daybreak Game Company released a multiplayer “Battle Royale” mode in the game, more and more players began to make a permanent switch to multiplayer only. With the mass success of the Battle Royale multiplayer mode, Daybreak made the official decision to split the title into two separate games – H1Z1: Just Survive and H1Z1: King of the Kill. Now that we have a dedicated title to multiplayer alone, let’s discuss the massively popular multiplayer and some of the changes that came with the split.
As a long time player since H1Z1’s early access, I am all too familiar with the bugging, promises of future content, patches and latency issues. King of the Kill was a chance for Daybreak Game Company to address some of those issues. I believe they have. But that is not to say it does not possess any current issues. I noticed right away that one of the major problems that was fixed is the latency on item pickup. This was a frustrating issue in the past – especially since so much of the game is based on picking up and looting gear as fast as possible before other competitors blast you with a shotgun 30 seconds into the game. Items are now seamlessly picked up and applied to your inventory for managing. Another improvement addresses aiming and bullets’ spray pattern that used to make them appear inconsistent with bullets sometimes accurate and other times not registering at all. Previously, players would overrun forums with issues reading, “Help, Launchpad won’t open,” or “Game will not join servers.” These rampant server issues for players that once seemed to be prolific amongst the community have seemed to subside. There are also far fewer connectivity issues and game crashes judging by the volume of help tickets and forum complaints. I also took into consideration that because the game is still in its early access stage, it is bound to have some problems.
The environment of H1Z1: King of the Kill looks decent but is nothing to drop your jaw over. Some of the visuals have great textures and models while others are so bad they seem out of place. I found (if your computer can handle it) that going into setting and increasing the rendering distance greatly increases the visuals of the game. This does give an edge to players with more powerful computers than others. I do think however that for the incredible size of the map supporting over a hundred players, the graphics are not too bad. Not the best on the market – but not bad.
I would not say that H1Z1: King of the Kill is easily picked up and played. It possesses a steep learning curve and caters greatly to experienced players. With a confusing menu and pregame lobby, many new players would be overwhelmed with not knowing what to do. With no real instruction or direction on how to play the game, newbies end up landing their parachute in a field and running for 5-10 minutes before finding a house that has already been looted of all weapons and supplies. The game also does not instruct the player on how to do basic essentials – like opening up inventory, how to craft, how to view the map, where the compass is, how to heal, where to find gear and weapons, etc. All of these variables add up to a learning curve that chews up and spits out bloodied and mangled new players. However, once all of these things are learned, 8 hours later, the competition is incredibly fun and rewarding to play. No round is the same, and with a huge map to roam, strategies change often.
The game modes are consistent with the previous title featuring a solo, 2-team, and 5-team game types. I enjoyed that they kept the component that dying early doesn’t rob you of victory and rewards if your team still wins. However, playing as a team requires you to get into the top 3 instead of solo mode’s top 5 to receive rewards. Rewards still grant you permanent skins to apply to clothing. Additional skins and difficult-to-obtain competitive reward skins are sure to fulfill all of your fashionable desires. However, like any game currently on the market, micro-transactions are required in order to obtain many of these skins. I was thoroughly disappointed in the rewards chests with purchasable keys. This money grabs scheme screams micro-transactions at the top of its greedy lungs and it’s infuriating. No, thank you. Being #1 out of 150 players should be greatly rewarded.
King of the Kill’s strengths lies heavily in the limitless scenarios you and your friends will encounter fighting other players. Getting a team together to ride around in a cop car with the siren roaring looking for enemies is hard to beat. Whether my friends and I were roaming the streets of Pleasant Valley or camping out in a bathroom waiting for others to perish, we were constantly laughing. This game is one of the most fun experiences I have had playing with friends in a long time. At times, we were laughing so hard we could not focus and were sent to early graves (adding further to the laughter). King of the Kill became immensely more fun when played with friends, and I recommend finding a partner to play with for some great laughs and moments. Despite all of the problems in its early access stage, H1Z1: King of the Kill is definitely worth its $19.99 sale price on Steam.
- Gameplay: Survival, Multiplayer Sandbox
- Graphics: Some Improvable Models and Textures
- Sound: Amazing Directional Surround Sound and Sound Sampling
- Presentation: Responsive Controls With Common Visual Bugging
- Competitive / High Skill Cap
- Great With Friends
- Large Explorable Map
- Unimpressive Graphics
- Many Visual Bugs