Thursday, April 10, 2014

So, H1Z1.

Yesterday, Sony Online Entertainment's John Smeley announced H1Z1 via Reddit.  He's got a large post here introducing the game, and a short one here asking for feedback about monetization (clothes & pets, lets hope).

Here's the short version : H1Z1 is Sony's answer to the success of State of Decay and DayZ.

It's very much a combination of the two.  A persistent, open-world game rife with zombies in which the most dangerous enemies are other human players.  H1Z1 takes the post-apocalypse zombie survival thing to a pleasantly deep level, by the sounds of it, with players having the ability to craft your usual stuff like weapons and armor, all the way up to towns.

You heard me.  You'll be able to form alliances and set up base wherever you want - if you want to cut down enough trees to fashion boards to make a house, you can.  If you want to take over an apartment block and fortify it to protect you and your in-game crew from attack, you can.

If you see a broken-down car..?  You can fix it up.

Now tell me that doesn't sound awesome.

You can't - because it does sound awesome.   I once reflected on whether or not I enjoy wanting games more than having them, and the conclusion I came to is that hype is so seductive because - in our heads - this perfect game that lives up to our fantasies of a genre can exist.  The game that really provides the experience we want of one genre or the next - which is, perhaps, why Dark Souls or The Last of Us are so successful - really nail their core fantasy.

In his Reddit post, Smeley said
"One of the best things about H1Z1 being an MMO is the fact that with a lot of people playing, we’re able to see all different kinds of gameplay. If you prefer a quiet life as a farmer raising crops... we’re going to make sure your zombie apocalypse fantasy is complete."
And while SOE as a developer have, I should note, zero credit with me, and I worry that H1Z1's melee combat won't prove particularly satisfying, and I have all sorts of fears...

I do want the game Smeley's describing.  Let's feel it, folks.  Let's feel a modicum of hype for H1Z1, and wait patiently for a trailer.

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