H1Z1 Features

H1Z1 on PS4 offers Pro owners a gameplay advantage

Digital FoundryH1Z1 on PS4 offers Pro owners a gameplay advantage

The 'supercharged' console delivers higher frame-rates and smoother action.

Fortnite's domination of the console space shows no sign of flagging, but we will be receiving a glut of new Battle Royale games in the console space over the next few months - and the deluge begins on PlayStation 4 with the release of H1Z1, a port of one of the very first examples of the genre. It's fascinating to stack it up against the competition: the similarities with PUBG are legion (owing to Playerunknown working on both titles) but the execution is very, very different. For starters, developer Daybreak Games is targeting 60 frames per second on console, similar to Epic's Fortnite and up to double the performance of PUBG on Xbox One.

It's all part of an overall strategy that sees the developer strip back the experience to better fit the console space and perhaps their own technology. In terms of tweaking the established formula, PUBG's detailed inventory system and customisation mechanics are pared back to a simple radial dial, with fixed configurations per weapon. The inclusion of vehicles and points of interest on the mini-map makes the action flow faster too - the aimless wandering of PUBG is kept down to a minimum, encounters with other players are more frequent in the early stages and often take place in more interesting locales. Weapons drops are also highlighted on the map, attracting more players and resulting in some action-packed dust-ups.

Also worthy of praise is the inclusion of a combat training mode. It takes place on much smaller maps, offers infinite respawning (with just a two-second load time) and instantly tools you up with a pistol, machinegun and shotgun. There are still plenty of decent upgrades to hunt down, but it's really all about getting something like a standard deathmatch going within the confines of a Battle Royale set-up. There are no scores as such, but it's great for learning the ropes and honing your skills. It's fun enough that with some minor tweaking it could even become a viable secondary mode to the main event.

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At launch, H1Z1 is a poor imitation of DayZ

In a survival situation, the first step to salvation is to take off your t-shirt. Never mind the additional storage capacity a pocket-less t-shirt apparently provides - free your nipples! Let them breathe the open air as you tear that torso-tube into shreds. Then run to the nearest forest and press E on all the spry saplings to steal their sticks. Take your ripped t-shirt in one hand, the sticks in the other, and slap both hands together hard. If you've done it right, an exquisitely-fashioned hunting bow will appear suddenly in one of your four available slots (best not to dwell upon the location of said slots). Congratulations! Now get moving, because you've only got about half a day until you die of thirst and starvation at the same time.

Availability

Available on Steam as an Early Access title for 14.99.

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