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Sony's H1Z1 enters Steam Early Access in January

"Is H1Z1 going to be better than Day Z day 1? No it won't."

Sony's zombie survival MMO H1Z1 launches on Steam Early Access on 15th January 2015.

"This gives us just enough time to polish what we have and put out something we'll be proud of and hopefully you'll be excited to play," Sony Online Entertainment boss John Smedley wrote in a post on Reddit.

The Early Access version of H1Z1 includes initial iterations of crafting, base building, combat, vehicles, circle-of-death, the day / night cycle, weather, player vitals, hunting and forging and, as you'd expect, zombies.

Smedley warned that while H1Z1 is "a really fun game", "it's early".

"It's everything Early Access should be - a fun and compelling game that isn't finished. Our goal is to have you help us finish it and have it be a game we can build a large community in over time."

He also suggested those who had expected a "finished game" should not buy the Early Access version.

Two versions of the game launch on 15th January: the basic Early Access version for $19.99, and a more expensive version that is yet to be detailed. The difference between the two will be access to some of SOE's different game mode servers, which you can access by buying tickets or earning them, as well as other unannounced features.

H1Z1 has been compared to Bohemia Interactive's wildly popular zombie survival MMO DayZ ever since it was announced - and in his Reddit post Smedley addressed this comparison yet again.

"Is H1Z1 going to be better than Day Z day 1? No it won't. We'll get asked that question a lot and I wanted to be up front about it," he said.

"We're not as feature rich and they have a lot of really cool stuff we just don't have yet. That being said, we're also a different game. We're an MMO and our goals are to create a large scale world that gives you the incredible feeling of being a survivor in a zombie apocalypse."

H1Z1 begins with a 64 square kilometer map, which SOE plans to grow to, over time, "create our virtual version of the US post apocalypse".

A PlayStation 4 version of H1Z1 is also in the works, although SOE is yet to announce a release window. "We are excited about the PS4 and the opportunities it presents, but we are currently focused on launching H1Z1 on Steam Early Access for the PC," the developer said.

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