H1Z1 Playstation 4 Preview

H1Z1 hit Playstation 4 in some sort of open beta soft launch release. It's a free to play battle royale title that aims to be a more serious offering filling the spot that's lacking since PUBG isn't on the platform. Sure, there's Fortnite though that's more cartoon focused and not quite the same as a tactical military shooter. Not to knock Fortnite, but I'm sure there's an audience that's more serious. I can't say I was too blown away by H1Z1 running on the base console as it really didn't look that good. It plays well, the performance is solid though at clear costs to the visuals. This could be something people really love however, as stable performance is great.

Whatever the case, it's a free to play game so it doesn't hurt to check out if you're looking for more battle royale thrills. If you somehow haven't heard of the genre, it's about looting weapons and then eliminating everyone else. The game can be played solo in a free for all situation, duos or squads which packs five player teams. There's a deathmatch practice section too with respawns. You'll need to be tactical as you walk across empty fields looking for others to take out. Along the way you'll come across vehicles, special falling care packages and a gas that keeps pushing you inwards.

Instead of focusing on a clumsy inventory, everything is focused on being quick selected. It's a fairly intuitive menu that works well and gives you access to everything without problems. The combat is a bit odd when in close situations as you aim into a first person perspective. I found most close quarters battles to be awkward filled with hops, missed shots and weird aiming. It might be better for others, I just didn't find it to be smooth. When it comes to visuals H1Z1 did not impress, on PC it felt gritty and here it seems aged.

There's lots of pop-in for mid-ranged visuals and that's really present with the grass. The edges of most buildings are jagged and there's this awful looking fog. It's an older technique for helping with rendering distances and it's weird. When you're aiming in far away it's foggy and looking around it's not great. You can tell it's an unnatural setup as every area you're stepping in is clean, yet slightly further away it's got an odd glow. The servers were fine for me, very fast to find matches. I will note that there were many reports of people having issues playing, I fortunately did not come across this problem.

This is a fine game if you want some realistic battle royale action on Playstation 4, and it's free. I just wasn't too impressed after playing so many versions of this genre. I know this one has been in development for quite awhile being one of the originals, but others have certainly surpassed it. Again, nothing too wrong with the gameplay. I'm just not impressed by it at this point.

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H1Z1 Playstation 4 Screenshot
Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner