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If you can locate the Shopping Centre quickly there are guns, bullets, a helmet and all manner of odds and ends that you can collect. The problem of course is that you are against the clock and you haven't a clue where you are supposed to be going. Also just for fun you keep getting a warning call stating that you are outside of the zone and that Toxic gas is about to be dropped. If you are going the right way (perhaps) you might see the occasional survival crate dropping by parachute. If you are unlucky, like I always seem to be, just as the crate drops another player will rush past you on a motor-cycle and beat you to it - in fact I have yet to ever get to a crate. Actually I have never managed to survive. Not sure if that's totally my ineptitude in a survival game or the fact that I could not/still cannot read the map, if indeed the illustration in the centre of the Compass, bottom left, is actually the map.

The circular insert of the Compass shows a yellow triangle which I assumed to be my character, a Green line across it some way to the left and a red dotted line that appears to lead from the yellow triangle. Within moments the right side of the circle starts to fill with a smokey green, as does the land around me - the Toxic gas is on its way. The problem is that I am forever being told I am not in the safe area, even when I get the yellow triangle across the green line I am still not safe.

Each time you die and restart the landing area has most likely changed. If you land in the mountains then it's your fault as you do the steering, and you are rarely likely to survive as the terrain is tough to cross and there are no vehicles to help you - not even the odd Mountain Goat to give you a lift or at least a bump up the backside with its horns to send you flying towards safety. The Mountains are probably a great place to start if you want a really hard challenge and you are playing with a group of friends/regular players and have some sort of agreement between you as to when the killing can start.

 

Once the green gas has caught up with your character a red heart appears in front of you and each heartbeat is a hit point lost, right down to zero when you are defeated. I haven't found out how to make the character run (it would be helpful but I also haven't found the options menu that shows what buttons do what) and I haven't found a gas mask (which would also be very helpful) though I know how to get armed to the teeth if I ever do survive the first 3 minutes. This is getting less and less and less of a review of the game and more a review of how bad I am at it. I take it from all the weapons I can get my hands on that there has to be some action and combat, but apart from (oh by the way I haven't found out where the motor-cycle is located yet either) the exhileration of steering, the landing the parachute and the "Walking Dead" deserted shops, I haven't found anything to shoot. 

I did find a Health pack but the first time I used it accidentally when I didn't need it and the next one I tried to use as the gas was overtaking me - needless to say, it didn't work and I died. I'm glad that it's only a game otherwise my floor would be littered with (my character's) dead bodies.

The annoying thing is that I played this over and over for hours, continually restarting, finding different landing points, seeing so many different sights that made me really want to get into it, and yet no matter what I did I couldn't get past the initial gas drop. I tried getting into lorries and cars, all wrecks, but never managed to get into any of them. I tried hiding in the shopping centre but the gas simply entered and killed me. I tried pointing the yellow arrow towards the left and moving as fast as I could towards it hoping that once across the line the gas would dissipate - it didn't !

 

As it's a BATTLE ROYALE survival game the idea is to be the last person alive. I think when I played there were 40 or 50 other parachutists which I assume are all player characters (I read 100 but am pretty sure it was only about half that number). I know the first time I played I died as number 40 and the last time I managed to get down to #27 though more by luck than judgement. I certainly didn't kill anyone and I didn't outrun the toxic gas.

There is a lot of chatter about this and FORTNITE being rivals but H1Z1 has been around longer as a Battle Royale game, it just hasn't had the (negative) publicity that Fortnite has had and thus isn't as high on the 'must have/must play' lists of younger people who mostly like to do the opposite of what they are told.

There has to be a way to survive the gas otherwise there wouldn't be a game here. I am going to persevere (and/or cheat) - perhaps there are hints on the internet or I could get a grandkid to come round and get me out of the gas and into the game proper. Internet here I come ...  Okay I'm back after a quick visit to the internet, mainly YouTube. There I found a video of the game for beginners. It is made by KING PLAYS and you can view it here  (as it is on YouTube it is, as far as I understand, there for anyone to watch, use, copy etc. I am not using it for gain only to point players towards the King Play page and to show readers the game I have been trying to describe above.) The way King Play show how to play is to direct yourself to a Town or City and find some weapons and then steal a car (or a motor-cycle). There is no mention of how to escape the Toxic Gas per se, you just do it. As I said I tried several cars and lorries but they all seemed to be destroyed or non-runners, it seems though that this was just my bad luck. 

Watching King's video I noticed that I was right and that the green line is the safe line but also that the gas doesn't give up, it keeps coming. I also saw that King seemed to have more time to collect items and drive away from the gas. On foot I was collecting items and not being able to get away quickly enough. So for future games and thus as a major suggestion the first thing to do is to get a vehicle and get as far away from the gas as you can, and then start looting, unless you can find a vehicle close to a store in which case you can loot and shoot off at speed.

Like King says, it is best to not hang around at any time during the game for if the gas doesn't get you an opponent will. Those Military Drops look nice and tasty but they also look like good places either to set up an ambush or be caught in one.

I could have rewritten the review from here now that I have played using King's advice but that wouldn't be a true review of how I came to play this addictive and frustrating game, plus I haven't beaten my score of #27 yet - I guess other players have also taken Kings Games advice.

Okay, get ready to rumble, it's a non-stop adventure journey until death or glory.

 This is what impending death looks like

From the Official Press Release:

Popular Free-to-Play Battle Royale Shooter Saw 10 Million+ Players in Open Beta; Battle Pass Season One, New Weapons and New Vehicle Highlight Massive PS4 Launch Update

SAN DIEGO - August 7, 2018: Daybreak Games® today announced that H1Z1: Battle Royale™, the original standalone battle royale shooter, has left Open Beta and officially launched as a free-to-play game on PlayStation®4.

“Everyone here at Daybreak Games is thrilled with the overwhelmingly positive response to H1Z1’s debut on PS4,” said H1Z1 Producer Terrence Yee. “Ten million new players in our first month in Open Beta is an incredible milestone, and our entire development team has worked tirelessly to build on that early success. We’re beyond excited to officially launch H1Z1 on PS4—this is our fully realized vision for battle royale on console.”

The official H1Z1 launch update on PlayStation®4 includes:

Since releasing in Open Beta, H1Z1: Battle Royale on PlayStation®4 has seen regular updates and community-requested gameplay improvements, including the addition of Revive, Airstrike Signal, EMP Grenade, Arcade Mode events, new lighting schemes, and additional tuning and balance optimizations to weapons, movement, gas ring timing, and other gameplay mechanics. Built from the ground up for the console shooter fan, H1Z1 on PS4 also features streamlined UI, inventory management, and an overhauled control scheme that emphasizes H1Z1’s trademark fast-paced, action-packed battle royale gameplay.

For more information about H1Z1 on PS4, visit H1Z1.com/PlayStation4, as well as Facebook,Twitter,YouTube andTwitch.

About H1Z1®: Battle Royale

H1Z1®: Battle Royale is a fast-paced, competitive battle royale shooter. Parachute in and search for weapons, ammo, vehicles and supplies to stay alive. As toxic gas compresses the map, develop a winning strategy and prepare for the final showdown. H1Z1 is available for free on Windows PC and PlayStation 4. Visitwww.h1z1.com for more information.

PEGI Rating: PEGI-16 /ESRB Rating: Rated T for Teen for Violence and Blood.

About Daybreak Games

Daybreak Games is a worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games and emergent gameplay best known for its blockbuster hits and franchises, including the original standalone battle royale game, H1Z1®, EverQuest®, EverQuest®II, PlanetSide®2 and DC Universe™ Online. Daybreak also publishes The Lord of the Rings Online™ and Dungeons & Dragons Online® for Standing Stone Games. The forward-thinking publisher, developer and creator of compelling online entertainment for a variety of gaming platforms is headquartered in San Diego, and has development studios in Austin, TX; Boston, MA; and South Korea. To learn more, visit:www.DaybreakGames.com.

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015