H1Z1, Sony Online Entertainment’s Post Apocalyptic Zombie MMO, is Free to Play, Not Pay to Win

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Zombies and or post apocalyptic online sand box games seem to be all the rage now, and Sony Online Entertainment is throwing their hat into the pile with a mysterious post apocalyptic zombie MMO, titled simply H1Z1, a clear nod to the real life swine flu virus. This may be the very same game that SOE president John Smedley was teasing way back in January, but it may be something completely different.

The first information, although scarce, has been revealed from an interview Smedley had with Game Talk Live. There is no subscription required to play H1Z1, which is currently set for a PC release. The game is completely free to play, and not pay to win. Being pay to win was described as “shitty” by Smedley on the Game Talk Live stream. He’s officially now my personal hero in that regard.

While the game is in an early build, it already looks pretty spectacular in the gameplay shown. Smedley said the plan is for survivors to be scavenging, gathering supplies, and building their own outposts. Coming from this, he hopes that eventually we would see groups of survivors fighting each other. The build that was shown tonight is three months old, and has progressed and been improved much since that time.

The world in H1Z1 is literally a giant world, not just a bunch of separated servers. “A world!” Smedley said, “Not just a little tiny server.” The game will be streamed next week in it’s most current form. The game is definitely being planned for PC, and a Playstation 4 version is being considered after the PC launch. The game was described by the podcast co-host Todd Roy as “scary,” and according to Smedley, there’s a reason behind this:

“That’s the point. When you see a zombie coming up to you with nothing out but a highway flare. But here is something your gonna be able to do that you can’t do in these other games: Light things on fire. We are in the middle of putting that in so you are gonna be able to burn down trees, burn down stuff, and that’s gonna be a lot of fun. The idea is that these players [are] building these forts and all of the sudden these other guys coming in lighting it on fire and waiting till they come out of the fortress … is awesome.”

The game will be affected by a day and night cycle, and Smedley elaborated on this as well:

“Oh God yeah, but in this game it matters a lot more than in others because it gets really dark at night and you need to have a torch and you will be ganked by other players, zombies. So we [have] vehicles in here. We can actually have aircraft if we want. Our goal is to build out this entire massive massive world that is this apocalypse of the United States.”

When asked whether or not we would see the game at the annual SOE Live event, Smedley posted on twitter saying “you can play it yourself soon. and by play I mean play fully.”

For now, you can check out the eerie and very foggy teaser website for H1Z1 here.

Brandon Orselli

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Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.