Daybreak Game Company (studio)
18 February 2016 (released)
H1Z1: King of the Kill's concept is an interesting one, basic, simple yet highly engaging and executed in the right manner, can be an impressive game. What King of the Kill is a selection of death match modes that focuses on players using extreme survival tactics and exploration to ensure victory in a death match. Players are dropped off in a large scale environment with no resources other than the clothes on their back. In order to have a fighting chance against multiple players, at times reaching 100, you’ll have to explore the surrounding area, search for supplies, weapons and ammo and fight back against other players out for your blood.
What we have is a compelling concept for an immersive competitive experience, one that thrives on player skill and adaption. You can’t merely rely on special abilities, perks or power-ups as you start with nothing and have to rely only on your ability to survive. This involves exploration, quick thinking and adapting tactics to defeat your opponents. What are the main issues with King of the Kill is simply that it harbours a difficult learning curb for new players. As a new player to the series, I had no idea what to do, how to involve myself into the world or the basic mechanics of gameplay. It took many hours to fully understand and grasp my sense around how I should be playing. This is built with the intention of experienced returning and enjoying a familiar yet new game.
As for new players, there will be a long haul of training and adjusting to the game’s functionality. There are no tutorials or a guide which is great for playing the game but for beginners it can be rather daunting.
The gameplay is solid for a competitive multiplayer experience and a true test of skill in many aspects. I for one found the maps to be a little over whelming, considering that there can be 100 players in the map, often enough I’ll find myself stuck in the middle of nowhere with no one around to engage with. There’s plenty of detail in many areas mind you, with hubs of vastly detailed locations, ranging from small towns, hangers, camp sites and gas stations that harbour vital supplies. These hubs also provide shelter from other players and certain dynamic factors which effect the environment, casuing mass panic and instant death.
Factors such as toxic clouds will cover up to 70% of the map, meaning you’ll have to venture out into a safe zone in order to survive. Just expect a few others to be there when the sires roar across the landscape. There are plenty of neat ideas here and playing the game for several hours to gain the hang of things is well worth it. There’s a good selection of modes as well that allow team death matches, co-op and a form or training grounds. It’s a shame that the initial learning curb is so steep and may be off putting to those who can’t invest the time to learn the game’s core mechanics and gameplay.
Aside from the learning curb, there are plenty of micro-transactions which doesn’t upset the balance too much, but this does allow a slight advantage to those willing to shell out the cash, meaning a faster progression than players doing it naturally. It’s a shame as this game has a price tag and the first things you’ll see are advertisements on buying more gear, better weapons and more.
King of the Kill is a neat concept and an enjoyable experience if you put the time into it. Experienced players will get the hang of this quickly and enjoy the new modes on offer. Those new to the series will find difficulty integrating into the game with the lack of guides or basic information on how to play. There are plenty of great ideas for highly competitive and rewarding gameplay yet the over indulgence of micro-transactions and the lack of variation in map designs will put many off the long haul.
++ Excellent competitive concept
+ Great sense of player skill and tactics at play
--Tough learning curb
A steam copy of H1Z1: King of the Kill was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review