I want to talk about H1Z1 on the Playstation 4.
H1Z1 has become the Battle Royale of choice for me, partially because I have invested enough time and money ($20) into the game that I’d rather not start anew on another BR title and partially because I like the simplistic gameplay. I don’t have the reaction time to build and play Fortnite at a decent level and PUBG is a bit too much of a broken mess most of the time to keep my attention while Realm Royale’s player base was crashing hard. Plus my character looks like a total badass.
That said, I have to hand it to Daybreak for instituting the battle pass into H1Z1, because if it weren’t for the fact that I can log in a couple of times a week and churn out some decent ranks, I would have stopped playing out of frustration a long time ago.
It could be because the stamp missions in H1Z1 are broken beyond recognition. It only took five times entering and reentering the training grounds before the game recognized me picking up an AR weapon for the achievement, and after the third time I picked one up in solos for it to register that mission completed. While writing this article I spent the fifth match in which I used the “wave bye” emote three times during a match without it registering completion. What the game did register is me surviving to place in the top 15 in Fives which we didn’t (we placed in the top 20), me driving an ARV 1000 meters in any BR mode (I didn’t), placing in the top 15 without using bandages or first aid kits (I had used numerous), and one achievement I had actually accomplished in reviving a teammate and one for finishing three fives matches.
Free for all, to put it bluntly, sucks on ice. The Battle Royale engine that Daybreak has put together is clearly not built to house this many people in this close proximity on the Playstation 4. I play with the Playstation 4 Pro which is connected to an ethernet and sits within arm’s reach of my router, on a Verizon FiOS line running to the tune of 150mbps. I’m not humble bragging about my internet speed, I’m just pointing out the kind of connection I’m working with. At many times, H1Z1 Free for All gets such bad lag that the original Everquest has less character rubberbanding by comparison. There’s nothing that says engaging gameplay quite like pumping a full clip from an automatic weapon into someone at close range and having none of the shots register, only for the game to recognize that you actually died five seconds ago from a guy who was probably killed before he pulled the trigger.
And because the zone is so small and seemingly randomly placed, the spawn points are absolute trash. You’ll find yourself getting thrown into the wide open valley only to be immediately popped by the group of snipers that were already aiming in your direction. If not an open valley, you’ll be lucky to minimize the number of times that players will spawn in right in front of you, only to gun you down while still in an immune phase, or twenty feet behind you only to do the same. Get a good spot? Think again, because the random spawn system loaded you up with the worst weapons possible and screw you.
This of course assumes that the game properly loads itself while spawning you into the world, and doesn’t let you die while the loading screen is still up. This also assumes that the game grants you any immunity and doesn’t just let someone with a high powered sniper pop you in the head the second the loading screen does disappear. This assumes that the loading screen appears and doesn’t just leave you hanging as a spectator. This assumes that the game responds to your pressing X to respawn and doesn’t just ignore your controller. This assumes it doesn’t crash to the console dashboard. This assumes that it lets you bring your weapon out.
It’s incredible how the further H1Z1 gets away from launch, the more it seems to degrade in quality. Some stamp missions are broken, some weekly missions are broken, Free for All is broken, experience boosts seem to be broken, the master coins you get after completing the battle pass are (for some) broken.