Review: H1Z1: King of the Kill – How is it Doing? PC

Get Ready to Rumble

Daybreaks ambitious Zombie survival game has seen some significant shifts in focus, one of which occurred in 2016, the splitting of the title H1Z1 into H1Z1: Just Survive (pvpve) and H1Z1: King of the Kill, the Battle Royale PvP mode was now standalone from its parent title, how would it fair? A lot better than its pvpve parent! That’s not to say the game’s path has been an easy one, far from it, let’s look into the games tumultuous history.

Mass Cheater Bans

Over the games short history it has had more than its share of mass bans of cheaters, while this is needed for a healthy game, during these times players without understanding of the reason for the bans often think the game is dying or dead, losing several thousand daily active players/cheaters, regardless of this the game is in a healthy state, and these bans are good for the long-term growth of kotk.

Nationalist Problems

while most shooters have a semi-friendly rivalry between nations the Chinese anti “American” and the western anti Asian sentiment in Kotk is something else entirely  Chinese players have been known to team kill rest of squad and chant “china number 1” on many occasions, the western anti Chinese sentiment is based around the at one time chronic cheating by the Chinese community on NA server,s it was estimated by some that 87.5% of Chinese players on NA servers engaged in cheating, however as with all statistics this could be artificially high.

Change, I hate Change!

Kotk has undergone some massive changes which are always met with great controversy, while almost every change has vastly improved the player base and quality of life there is a often a large minority that wishes for how things were which is understandable when you are heavily invested in a title, some of the major changes have involved a brand new map, a complete combat revamp, hitbox revision, change of how vehicles handle, season rewards and rankings to name a few of the more.

Upcoming changes are to include easier access to loot and vehicles to speed the average round to 15-20 mins, much shorter than the current 30-45mins ,this seems an effort to separate itself from the more tactical and slower pace of Player Unknown Battlegrounds , Kotk Is set to become the faster, more frantic Arcade Battle Royale, dominating that sub-niche instead of going head to head with the runaway success of Player Unknown Battlegrounds.

Gameplay

The core gameplay is based on solo, duo, and 5 man matches, the goal of all 3 the same, be the last survivor/surviving team, everyone spawns in parachuting from a troop plane with only the clothes on their back and medical supplies, all weapons, gear, and vehicles must then be gathered once on the ground, after a few minutes the safe zone is declared, and the countdown to the poison gas is announced, for those caught outside the safe zone the gas in early rounds slowly erodes your health bar, in later rounds as the safe zone grows smaller the speed of decay increases rapidly, failure to leave the safe zone before health reaches zero in any of the rounds will result in death.

Skirmish Mode

Skirmishes are run traditionally on weekends and feature highly modified gameplay modes, single weapon per player but with unlimited ammo, nighttime maps, maps which begin in a much smaller safe zone, shotgun vs sniper mode to name just a few, these modes are fast and fun but are more of an addition than being part of the main pull of the game.

Pricing

The game is extremely well priced at £14.99, during sales the game often goes for 50-60% discount, making it a must-buy for any fans of pvp titles, shooters or Battle Royale.

Pay to Win

while store currency called Daybreak coins can be purchased, they are only used to unlock skins for weapons, gear, and vehicles and provide no benefit over the free version skins found in-game by levelling, some skins are very rare and a third-party marketplace exists for the sale of them, some of these items reach into the hundreds and at times over a thousand dollars.

Community

Toxic Beyond Words

Is the only way to describe the community of Kotk, while there are many good players who will show great sportsmanship, the majority will cuss you out in-game for beating them, it’s not uncommon to witness minutes long profanity-laced tirades for beating an opponent, the steam forums are also very  toxic with high amounts of racism, “kill yourself” comments and trolling.

In Conclusion

The game is best enjoyed with friends unless you have thick skin. I am not phased by the community, but sensitive people might be, the game while undergoing many changes has remained consistently fun for me, and I am sure it will work for many others for years to come.

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