Originally, I was a strong proponent for H1Z1. After all, who could compete directly with the Day Z development other than Sony? Then, Daybreak bought out Sony Online Entertainment. Afterwards, it just seems like H1Z1 is spinning in perpetual “Early Access” like so many others. After being away for a while, I decided to venture back into the Just Survive aspect to talk a look at progress.
What is Just Survive Like After a Year Away?
Aside from the programming resting at version 0.36, it seems that quite a bit has been changed. In some ways, it’s almost like a new product from the original, which isn’t really a good thing as a whole. But, it still has zombies, which is why I stopped playing Day Z for the longest time.
I mean, come on. A zombie apocalypse game without the zombie?
What I’ve Come Across So Far
I plan on playing this a bit more extensively to get a good feel over what has changed. I am a bit in between liking it and hating Just Survive. Mostly because I am tired of game developers keeping games in Early Access form just to make more money. But…let’s not get too aggressive with Daybreak just yet.
Keep in mind the points below are my own opinion of the game. You may agree or disagree with each one. The bottom line is that every player has different needs and wants. What you think is amazing, someone else might believe otherwise.
Positive Elements from Just Survive
One graphic improvement that I found myself geeking out on in Just Survive was the cockroach graphic. I walk into a room and roaches scatter from various forms of debris. Although judging by the size of them, you’d think H1Z1 was based in New York, but it was still pretty cool to see.
Another graphic improvement that gets me excited is the weather. It was pretty cool to walk around in the rain. Although the moon is a bit bright at night and defeats the purpose of a flashlight, it’s still an amazing visual when the water starts to pour.
Roaches are not the only graphic improvements either. New car models, garbage cans, clothing and even the occasional skeleton litter the landscape. I’m also pleased there are more zombie models in-game than there were before. However, I don’t like that I cannot loot them anymore. Now it wants me to harvest them.
You start off with a “stash” box you can place anywhere. This is one aspect of Day Z that I liked…hiding your base and goods from other players. In the Epoch servers, you could buy a safe to store your valuables. I haven’t placed it yet because I haven’t found a good hiding spot. But I look forward to trying it out.
I’m on the fence for selling items I find. Apparently, the in-game currency of Gold Eagle coins is usable to buy plots of land to build strongholds – of which I haven’t seen any…yet. I am assuming you’ll be able to buy gear in the future based on the loading screen messages of Just Survive.
I am pretty excited about being able to walk around with a katana or a machete. I’m glad they made melee weapons a bit more common than in the original map. It’s nice to one-hit kill a zombie in Just Survive with a bladed blow to the head.
Judging by what I’ve seen so far, there is a lot more to base building now. That’s one of my favorite things to do in games like this. Perhaps it’s why I love Minecraft so much. I love building bases. I spent a great deal of time in the Day Z Epoch servers for this very reason. Can’t wait to see what I can come up with in Just Survive…if I can find a damn stronghold plot.
Negative Elements from Just Survive
Game Play Issues
After being on the market for several years, you’d think Daybreak would put in custom character creation. Even the original Everquest has a basic layout for customizing your player. I suppose that loot crates and PvP are just more important.
One element I miss is the First-Person-Only PVE servers. This is where you stayed in first-person view while combating zombies. It’s actually my preferred method of play, but I guess I’ll have to switch camera view to make it so.
Making it Too Easy?
One element that really gets me down is the crafting discovery. One of the coolest elements of the game is no longer available. Instead, you’re provided with a whole list of things you can make. I think it’s funny the crafting discovery feature was one of the game’s attractive points when it was released. I guess too many whiner-babies couldn’t figure it out.
I’m not sure how I feel about the safe zones. You can escape to a player-friendly military base and be sheltered from players and zombies. This, to me, is more of a sissy way out. A zombie apocalypse should be frightening no matter where you’re at. Having a “safe space” in the game makes it seem like Daybreak is catering to those who can’t hack it.
Doesn’t Make Sense
If you’re looking to fill up on food and hydration, edible items no longer quench your thirst. Before, a blackberry would recuperate 2% hydration and food. Now, it only affects hunger. Carrots, beats, Mom’s Pink Salmon (which is such a wrong name for a can of food in the game by the way) has no affect on hydration like it used to.
Imagine my surprise when I left the playable zone and slowly started to die. Unfortunately, I was unable to make it back to safety because the kill counter started well after I crossed some imaginary border. At least the original map had impassible mountains and such to keep you in one location. Make these zones easier to identify!
There is no obvious way to get back to the original map, which seemed to be further along in development than this new layout. And with the zone edges randomly killing me, I think I’d rather return to the way things were. At least put in a zoning element like in Everquest.
In a Nut Shell…
I’ll keep playing this game. After all, it still has better functionality and playability compared to the stand alone Day Z platform. Hopefully, more development of this new map will unfold and I won’t die just for walking along a road because I crossed the quarantine zone.
I can say I am a bit disappointed, but I do like some of the new additions.