Named Most Anticipated Survival Game of 2015 by GameHaunt, Sony’s got a lot vested in H1Z1. They’ve grabbed a proven formula fresh off of ArmA II’s DayZ Mod (and subsequent title DayZ Standalone) and have manufactured their own flavor of said formula. With the promise of seeing a new twist on the zombie survival genre, Sony Online Entertainment has gained the attention of gamers worldwide.
Hz1Z will be released for PlayStation 4 “eventually” (most assume this year) and is currently available for Windows PC through the wildly popular Steam platform, but on their Early Access section meaning that this is simply a Beta and not final product. It would be easy to say “this game is getting bad reviews,” or “the computer version has mixed reviews so far,” but this would be fundamentally irresponsible as this is an Early Access release.
However, that being said, mixed Beta Feedback is what we can confidently say is being presented by the Steam community of PC gamers who have given it a shot in the 2 days that H1Z1 has been open to Early Access users for $19.99 – $39.99 of kick-in. The final product will be made available Free-To-Play on PlayStation 4 and Steam, which actually brings us to the meat of this topic.
Sony had claimed early on that they were aiming to make H1Z1 fair, fun, and balanced for all players – regardless of their pay-in level or if they were just playing completely for free. In short, they promised not to break the game for profit’s sake through a Pay-To-Win formula, while at the same time criticizing some games that did so in the genre. Since the particular game they chose to model H1Z1 after began as a free mod, it is pretty obvious that in-app purchases are going to be hard for PC gamers to tolerate if not placed in the game gracefully by Sony Online Entertainment.
Hopefully Sony is still open to feedback, Steam users are speaking right now about the current Early Access release – and most of them are not happy. Here are a few of the key points touched on by Steam Reviews:
- “Pay to win // Air drops containt weapons,ammo and back packs which they said they wouldn’t do”
- 957 of 1,069 people (90%) found this review helpful
Then there’s the case in which a Steam Review actually paraphrases Sony Online Entertainment’s quote:
“We will NOT be selling Guns, Ammo, Food, Water… i.e. That’s kind of the whole game and it would suck in our opinion if we did that.”
Only to also quote their later backtrack and going back on their word, doing exactly what they said they would not:
“We have made the decision to allow paid for airdrops into the game with things like guns and other things being randomly selected as part of the airdrop. We’re making them highly contested and building a whole set of rules around this, but you should be aware that our goal is to make this a way to keep things interesting on the servers but still be contested. If these offend your sensibilities just know that they are going to be there. We have gone out of our way to make sure the airdrops are contested in-game and that you can’t simply expect to easily walk about to the airdrop and grab it. Even if you paid for it. “
- 2,006 of 2,318 people (87%) found this review helpful
Based on these two Reviews alone, and the amount of people who have expressed agreement with them, it seems Sony Online Entertainment has upset their fans and left them feeling like they were lied to. Was this false advertising? Do you feel this is enough evidence to say the game is really Pay-To-Win?
Update: H1Z1 refunds being offered by SOE for limited time
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Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. This article reflects the status of the game at the time of its publication and may not indicate updates rolled out later. As always, do your own research and try out games for yourself before making a final judgement.