Sony Online Entertainment has revealed H1Z1, their post-apocalyptic survival MMO. The free-to-play title puts players into a decaying “middle-America” 15 years after an outbreak of the H1Z1 virus has turned most of the population into flesh-eating zombies. Players will be able to scavenge for supplies, trade items, craft weapons, and eventually build shelters. Groups of players will be able to cooperate or fight each other for survival. If it all sounds a bit familiar – *cough DayZ cough* – SOE president John Smedley assures people that their version of the zombified world will offer something the other games cannot. SOE’s proprietary Forgelight engine can handle 2,000 players in a single instance which he hopes will create the kind of interactions that genre aficionados have been craving.
“To use a simple reference I’m sure everyone interested in this game will get… we want our players to make Woodbury from The Walking Dead if they want to,” he said. “Or take over a prison. Or fix an old car so you and your friends (yeah we have multiplayer vehicles) can run zombies and players over mercilessly, and revel in the sheer delight of hearing a zombie scream as you light it on fire, or craft a gun to take down your friends and enemies alike.”
Smedley promises that H1Z1 will not be “pay-to-win” and he also said that the team will be using the extensive player data from PlanetSide 2 to shape the game before it even launches.