It now seems as though the PS4 has entered the race for the title of ‘best zombie MMO’; as if the PS4 and Xbox One fanboys needed any more excuses to pit their consoles against each other. State of Decay creators, Undead Labs, are working on an untitled project with Microsoft, code named ‘Class 4’, which is most likely going to be a stepped up MMO version of SoD for the Xbox One. Sony Online Entertainment, on the other hand, are developing H1Z1. To be honest, It’s a little too early to be looking at both games and trying to distinguish which one will be better. SOE has announced a bit about the game, or at least what they hope it will be. Undead Labs, however, have released virtually nothing.
I’m a bit of a zombie fanatic and I’ve spent many a night fantasizing about my perfect zombie game. In my head, it was pretty much just The Walking Dead meets GTA. But, since the launch of the next-gen consoles, we’ve been inundated with what I would describe as ‘my perfect zombie games’. First we had Day Z on the PC, then we had the rumours around Undead Labs’ next zombie offering and now, completely out of the blue, SOE have announced H1Z1. I took a gamble on buying my Xbox One. I thought that both consoles looked brilliant and the only reason that I went for the One was the fact that I’ve had a 360 for over seven years. But, to be honest, if Sony had announced H1Z1 before the PS4’s release, it probably would have swayed me. That’s how much I want to play my perfect zombie survival game, and H1Z1 really sounds like that game.
The more I write about it, the more excited I become. Then the crushing realisation that I don’t own a PS4 sets in, and it breaks my heart a little. It will be on Steam, though. Which is a plus. According to Sony, it will be free to play, possibly only on the PS4, however. Either way, from the short description we’ve been given, I would happily pre-order this game – it being free or not wouldn’t make a difference. It sounds incredibly similar to Day Z, but perhaps with a little more detail; I’ve not had the privilege of playing Day Z as of yet, so I couldn’t say for sure. There will be extensive crafting options, you’ll be able to build your own base by securing recourses for its construction, you can claim abandoned warehouses or homes to set up camp or you can lone wolf it and travel around the game-world’s mix of countryside and cityscapes, avoiding both the living and the dead. You can create groups of survivors with other online players and you can trade with each other, or fight each other to the death – whichever you’d prefer. One of the creators even suggested that, should you want to, you could take a quiet life and run your own farm. From everything I’ve read, H1Z1 sounds like the full package. Whether or not SOE can deliver is yet to be seen.
Undead Labs are keeping their traps firmly shut about Class 4. So I couldn’t say if this will be Microsoft’s answer to H1Z1, if it’ll be much less extensive or a completely different game altogether. The deal with Microsoft means that Undead Labs can’t tell us anything about Class 4 just yet, but they’ve certainly hinted at a lot. We’ll probably be told more about both games at E3, (assuming that H1Z1 doesn’t make it to the PS4 before then), but it’s definitely a long old wait! All I can say is, I’ve waited years for some decent zombie survival games, and now they seem to be making them left, right and centre. At the moment I’d say that Sony has the best looking zombie survival MMO in production, but that’s only whilst we know very little about Class 4. Undead Labs have already had great success with State of Decay, so it’s pretty likely that H1Z1 will have some tough competition!
Here are a few links that might give you a better idea of the battle at hand.
I wrote an article on Class 4 a few weeks back – http://www.implayin.co.uk/features/hints-on-undead-labs-next-zombie-mmo/
Here’s one of the better articles on H1Z1 – http://metro.co.uk/2014/04/10/first-footage-of-h1z1-sonys-zombie-apocalypse-mmo-4694365/
Here’s the teaser website, which I’m sure will be disclosing more information as time goes on – https://www.h1z1.com/home
I’ll be keeping you posted about both games as we learn more. I’ll also be at EuroGamer this year, so I’m keeping everything crossed that at least one of these games will be at the event!