H1Z1 is a post-apocalyptic zombie MMO – basically Dayz, on your PS4

Following the teaser site which went live a couple of days ago, Sony Online Entertainment has officially unveiled H1Z1, a post-apocalyptic MMO which promises to “take the multiplayer survival genre to the next level”, in the words of SOE president John Smedley. It looks a LOT like DayZ, but Smedley’s promising many more features than the PC zombie MMO currently has.

H1Z1 is a post-apocalyptic zombie MMO – basically Dayz, on your PS4

In H1Z1, the player finds themself in a world overrun by the walking dead – and other players, armed to the teeth and hungry for loot. “Zombies aren’t scary, people are scary”, notes Smedley, speaking with GameTalk Live for the games reveal.

So will H1Z1 be a copycat of Dean Hall’s Arma mod turned global phenomenon, or stand up on the weight of its own unique features? Well, there’s at least some indication of originality in the few minutes of gameplay on show.

Base-building is one such feature. Gather the required resources (unspecified at this stage) and you can build your own fortress to keep out living or undead visitors. However, materials in the game are also flammable, so its entirely possible that having built your salvaged safe haven you’ll be smoked out by another player who sets it ablaze. Classic online gaming dick move.

Flammable items will also be important when it drops dark – you you won’t be able to see diddly-squat without a torch.

Smedley also claims that the zombies have “emergent AI” and “think for themselves”, which sounds like an aggrandised way of saying their behaviours aren’t scripted but triggered by specific situations.

Then there are the vehicles. So far we’ve seen a driveable 4×4, but there’s also talk of aircraft. There are no firm figures out there regarding the size of the world, but the inclusion of planes and/or choppers is a good indication that you’ll have a bit of elbow room.

Owning a working vehicle won’t be simple, though. If you find a car, you’ll need to find a battery and charge it – “Maybe you’ll have to wait for a lightning storm or something”, suggests Smedley. You’ll also need spark plugs, and to locate or make biodiesel fuel. Drag.

“We have an engine that can outperform anything that I’ve seen from other zombie survival games”, says Smedley. It’s actually the same engine that Planetside 2 runs on, and if everything Smedley mentions comes to fruition that claim won’t be as wild as it sounds.

It’s launching “soon”. We’ll keep you posted with more as we hear it.