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In H1Z1 watch us shoot a man in the back for a length of pipe and some coffee grounds

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Sony Online Entertainment's H1Z1, the post-apocalyptic online zombie survival game, launched last week. After a virtual PR disaster on launch night, the game is up and running, with the Twitch community in particular fueling the hype engine. Charlie Hall invited Griffin McElroy to check out his first few hours with the game, and things turned grim pretty quickly.

The game is available through Steam's Early Access program, and it's far from finished. Right now there are issues with loot spawning inside containers, and much controversy over for-pay loot drops. So is it time to buy a $20 license and join the fray? Find out in our Overview.