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H1Z1 brings more battle royale action to PS4 in May

Free-to-play survival game will kick off with an open beta

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

H1Z1, the battle royale shooter created by Daybreak Games, is coming to PlayStation 4, with an open beta kicking off May 22, the developer announced today.

The PS4 version of H1Z1 will diverge from its PC counterpart — which was officially released on Steam earlier this year after a lengthy stint in Early Access — with “a new weapon progression system, fully reworked UI, and new weapons and gear.”

Daybreak Games emphasized speed of play in H1Z1’s console port, saying in an announcement that “H1Z1 now features a grab-and-go equipment system, simplifying loot collection and inventory management; a familiar radial weapon menu so players can quickly switch between guns and grenades; and a revamped HUD that delivers vital information at-a-glance. The crafting system has also been removed from the game.”

H1Z1’s revamped console weapon progression mechanic lets players loot six level-one weapons at the start of a match. To get better gear, players will have to hunt down airdrops.

“Mass airdrops are released throughout the map, through which players may pick up familiar weapons like the AK and AR, as well as the new KH43, Marauder, Combat Shotgun, CNQ-09, Scout Rifle and MK46,” Daybreak Games said. “Airdrops serve as the primary way to secure higher powered armor, which have been retooled to provide players with a health bonus.”

Daybreak will hold a closed beta on PS4 for H1Z1 this weekend. Interested players can register at the game’s website. The developer is currently selling a $29.99 pre-order bundle with a batch of cosmetic items.

When H1Z1 debuted in 2015 it had multiple game modes, including a DayZ-style persistent open-world survival game and battle royale. That last-man-standing mode was designed with the help of Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene, who would later go on to create PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

Since H1Z1’s launch, it’s been split into two different games. H1Z1: King of the Kill retained the Battle Royale mode, while H1Z1: Just Survive went forward with the open-world game mode. H1Z1: King of the Kill was renamed simply H1Z1. H1Z1: Just Survive was likewise renamed to Just Survive.

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