H1Z1 finally leaves Early Access and also gets a new car-based battle royale mode

It has been a bumpy road at times, but it’s finally here

H1Z1 is officially a full-fledged real game. It left Steam Early Access today and got an honest-to-god 1.0 release. It’s a finished product that can be purchased for $20.

It has been a weird nearly four years in the making, and it feels pertinent to quickly run down H1Z1‘s history. It was announced in April 2014 with the developer giving frequent updates as to how it was coming along. Then, it went on sale in January 2015, and quickly became Steam’s top seller.

In February 2016, the game was split into two separate games — H1Z1: King of the Kill (battle royale) and H1Z1: Just Survive (survival MMO). The latter eventually shifted further away as it was renamed simply Just Survive; as the battle royale genre started to really get popular, the King of the Kill part was dropped and it became just H1Z1.

Accompanying the full game’s proper launch, H1Z1 is getting a new gameplay type. It’s called “Auto Royale” which is exactly what it sounds like — a battle royale that takes place only inside vehicles. Up to 30 teams of four players hunt each other and play what’s ostensibly an open-world demolition derby. Auto Royale launches in beta today.

Here are the notes that developer Daybreak sent along to give some finer context about Auto Royale:
  • Two New Vehicles: Players can choose from two vehicles in Auto Royale, Sedan or ARV, both new to the game and only available in Auto Royale. Sedan: Nimble car with faster acceleration and higher jump clearance, allowing skilled drivers to quickly evade enemies. Armored Recon Vehicle (ARV): Offers more stability, making it easier to drive for new players, but has less turbo fuel efficiency.
  • New Weapons: The Light Machine Gun (LMG), available only in Auto Royale, deals the most sustained damage of any gun in the game.
  • New Power Ups: Players pick up evasive, defensive and combat drops to throw opponents off their trail, heal themselves, or deal damage to enemy vehicles. Defensive drops include vehicle repair kits, environmental buffs, fire extinguishers, and vehicle armor. Evasive power ups include smoke screens, high-octane fuel, turbo boosts, and oil slicks.

Daybreak also sent along some updates that are a part of H1Z1‘s 1.0 launch. They are:

  • Tactical Deployment: Players can choose which area to parachute into at the start of a match using a heat map that shows locations of where other players spawn.
  • Airdrop Revamp: The airdrop system has been refined to add more points of contention, increasing the drop frequency and item value.
  • Season 1: The official first in-game Season for H1Z1 starts with an all-new scoring algorithm designed to reward consistency and aggression, not just a player’s 10 best placements.
  • Mini Map: Players now have the option to turn on a mini map to help the navigate the world.
  • Founder’s Item: All players who bought H1Z1 during Early Access will receive a special in-game shirt.
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Brett Makedonski
While you laughing, we're passing, passing away. So y'all go rest y'all souls, 'Cause I know I'ma meet you up at the crossroads. Y'all know y'all forever got love from them Bone Thugs baby...
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