Published on April 13th, 2014 | by Alecs Pillik

PS4 and Xbox One – battle of the zombie MMOs

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!

About the Author

Alecs Pillik

From his humble beginnings on the N64, Alec's love for video games has flourished across all genres, from RPGs to FPSs. You can usually find him at work, at the Museum of London, out on the football pitch having a kick-around, or at home gaming with his friends. His favourite games include Left 4 Dead, Battlefield 3 & 4, Oblivion, Fallout 3 & 4 and Call of Duty: World at War. If you're on the Xbox One, don't forget to follow his gamertag for some cool game clips!

  • you made the right choice with xbox one class 4 will destroy h1z1 its just a dayz ripoff class 4 is making a even better version of state of decay with the mmo side and dayz is coming to both consoles so you can pick up that and get the same experiece as h1z1

  • Jordan your comments are purely biased as you have no clue as to what either will be like

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  • Colton Pasto

    I have heard some great stuff about DayZ. I must admit, I have only recently heard about SoD, but I really wish I had known about it earlier, regardless, the lack of Co-op for SoD is a tad disappointing, although I understand their decision. I really don’t like the idea of SoD going MMO, I hope they are working on a dedicated Co-op, with maybe up to 4 players, building the same living “world”. In the end I think a Zombie Survival Sandbox game MMO would be a huge disaster and would just be riddled with countless bored players who would ruin the fun for others. But, having up to 4 good friends, who just enjoy the Genre and can take it a bit more seriously, would be much more fun and beneficial. I would like to see at least a small aspect of character creation, or at least customization, although I understand that is a tall order, considering their already ambitious deadlines. I guess my ideal zombie game would be more open world, sandbox, multiple rescuables/playables, but with your own created character and adding an aspect of character improves, but still have the risk of perma-death. I can understand the lack of personal character creation, lord knows it would be the most biased one sided story mode ever.

    I like the idea of a large, open world zombie sandbox/survivor/defense game, with up to 4 player co op, living world. But, i gotta say, I really don’t think I will be looking into the MMO, if that is the direction they are taking, I am sure it will just turn into another mindless, time consuming tool that will be all about quest grinding and level buffing.

    But, 4 local, or Live players/friends working together to fortify and build the camp or camps would be much more enjoyable that practical

    • I like your thoughts there – like a more survival / group focused version of Dead Island – so that you can have four main characters in one world at one time. It would be cool to build up a community with NPCs too. But, for me, one of the best aspects of SOD was the perma-death.

      In my perfect world, Class 4 would just be a more developed version of SOD, with an aspect of character creation, but one which still allows for the perma-death. It would be pretty tough to create perma-death in an online multiplayer game, mind.

      Perhaps if they just gave you a bit of control over the saveables in the world – so you can perhaps change their names, clothes and appearance before generating a new world. That way, rather than having four main characters in the game, you could play as any of the saveables and, at some point, you might stumble across ‘yourself’ as a saveable and then playable character?

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