H1Z1: A New Post-Apocalyptic MMO
Sony Online Entertainment is one of many businesses looking to gain attention for their work at PAX East this year, and they certainly have in the form of mixed reactions ranging from pure excitement to frustrated boredom. The reason for this, is the revelation of the upcoming MMO H1Z1 which is expected to be available on Steam Early Access sometime in May for $20.
So far, what we know about H1Z1 is that it will be set in the American Midwest, that H1Z1 is the name of a super-virus that infected a large portion of the populace, and that it takes place fifteen years after the original outbreak. The game is running on SOE's Forgelight which supports 2000 players in a single instance, which is quite a spike in numbers compared to other zombie "MMOs" that have peaked in the window to 70-150 people per instance or in some cases entire servers which will make this an MMO that actually captures the "Massive Multiplayer" aspect of it..
SOE has stated that they want a player-run economy and society to be the thing that sets H1Z1 apart from other post apocalyptic titles, that through scavenging and trading it might be possible for a group of players to build up a home of their own somewhere on the map. No images of the map itself have surfaced yet, but the few screenshots have displayed rural townships and fields, a brief glimpse at a distant forest in the background of one as well. SOE has stated that there will also be actual cities worth exploring, not just towns and farms.
Here are two screenshots from the batch that have been released so far.