H1Z1: Battle Royale

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
H1Z1: Battle Royale Game Poster Image
Online shooter with blood occasionally promotes teamwork.

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Most of the game revolves around glamorized gun combat with an every-player-for-themselves mentality, but some modes also promote communication and teamwork.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Avatars don't have personalities, but dominant players may end up serving as role models (good or bad) to other players based on how they behave online.

Ease of Play

Very straightforward controls and objectives. Success takes patience, practice, skill, and a bit of luck.

Violence

Players attack each other from a third-person perspective using guns and explosives. Hits sometimes result in splashes of blood. Bodies eventually disappear.

Sex
Language

No profanity in game dialogue, but players are likely to hear strong language from other players via the game's voice-communication system.

Consumerism

Players are encouraged to spend real money in game to purchase avatar-customization items.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that H1Z1: Battle Royale is a downloadable online multiplayer game focused on third-person gun combat. Working alone or in small teams, players slowly converge in a central area with the goal of killing everyone else and being the last one standing, similar to the fast-paced action found in the newer (and extremely popular) Fortnite. Getting hit by gunfire, explosions, or vehicles often results in moderate splashes of red blood. While the action is centered on sensationalized gun combat, players will get a chance to practice teamwork and communication skills if they choose to play modes in which they're grouped with one to four other players. While there's no profanity in the game dialogue, players are likely to hear strong language -- as well as insults and slurs -- from other players via the game's voice-communication system. And some dominant players could end up serving as role models, for better or worse. Players are also encouraged to spend real money for avatar-customization items.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byBrandon M. June 3, 2018

H1Z1 Battle Royale

I think this game is great teenage version of ‘Fortnite’ and is not to over the top on gore. This can also help each other work as a team to win the game. It’... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byKieran8176 May 30, 2018

Genuine Life | H1Z1

H1Z1 shows a specific range of guns and detail, based of real life, such as the AK47, Combat Shotgun and so on. In America, more than a quater to somewhat half... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byNateZeBoss July 4, 2018

More Realistic Version of Fortnite

If you don't really like building in fortnite, or just don't want to master it, H1Z1 is for you. Battle Royale is free on PS4 too. If you want a mor... Continue reading

What's it about?

H1Z1: BATTLE ROYALE is the console version of the popular PC game H1Z1, a battle royale-style game in which up to 100 players gradually converge with the goal of being the last player (or team) standing. Players parachute onto a large map, where they must quickly scavenge for guns, ammunition, and armor. As the match progresses, toxic gas slowly closes in on a central area, forcing players together and causing confrontation. While the console version of the game appears similar to the PC version on the surface, it's been substantially redesigned, with features such as crafting completely removed, a radial weapon selection system added, and a weapon and armor progression system added that forces players to track down parachute drops that include improved gear. Modes include classic every-player-for-him/herself matches, squad events in which players are grouped in teams of two or five players, and combat training, in which players continually respawn in ongoing matches meant to let them practice strategies and weapons. A vehicle-based mode found in the PC edition is slated to arrive at a later date. It's free to play, though players can spend money on cosmetic options to customize their avatars.

Is it any good?

Players looking for a substantially different take on the popular battle royale-style game won't find it in this large, action-packed shooter, which doesn't really stand out from the competition. But while H1Z1: Battle Royale on the console is a fairly traditional last-man-standing experience, here it's been tuned and modified to make it simpler and more approachable. The controls are familiar, and goals are straightforward. No crafting or weapon modifications means that players simply need to find and grab the gear they want from random parachute drops on the map. It's not too hard to find good stuff, though actually laying hands on some items can be a bit tricky, since other players nearby are drawn to gear drops, too. Most importantly, the action feels fast and contained, with the encroaching gas forcing players into a very tight area quite quickly, ensuring that matches don't linger much beyond 15 minutes.

The game does suffer from issues common to the genre. It runs relatively smoothly, but it's certainly no graphical showcase. Textures and visual details are decidedly low-grade and don't load as quickly as you might like -- especially early on in crowded games. And while individual matches can be exhilarating, the experience lacks the sort of overarching connective tissue needed to satisfy anyoone craving longer-term goals. It's a game that absolutely lives in the moment -- which could be a point for it or against it, depending on the individual player. H1Z1: Battle Royale is a capable, serviceable alternative to games like Fortnite and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and it's probably the simplest battle royale game to date, but beyond its (admittedly appealing) accessibility, it doesn't have much to set it apart.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in media. Do you feel an emotional difference when playing games in which violence is directed at computer-controlled enemies vs. other players' avatars like in H1Z1: Battle Royale?

  • Talk about the difference between working alone and playing with a team. Are you more satisfied if you win on your own or as part of a group? Why?

Game details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4
  • Price: $0
  • Pricing structure: Free (This game is free to download and play, though players are encouraged to purchase cosmetic upgrades for their avatars. A Battle Pass for the first season costs $5.49 and provides awards with progression.)
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Daybreak Games
  • Release date: August 7, 2018
  • Genre: Third-person shooter
  • Topics: Cars and Trucks
  • ESRB rating: T for Violence, Blood

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love action

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