H1Z1: Just Survive gets new map and new name

Survival sandbox H1Z1: Just Survive [official site] today receives a big update but also loses its name. The update will bring a new level, a new base-building system, a revamp of weapons and melee combat, and more. At the same time, H1Z1: Just Survive is now named simply Just Survive. Developers Daybreak Game Company don’t state a sensible reason for the rebranding but I’d guess they’re trying to avoid people confusing it with H1Z1: King of the Kill, the massively popular Battle Royale ’em up spin-off designed by the creator of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds.

First, new things to do! The new maps is Badwater Canyon, not to be confused with TF2’s Badwater Basin. Replacing the game’s original map, it’s rolling out in pieces as development is finished. It’s starting with Pine Mill Reservoir, a forested region which fills about a quarter of the planned map, then will expand over time. It looks quite nice.

Base-building is overhauled with the new ‘Stronghold’ system, which has natty modular building and attack/defend events. Daybreak say that weapons “have been rebuilt from scratch, introducing tiers to each weapon type while fine-tuning them to look and feel unique.” Melee combat is also improved “with a new hit registration system and attack animation overhaul.”

Full patch notes are over here.

As for the rebranding, Daybreak gab on about how “Just Survive is about more than just killing zombies, it’s about the player’s survival journey” and how it “reflects how Just Survive is developing into a more mature and polished game”. Call me a horrible cynic, but I’d guess it’s more that Just Survive drags King of the Kill down.

Both the survival and Battle Royale games were once modes within one singular H1Z1. But since they split into standalone games, King of the Kill has become the fourth-most-played game on Steam and Just Survive has dropped out of the top 100. People mistaking Just Survive for King of the Kill surely causes problems for the more-successful game.

I can’t think of any other reason why Daybreak would cut Just Survive off from one of the biggest new brand names on PC (as generic as ‘H1Z1’ is), leaving it to strike out on its own with an unmemorable name. Other games with Survive-y names already on Steam include Survive, How to Survive, Survive the Nights, Go To Bed: Survive The Night, and Learn Japanese To Survive! Katakana War. Okay, it’s unlikely people will confuse Just Survive with the last one, but sheesh.

Our last look at Just Survive was back in March 2016, when Rob Zacny found it too much of a grind. More recently, Rich McCormick last week revisited King of the Kill to see how much that has changed over time. Not enough, is the answer.

8 Comments

  1. ByrdWhyrm says:

    Somehow they managed to come up with a less interesting or memorable name than H1Z1 or H1Z1: Just Survive. If nothing else, that’s an impressive feat.

  2. tour86rocker says:

    The H1Z1 name references the H1N1 flu strain from 2009, it was becoming increasingly dated

    • Crocobutt says:

      To me, the game was always Hee-Zee.

    • ANeM says:

      That only makes it funnier though. Of the two games the one they thought should keep the name that references an actual outbreak and the general zombie trope of “put a Z in it somewhere to show it’s about zombies” was the one that doesn’t have a zombie outbreak.

  3. racccoon says:

    Always wanted to play it, but I never got around it to buying it yet. :)

  4. Uberwolfe says:

    Just play Rust.

  5. neofit says:

    H1Z1 PvE was rather nice, for a couple of weeks or the next wipe, depending on how fast you build your compound. For $10 I got my money’s worth anyway.

    At one point you are finished building and have become self-sufficient thanks to your water collectors, farming and traps. You realize you won’t have a permanent car since it lasts like a couple of days then explodes or something. So there is no more reason for you to go outside.

    And you realize you won’t be able to chat properly with your guildmates in a text window as in all other games. Not everyone has a mike or wants to be heard, and in our multinational meta-guild accents can be extemely thick, mine included, so you also lose any interest to log in at all.

    That’s what I experienced in the summer of 2015 and I did not notice any changes on these issues in the patch notes. Let’s hope this new wave of big patches changes all that.

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