Society just doesn't seem to respect its elders. Rarely visiting them, leaving them to live out a sad, lonely existence as they whittle away the rest of their days. Sadly, video games are the same way. We often forget about those who came before us, paving the way for other more hot and successful games. After all, there would be no Apex Legends or Fortnite if there wasn't a H1Z1 to start off that battle royale craze.
And much like a formerly famous but now aging heart throb, H1Z1 is attempting to reinvent itself in order to get back in with the cool kids. In a big post on its Steam page, Nantgamer announced a new update intended to win back the audience that left the game behind long ago.
The big "Return Of The King" update restores older animations for movement and shooting, as well as graphical tweaks to the user interface and the world itself. There have also been adjustments made to the way vehicles handle, making them work like they did in Preseason 3. All of these changes are meant to make the game feel better so it plays more like it did back in the halcyon days of late 2016 to early 2017.
There's also new features like missions to complete in-game, daily challenges, and a better way to match up with players for duos and squads. Nantgamer also put in items called Fragments, which can be looted off of the corpses of players you've slaughtered. If you collect enough of these you can earn in game credits to put towards gussying up your character with new cosmetics.
To complete this big swing at getting back on top of the battle royale mountain, the game is rebranding itself as Z1 Battle Royale. Which makes sense considering H1Z1 was originally a spoof on H1N1, the infamous swine flu. And people haven't really been concerned about that virus since 2010.
Nantgamer, or NantG, has been working on the now Z1 Battle Royale since September of last year when its parent company made a sizable investment into the original developers Daybreak Games. The NantG general manager Anthony Castoro was very optimistic about the future of Z1 Battle Royale, declaring it "the first big delivery on the promise that the new NantG team made when it took over development last September: Bring back the game that so many of you fell in love with in the classic 'King Of The Hill' era."
It's hard to say for sure whether NantG will be able to keep this promise. The gaming world has changed pretty drastically since the game was on top, even though H1Z1's heyday was only two or so years ago. Apex is at the, well, apex of its popularity, and Fortnite continues to be just as crazy popular as ever. Even games like PUBG and Call Of Duty: Blackout have earned fanbases that are pretty substantial.
Z1 Battle Royale has a long way to go before it can even claim to be back in the race with the other big games in the genre right now. Here's hoping this big rebranding proves that there's still some fight left in this old dog.