I've gotten my monies worth out of the game so far. It's completely functional as of the last few days, apart from missing or unfinished features. I always hear about how awesome DayZ is, but the truth is, DayZ is a glitchy, broken mess of a game. Although it's smaller and has less content, H1Z1 puts DayZ to shame.
The best thing about H1Z1 is that the hit registry actually works. When you hit or shoot a zombie, you KNOW it. Same goes for other players. In DayZ, you're never sure until they hit the ground, which could be several seconds after the kill shot.
The weapons sound incredible. Hands down, no question, best sounding guns in a video game to date. There's just nothing out there that compares. The pistol packs a punch, the hunting rifle sounds incredible, and by God if you're on the receiving end of a shotgun blast, you might think someone just fired one in your house.
The looting and crafting is pretty simple at the moment, but it works.
the PROBLEMS with the game, well, there are some glitches - not MANY for a pre-Alpha, but there are some. It's unfinished, obviously, and things are going to change. SOE has been very good about updating and changing things several times a week. They're obviously serious about making this game good.
Now the BIG problem with the game.. other players. It's bad enough that some players will just go around killing others for no reason other than just to be dicks, but then you have players blocking doorways to buildings with craft-able items or otherwise being douchebags and trying to break the game.
That said, when you encounter players who aren't all about trolling or griefing, the game can be incredible. I've had tense stand offs with other players, both of us shouting to back down and leave the area. I've held up other players with an empty gun. I've been quietly raiding a house only to have 4 other heavily armed players come in and storm through the place, leaving me trembling in the corner trying to decide whether to announce my presence and beg for mercy, or make a run for it.
Can you have those experiences in DayZ? Probably, but from what I hear you spend 90% of your time in DayZ all alone, and your very rare encounters with other players usually end in death.
So I'm glad H1Z1 has a smaller map.
Hell, the server I was just on had a roaming band of hunters killing players. I came across several players in my travels and they all warned me about this hunting party going around, raiding bases and killing everybody. The fact that I met several players in different locations, all of which warned me about the hunters, that's just cool. Made it feel like I was really living in that world.
I was on a hillside later on, heard some gun shots so I went prone. I could see Zimm's hardware store clearly, and sure enough, about 8 players came running out of the place chasing two more. They gunned down the two players, looted their stuff and carried on down the road. Must have been the hunters.
The game is f*cking incredible when people play it like that - assuming roles and playing them out. It's worth the money, I can't believe they're going to release it as F2P. This could easily be a $60 title when it's finished - it's nearly worth that now.