Real Talk By: Ms. Throwback
Horizon Zero Dawn was one of the most anticipated titles to release early 2017. This Playstation 4 exclusive was offered up by Developer Guerrilla Games, the same people who are best known for the Killzone series. Being the developers first attempt at a role-playing title stirred up some skepticism. It seemed like this game could be a big win, or a big flop. Let’s break down the title so you can decide.
Horizon Zero Dawn is placed in an interesting environment where advanced technology meets a more primitive feeling way of life. Aloy is our hero proving to be an avid hunter and archer. The people in this game are living this way due to the apocalyptic circumstances that have recently passed. Aloy is no different and has learned to protect herself with trip wire weapons, traps, arrows, explosives, and spears. The tech side of things becomes apparent right away. Collecting computer and machine parts is vital to survival. Crafting is also an all important skill. Fighting the cyborg enemies becomes a true challenge to overcome in this title and knowing the basic skills is essential.
This open world game is vastly beautiful. The scope is incredible and the enemies are no different. Many times enemies travel in flocks whose AI is nothing short of amazing to watch. Rarely Aloy can use hacking devices to turn machines against one another, but the devices are rare so typically she must implement tactics to take them head on. These devices can also turn machines into mounts or companions for combat.
The graphical involvement in this title is stunning. Coupled with the art style this title could kill almost any game on the market right now when it comes to visuals. The character design is fantastic. The game is made of several different tribes all of which have vast amounts of human diversity. Dialog between characters can be manipulated to a certain extent although not as much as Mass Effect. Still, dialog manipulation is intriguing and changes the premise of the story enough to be interesting.
Combat in this game is highly involved and completely on point. 27 “species” of tech enemy are encountered during the game. Knowing the weaknesses of these enemies is the majority of the battle. Unlike the combat in games like Fallout, Horizon Zero Dawn requires a more thought out approach. Upgrading bows and using potions to infuse arrows is important in Aloy’s overall survival and in making sure that enemies are taken out quickly while preserving resources in her inventory. Thankfully part of her skill includes a concentration move that can slow down time in increments. Becoming a skilled warrior is what this game is all about but getting too cocky can get you in big trouble because these beasts are extremely challenging.
Questing is also a big part of Horizon Zero Dawn. Coming across one of the many settlements launches Aloy into the drama that speaks to human nature. Each tribe is surrounded by traditions and stories that are unique to them and completing the quests they present is highly satisfying if not completely addictive. Some of the side quests aren’t as involved as they could be but the main quests and combat missions make up for it.
I truly don’t have many complaints about this game. I’m a big proponent of classically single player experiences with a high level of involvement. If that is what you’ve been looking for you came to the right place. Horizon Zero Dawn is an all new experience with an in-depth story line, beautiful visuals, and intriguing game play. For the Playstation 4 owner, this title is a must have.
Horizon Zero Dawn Gets
4.5 out of 5
+Smooth and involved combat
+Beautiful visuals and design
+Involved open world
+On point voice acting
+Intriguing story line
-Side missions could be slightly more involved