Welcome to a New but Familiar World
After much anticipation, here we are in the brand new world developed by Guerilla Games. Horizon: Zero Dawn welcomes us to a world beyond post-apocalyptic, a world where humanity was pushed back to live in tribes once more and the machines have conquered the world that we once built. Now, players will discover a world that is mysterious yet familiar, dangerous yet beautiful. This is Horizon: Zero Dawn.
As the first brand new IP from the studio, a lot was riding on this title as well as being an impressive-looking game that turned a lot of heads from the moment it was revealed. Horizon introduces us to Aloy, a smart and courageous girl who had to grow as an outcast from her tribe and raised by her guardian and protector: Rost. As a young girl, she had her first contact with the Metal World, ruins of a time long past. From this first encounter, Aloy develops a curiosity and trains to one day prove herself worthy to be part of the tribe in hopes to somehow discover the secret behind the birth.
Horizon Zero Dawn presents some of impressive visuals in games today. Aloy herself is an impressive character; her model is so expressive and every subtle twitch from her facial expressions are felt. She is realistic and down to earth, a charm which wins her many points to be memorable. Embarking on this emotional journey through a brand new world with Aloy is not only dynamic but fulfilling.
The world presented in Horizon is definitely expansive and incredibly well-designed. The world map is large enough to encompass many kinds of territories and fauna. Ranging from canyons to mountain ranges to rain forests, this open world is definitely one worth exploring every nook and cranny. The creatures living the wild, animal or machine, both feel right at home in their “natural” habitat. Not only does it look alive, but it also feels alive as weather changes and realistic lighting shines upon the pseudo-natural land. The city ruins will especially hit with rusted cars, destroyed buildings and even terrains that obviously used to be roads at some point. Guerilla Games’ commitment to detail is both impressive and commendable.
Of course, no vibrant world would be complete if it were not accompanied by an epic and inspiring score. Indeed, the music played during Aloy’s adventure is definitely awe-inspiring. The mixture between orchestral and tribal music is definitely synergetic.
This open world RPG definitely offers a lot to do at all times. Of course, with exploration, Aloy will meet many different kinds of people. While advancing with the main story, there are a number of side quests and tasks to complete for the perfectionists. Since these tasks, however tedious, are somehow linked to Aloy’s growth both as a warrior and a social citizen, they are ultimately fun and fulfilling at the same time.
Besides being able to maintain so many elements in top shape, the game’s highlight has to be the combat. Aloy is equipped with both melee and ranged weapons and can change between them seamlessly mid-fight. To survive in the wild, one must choose how to hunt. So many useful tools are offered to the player that it’s simply just trying to prey over the wild machines. The many different kinds of machines also exhibit different behaviour and patterns, which only makes the hunt all the more exciting.
Scanning for weaknesses, planting traps and deciding the method of attack to immobilize or otherwise restrain one’s target are all part of the combat system put in place and that is all before the prey has even detected Aloy. Keeping tabs on surrounding machines, the immediate vegetation for potential hiding places and aiming for critical weak spots are very important to avoid death. All these elements are transitioned smoothly and players need to make split-second decisions which only makes the experience all the more thrilling.
Of course, facing all these fierce metallic creatures will build Aloy and allow her to grow into an even fiercer warrior. With that, players can upgrade her as she levels up with new upgrades that will her hunt, scavenge and fight better as the game progresses. Of course, more weapons and tricks can be bought and crafted as well. Resourcefulness is definitely part of Aloy’s strong points.
Horizon: Zero Dawn is definitely a powerhouse title to release exclusively on the PlayStation 4. This game demonstrates the word “quality” throughout the adventure. Playing as Aloy was smooth, enticing and inspirational. The character will definitely be remembered and Guerilla Games definitely have a title to work with from now. When a game this good gets released, it only puts pressure if a possible sequel would be considered. All in all, Horizon: Zero Dawn is definitely a complete experience with so much to do and to enjoy! Any player with a PlayStation 4 and a passion for narrative will fall in love with this game.