Horizon Zero Dawn is one of Guerrilla Game’s new franchise, and honestly one of the best open-world games I’ve ever experienced. The setting is at first something shaky to think about; with a bow and arrow wielding red-headed woman going around killing robotic animals, but it’s something that is mesmerizing beyond other typical games. Not only did Guerrilla Games pull this off, but they made it fluid, gorgeous, and something other companies have to compete with.
Made exclusively for the PlayStation 4, Horizon Zero Dawn opens up a new world that has never before been produced on such a wide scale. All aspects of the game have been fully developed, and add a wide sense of range to the game. From variances in robotic creatures, to weapon styles, and of course the collectible objects – Horizon Zero Dawn is a wonderful experience.
One of the amazing things about Horizon Zero Dawn is the extensive main plot, and the twists and turns it takes the player. A mystery surrounds the main character Aloy, but it goes way beyond her simple existence – and into how the world is existing as it is. It’s evident from the beginning that a previous civilization walked the planet, but there’s no understanding yet on what happened to them, and why these robotic animals plague the world. By playing through the game, you’re sent on a roller-coaster of emotions and speculation that is truly fulfilled in the end.
The characters in Horizon Zero Dawn have a huge change throughout the game. At first some are close-minded to the ways of others, and they slowly come around once Aloy can prove herself and that something devastating is about to happen.
Most importantly, Aloy changes throughout the game. At first she is driven by vengeance and a need to prove herself, but in the end she is just willing to sacrifice everything to save people. A true heroine by the end, in that she will understanding things her people could never know, and because of that she has to lead them by projecting in a way they will understand through their beliefs.
Since Horizon Zero Dawn is based in an open-world game that is post-apocalyptic, the world is filled with ruins of buildings and overgrowth of horticulture. Aside from just looking around a gorgeous game, the different tribes of people have their own knowledge of building and craftsmanship that brings diversity to buildings, clothing, and weaponry. The tribes include: Banuk, Carja, Shadow Carja, Eclipse, Nora, Oseram, Tenakth, and Utaru.
It’s a little difficult to understand the scale of Horizon Zero Dawn’s world, as it’s based off of locations in Nevada, but the climate doesn’t always stay consistent. It is great having a basis as to where this location would be in the real-world.
The robotic creatures bring a new wave of fighting and strategy to the game. Because they’re robotic and the characters use sort-of primitive weapons such as bows, it puts a pressure on finding the weak spots in the animals so they can be taken down quickly. In addition to the fighting styles, the creatures can vary in size and temperament, and if they’re corrupted or not.
What’s interesting about the creatures is they act as though they’re real animals. They have zones located on the map to give locations to find a certain breed of animal; most-likely for assistance in gathering items from them.
Like most games, Horizon Zero Dawn features some collectible items that are found throughout the entire world. The collectibles that can be found are vantage points, ancient vessels, metal flowers, and banuk figures. They add backstory to the game, especially the vantage points, while the others are just for trading to get metal shards, which is the currency.
Like many open-world games, the player can choose if they want to complete a series of side quests that have no consequences on their main mission. Horizon Zero Dawn has plenty of side quests available, but they’re not essential to understanding the full backstory for the game, or getting extra information.
The way Horizon Zero Dawn ends after completing the final mission is something that is bothersome to many. Without giving away spoilers as to the ‘bad guys’ and what happens, it’s discovered that the bad guy gets away because of a sneaky character and leaves open the potential to create more havoc. Guerrilla is definitely leading into possible DLC or even a sequel to the game, but it would have to be more developed since the world as it is in Horizon Zero Dawn is already discovered.
We’ve seen developers like Arkane Studios who created Dishonored and Dishonored 2, where they expanded the map from Dishonored and added the islands and other locations in Dishonored 2. Horizon Zero Dawn has the potential to be more than it is now, but it should be taken cautiously so they don’t ruin what they’ve created.
Horizon Zero Dawn is definitely one of the best games to come out in 2017. If Breath of the Wild didn’t debut about a week after Horizon Zero Dawn, it would certainly have been able to get Game of the Year. Guerrilla Games balanced everything perfectly to bring a game that would fulfill the need to have meaningful story and plot to some gamers, while having combat that fulfills the need to bash some robot skulls in.
This game is definitely recommended to anyone who wants a rich story with additional necessary combat. It’ll make you want to keep playing, especially with the mysteries start to unfold and become understanding to the gamer.