Horizon: Zero Dawn is the best thing to come out of Sony in a long time. It’s a harrowing journey about a Seeker named Aloy across treacherous lands to discover the truth about herself, her origins, and the world that once was.
It’s a captivating tale with a lot of strength, and some really amazing sequences that I fell in love with. Replayability may lack heavily once the storyline is finished, but it’s going to be a memorable one with its interesting plot twists to be had. Aloy’s journey becomes a sort of role-playing game with dialogue choices, something that genuinely did surprise me. I loved every bit of it, but parts of the dialogue get undermined by their corniness. Some dialogue seems a bit forced and almost box-like with the voice actors just making me laugh and shake my head at the terrible writing. It’s not often, but it does happen across the horizon.
Every dinosaur baddy has traits that make it unique and negatives as well just like an enemy in most if not all games. The only annoying part I find about it is the lack of ability to climb like Altair from Assassin’s Creed or Nathan Drake from Uncharted. Aloy can barely hop up anything and climbing is a bit awkward at times. It can get easily frustrating for anyone as it did for me, considering certain sections of the map are climbable only – so the movement of Aloy does feel limited and restrictive in some ways. Whether you’re climbing on top of a stegosaurus looking creature for surveying the map, or taking on two enemies at once, it’s a very engrossing journey regardless of the movement. The illusion of a large map is perhaps what I was most fond of and even admittedly by developer Guerrilla Games own admission. It’s a stunning vista with floral and various fauna of both animal and plant life.
The game’s open-world structure and mission structure feel dynamic for the most part. You can go anywhere and have “random” side-missions happen to you as you unlock the various parts of the map further. Some areas are definitely closed off with higher-tiered enemies, but this ends up opening up in a big way much later on. As you do missions, you earn XP which can unlock various weapons, and outfits. Weapons and ammo have to be crafted using parts collected from robo-dino’s, so that’s one way to force an encounter with these guys but one which I find unoriginal. The outfits are well done, and I personally love the Seeker outfit. Some provide perks in the form of elemental resistances, which I don’t mind all that much either.
Horizon: Zero Dawn is an incredible game for the most part with a great storyline, amazing mission structure, believable open-world dynamic that will keep many engrossed for a while.