Another game I, unfortunately, delayed playing (the other being Abzû), this game is a bit more recent coming out earlier this year. Released by Guerrilla Games, the studio behind the last-gen shooter franchise Killzone, Horizon Zero Dawn follows Aloy, a young woman who lives in a post-apocalyptic world where Machines such as the Thunderjaw and Snapbird rule the land. People have developed tribes to live in and have survived the beasts by crafting tools, some made from the Machines’ parts.
I just want to say that this was one of the most anticipated games of the year for me. While Injustice 2 (out now) and Mass Effect: Andromeda (which disappointed many) were also on my list, this was the one that really stood out. The reason PS4 dominates over the Xbox nowadays is because of the phenomenal console exclusives released. These include The Last of Us (2013), the Uncharted franchise (2007-present), Until Dawn (2015), and The Last Guardian (2016). Horizon Zero Dawn is no exception The game is one of the best action RPGs I’ve ever played.
The world and environments are phenomenal. They are ridiculously realistic, and while some are a bit dry, the way the trees move…the way you can hear the rustling of an animal or leaves…it’s just stunning. The graphics really are some of the best I have seen in a game. Lighting for the different environments is amazing here Guerrilla really nails the character movements and facial structure here as well. Every character model looks incredibly real and the different outfits Aloy can have only added to the level of realism, thanks to their complicated designs.
The graphics are nothing compared to the story and the gameplay. Filled with all of the elements that make up a successful RPG, as well as a great combat system that is easy to learn, Horizon Zero Dawn really shines in this category. As for the story…not only is it compelling, but the dialogue for the characters is really well-done. Kudos to the writers.
What stands out is the mixture of different genres here. It’s definitely an RPG, because of the hunt-and-gather gameplay elements and the crafting system, but it’s also an action-adventure game with a fantastic open world. The game even takes cues from on of my favorite games of last year, Far Cry Primal, thanks to the ability to tame and ride the Machines across the open world.
If you have a PS4, definitely check this one out. I actually have no issues with Horizon Zero Dawn. It never got too hard that I would begin to get frustrated. It’s a challenging, fun experience with a lush open world, great writing, well-developed characters, and a fantastic story. Horizon Zero Dawn obviously earns a 10/10.
Horizon Zero Dawn is available for PS4.