Horizon Zero Dawn (HZD) is a third-person action RPG developed by Guerrilla Games for the PlayStation 4 system and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Guerrilla Games are the masterminds behind the critically acclaimed Killzone series, the exclusive first-person-shooter (FPS) franchise available on PS2, PS3, PSP, PSVita and PS4. Horizon Zero Dawn features mind-blowing graphics, enjoyable gameplay, and deep storytelling.
Horizon Zero Dawn is an RPG with a huge open-world to explore. The battle mechanic consists of finding the weaknesses of the different types of machines and exploit them. For example, there some machines that attack using fire and you can blow up their fuel tanks to burn them down. Hunting machines and collecting items from the wild are an essential part of the game as well.
In a post-apocalyptic world, humans live in tribes with scarce resources while been prayed by deathly machines. After certain events life as we all know almost vanish, big cities reduced to ancient ruins and thousands of years of knowledge disappear. It is in this world where a girl by the name of Aloy is born. Outcasted by his tribe and forced to live in the wilds, she will start a journey in order to fulfill her destiny, one bigger than she could ever imagine.
To fight machines we will need a full set of weapons, outfits, and tools, most of them range since Aloy is an incredible archer. The bow is the principal weapon, you can use elemental arrows, steel arrows, etc. The only melee weapon is Aloy’s lance which is ideal to make stealth kills and close quarter combats. You can get the rest of the weapons from missions or trade-in stores, and vary from ones that set traps, others that can tie up enemies and make them fall, etc.
There’s no money in the world os HZD, all economic transactions are made by trades. In order to get any items from the sellers, you will need to give them a certain number of steel shards and items. So it may come in handy to keep an eye for animals to hunt and plants to collect while you explore. Like most RPGs, HZD has a level cap system that rewards you with perks you can spend on the skill trees. Some trees benefit combat skills, other stealth or scavenger skills, etc. The skill trees are quite simple but good enough to make you feel the development of Aloy’s skills.
Most of the gameplay is good, but on the bad side are those parts of the game where you have to fight humans. The battle system was obviously thought to deal with machines instead of humans. When fighting other humans the gameplay becomes tremendously annoying at times. If you don’t take a stealth approach, you will probably end-up using melee against hordes of enemies.
If you still have doubts about the game, I’ll let you one of my own pieces of gameplay down below.
This is one of the best looking games of this generation of consoles. Motion capture looks amazing, weather effects are very well made as well. Lights, shadows, wind effects, the way that machines get split into pieces, all top quality. If you have a 4K tv and a PS4 Pro, this is a total must-play. Not much left to say here, this game is a solid 10 in the graphics department.
The sounds are top quality as well, from the machines to the NPCs speaking and the sounds of the environment, perfect. Also, the game has a great dub in both the English and Spanish languages, but I can’t commend for the rest.
Also, special mention to the photo mode which is just amazing. You will probably spend hours picking Aloy’s pose as well as a good background for the photo. You can manage lights and shadows, DateTime, weather, it’s just crazy.
There’s a lot to do besides the main story, such as optional side-quest, challenges, collectibles, etc. The side-quests are mostly good, there are some very interesting optional stories that provide a piece of good context information about the world. On the bad side, some quests are just about “go pick/kill this or that”, and provides nothing more than XP.
Also, there’s The Frozen Wilds expansion where Aloy will traverse the frozen lands of the Banuk tribe. The DLC features about 10 hours of extra gameplay with a new plot that connects directly to the main story. New gear, locations, quests, enemies and gameplay mechanics.
There’s a New Game Plus mode along with an ultrahard difficulty setting to test your skills once you complete the game for the first time. There you can carry over all of your gear and skills to replay the whole game once more.
We can find some relics that give information about the tribes that live in Aloy‘s time. There’re vantage points where Aloy can watch videos from the past using her focus. There are different kinds of collectibles but even all of them are less than 100 so, no big deal getting them all.
There’s also some quest where you will deep into ancients ruins to discover how the machines are made. After completing these quests Aloy will acquire the ability to control different kinds of machines.
Finally, there are my own favorites, the hunter challenges. Challenges that will test your skills with certain tasks, but also give you some good tips and strategies for combats. The reward for completing challenges are medals that you can trade for weapons in the “Hunters Lodge”.
In the lands of the Nora, Ross, a former member of the tribe adopts Aloy, an outcast newborn girl. As Aloy grows up, she finds herself lonely because of the rules that forbid to speak to her for being an outcast. Looking for answers about her past, Aloy will train for years in the arts of survival and hunting by the teachings of Ross. After years of training, she’s ready to take the trials and become a former Nora. Unlucky for her, the finding of a certain artifact will attract a new enemy.
After a tragic set of events, Aloy will traverse the world, to where no Nora ever foot on. While searching for her enemy, she will find clues of both her past and the world before the fall of the ancients (us, modern people). In her journey, Aloy will fight an ancient treat not only for the Nora but the whole world and discover a destiny for herself she could’ve never expect.
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- Mind-blowing graphics
- Enjoyable gameplay
- Good development of story
- Combat against humans
- Some boring quest
Horizon Zero Dawn's review
Gameplay - 8.5/10
Graphics - 10/10
Side-content - 8/10
Replayability - 8/10
Story - 8/10
Horizon Zero Dawn is a total must-play if you own a PlayStation 4. Even if the game does not revolutionize the RPG industry, everything it does is near perfection.