Horizon Zero Dawn

Mar 7, 2017

Horizon Zero Dawn Aloy hunting a Sawtooth.

Every time Sony showed previews of Horizon Zero Dawn I was skeptical, It always seemed like they were promising way more than what they would be able to deliver at the end. But I was wrong, the game is every bit as fantastic as it looked in trailers. Guerrilla Games has been making First Person Shooters for years and to be honest the Killzone franchise felt a bit stale lately, maybe they needed to do something else to excel.

Horizon is an open world game set a thousand years after the end of civilisation, where the wilderness has taken over and is now populated by primitive clans and killing machines. You play as Aloy, a strong and courageous woman whose origin is just as mysterious as the world she’s lives in.

Guerrilla built a big and diverse world, there are forests, jungles, deserts, tundras, mountains, lakes and much more. You want to explore, and everything is so beautiful that I often stop to appreciate the view and take some screenshots. The level design is great and the art direction is excellent.

The game is hard and ruthless, two hits from some of the machines and Aloy is dead, so you have to be careful not to be surprised, a bit of planning while handling your foes doesn’t hurt, and keep in mind that there should be more than one way of tackling the situation. But even though it’s not an easy game, its mechanics are never too complicated (I’m looking at you, The Witcher III).

So, if I want to nitpick it, maybe facial expressions and the acting is not the best, and weather and day/night cycles are too abrupt, in 2 seconds everything changes, I’d like it to be more gradual. That’s it. The game is that good.

Horizon sets the bar so high that it might spoil future open world games, because I’ll compare every new open world game with it from now on.

Update (Jun/22): Finally finished it after about 80 hours of gameplay, could have finished it faster but exploring is so fun I spent a lot of time doing just that. This game is a masterpiece.