When “Horizon: Zero Dawn” was announced, people had no idea what to think. A third-person open world title by the people behind “Killzone” sounded almost like a failure from the beginning. However, Guerrilla Games has surprised everyone by not only making a great game, but possibly one of Playstation’s best exclusive titles to date. Horizon is not only a blast to play, but has excellent story, characters, graphics and a world that’s just begging to be explored.
Starting long after the current age of man, “Horizon: Zero Dawn” is set in a world where machines have evolved after humanity’s near-extinction. With our generation known only as “The Old Ones,” humans have reverted back into a tribal state of civilization in this post-post-apocalyptic world.
The story is shown through Aloy, a young woman of unknown origin, and the player sets out to find out what happened to humanity and why machines are now at the top of the food chain while uncovering her past. The main quest does a great job at holding player interest and not feeling boring in comparison to the side objectives.
While done to death in the past, Aloy’s story is made to feel completely new thanks to the world it’s based in. “Horizon’s” world is incredible. From side quests, to the main plot and to the optional hunting lodge challenges, there is a lot to do; it all feels natural within the world. Seeing hunters wearing a mixture of animal skin and machine parts sells the authenticity of the world, while rounding a corner on my robotic horse and encountering a group of 20ft long robotic crocodiles still makes me giddy with fear and excitement even 20+ hours in.
Even the crafting system feels fresh, with items like ammunition able to be built while in combat without pausing to go to a menu.
One thing to note is that this game forces its audience to play smart, meaning going into a fight without the correct weapons will result in a quick and brutal demise. Thought must be put into every fight and one must study their prey before jumping in if they wish to topple bigger game.
“Horizon: Zero Dawn” is smart, fun, and a must play for anybody with a Playstation 4. It gives players an excellent world and cast of characters while making them feel like they are actually growing as a skilled hunter, learning to take down bigger and bigger machines with new tools, weapons and knowledge that make you feel like you are growing right alongside Aloy. A 100% recommendation for anyone, 9/10.