Tuesday, 07 March 2017 19:27

REVIEW: Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4)

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Horizon Zero Dawn is a third-person open-world action game from Guerrilla Games, the studio behind the Killzone franchise.

Horizon Zero Dawn is set in an post-post-apocalyptic world of mechanized beasts and ancient ruins. You play as a young woman named Aloy that was cast out of the Nora tribe at birth. At a young age, Aloy is found by a mysterious man that raises her and teaches her how to fight and survive. Aloy then sets off to find out why the machine beasts across the land are becoming corrupted, causing them to attack and spread disease.

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As you travel into each different territory, you’ll come across different types of these mechanical beasts. Each of them you encounter are equipped with their own strengths, weaknesses, and attacks. Initially armed with nothing more than a bow, arrow and spear, Aloy is required to take down each beast, but fear not, Horizon Zero Dawn gives you all the tools you need for any given encounter.

Whether you like to sneak around or go in head first, the choice is up to you. If you decide to take the stealthy approach, you’ll have the ability to "override" the mechanized monsters. This turns them into an ally causing them to fight against each other or if equipped with the right ability, you take them down with a single move. If that isn’t your style by all means, head into a battle unloading all the ammo you have, but be warned, Horizon Zero Dawn requires precision shots and planning before taking on this option.

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One of the tools at your disposal is a nice little bit of technology called “Focus”. Before charging into battle you can scan your enemies to learn about any vulnerabilities they might have. This allows you to direct your attacks causing the most damage with each shot. You’re also able to set things like traps which will help you take down enemies faster, though these traps including your arrows and health potions, all require you to use up resources. Resources can be collected from all over the world map and used to craft these items. There are a few different types of traps and weapons at your disposal, these include proximity mines or electronic tripwires, with each having it’s own feel. 

Just like every other game these days, as you play you’re rewarded with skill points. Skill points can be used to unlock new abilities for Aloy, such as increased damage or the ability to slow down time even longer than usual. This gives you the opportunity to pinpoint specific parts of enemy armor for maximum effect. This is pretty important as ammo can be limited in battle as you won’t have a great deal of time looking for resources to make more if you’re in the middle of trying to take down a machine.

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In Horizon Zero Dawn you’ll have no trouble finding things to do in the huge open world you’re given to explore. Other than the main quests you’ll find yourself running around doing errands or completing the many side quests the game has to offer. With a world so beautifully crafted, you’ll find yourself exploring the environment making sure you haven’t missed anything. Horizon Zero Dawn has dynamic weather and time-of-day systems. You’ll find yourself caught up in dust storms, rain, and even snow which all really bring this world to life. The game comes with a “Photo Mode”, so if you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself taking A LOT of amazing screenshots.

Guerrilla Games have done an outstanding job with Horizon Zero Dawn creating a huge open-world game, and might just be the best looking open-world game on a console to date. If you own a Playstation 4, then this game is a must. If you don’t have a PS4, well, what are you waiting for? Horizon Zero Dawn is a perfect excuse to get your hands on one to experience this amazing story.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.8 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Platform: PS4
  • Developer: Guerrilla Games
  • Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Genre: Action / Adventure, Role-Playing, Action