“Horizon: Zero Dawn” is one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever had my hands on. From the music, the combat strategies, the landscapes and the story, it’s a terrific experience.
A Playstation 4 exclusive game, “Horizon Zero Dawn” is set in a futuristic, yet primal world; making a perfect fusion of two worlds. The game is an a amazing mixture of a complex story, beautiful landscapes and exciting hunting experiences. Video games have done the End of the World theme before, but this is a beautiful one: long grass, mist over mountains, beautiful sunsets, and ancient structures invaded by nature and vegetation almost becoming part of the organic scenery. Console games have never seen so much green at once.
From the start, Aloy goes on a quest to find answers about her past and why the world is as it is. In the process, she discovers that is more complex than she thought.
Let’s talk technical
Guerrilla Games designed a dynamic weather and time of day system that brings us that layer of visual reality to our journey, with snow and sand storms, rain, wind and environment conditions. But on specific moments, they force the weather conditions to suit the scene, helping with the emotion they want to create. It’s a great design decision because it adds more drama to the key scenes you encounter through the game.
There are more than 20 species of robot-animals who habitat the game, each one varying in size, strenght and abilities. The thing is, it doesn’t matter in what difficulty you play the game; each encounter with enemies is always a threat to Aloy’s life. So you have to adjust your combat approach with each enemy you encounter along your path.
But Aloy can fight back. The Focus – essentially a device for her ear that gives her an augmented reality view of the world, heightening her senses – helps you detail every piece of the robots, making it possible to knock off the enemy with simple arrows, or bombs; using his weak spots to your favor. Also, you get loot from every robot, used to craft ammunition. After various encounters, you will get familiar with each type of enemy and will have a different combat strategy for each one of them.
You can lure enemies into a trap or follow them and wait for the most opportune time to strike. “Horizon Zero Dawn” allows patience to be rewarded.
Customization is also a key component to the experience “Horizon: Zero Dawn” provides. Aloy will show you there is no impossible task to be done.
Leveling up works with getting enough experience points, this turning into Skill Points that you can use to purchase traits, which allows for an easier hunt, scavenge or the ability to sneak. Different weapons change the way Aloy fights her enemies. Each type of ammunition has a different job and a proper way to use it, including bows that shoot different types of arrow, slingshots that shoot grenades and a few others to help set traps and tie down some of the bigger robots.
The vast landscapes we encounter in the game are detailed and beautiful in every corner of the map. Every location will bring you a new experience, transitioning from snowy mountains to desert, forests and windy wastelands.
Each environment with it’s own type of enemies, atmospheric conditions and vegetation, making the experience more realistic and enjoyable. When Aloy gets cold, she will let you know!
Aloy, the main character, deserves to have an award. She is one of the most detailed character models I’ve seen in this type of games. Her hair, facial expressions, clothing, movements; it all seems real.
And let’s not forget the NPC’s (non player character), each one with it characteristic details that gives them personality. Let me say here, I was also impressed by the clothing they were wearing; it is a mixture of old and new (they probably used metal scraps they found to decorate their “primal” garments), getting me to say hi and talking to almost every person i bumped into, just to see what they were wearing.
Everything about the game goes together so well and makes it – in my opinion – a masterpiece. “Horizon Zero Dawn” is an adventure everyone should experience, I totally recommend it and would play it all over again.
Getting to play this kind of games is why I’m proud to be a gamer. And makes me want to create this kind of things for a living.
Horizon might be one of the best-looking open-world game ever made.
This review was made with the PS4 version of the game.
Angelica Lora / GamersRD