Horizon Zero Dawn review by Tyson
Horizon Zero Dawn has been one of the games that always interested me when it was shown at various gaming events. When I finally got to the play the game I came away pretty impressed with this game. While an open world game can get tiring at times I still recomened anyone with a PlayStation 4 to add this game to their collection.
Our story starts off in a post apocalyptic world. Humanity has gone back to a tribal state but there is also robotic animals wandering the land. Our character Aloy is thrust into the playable heroine role and I think she makes a great a character. As a child she comes in contact with some of the old world technology hidden in a cave. With this technology ,called a Focus, she is able to understand and if not manipulate the robots roaming the land. Still Aloy wants to find out where she came from and this will take on her quite the adventure. Along the way you will also find out more about what happened in the past that caused this apocalyptic event. I really enjoyed learning more about the story as I played the game. I liked how you can get further details about the story from journal and audio logs scattered throughout the game.
Horizon Zero Dawn plays pretty similar to any open world game. Once you finish the first few quest the world is then opened up and you can travel around as you please. Thankfully the game does have a tracking system that will show where to go for your current quest but it does seem to spaz out at times. Also speaking of quests there is a lot to do in this game. Many quests will have you doing things like clearining out bandit camps or tracking down a certian people. The only real downside to exploring is that you don't have any free climbing abilities. You are only allowed to climb if there is a specific ledge or rope and this felt a bit disappointing to me. Having some knee high rock become an impassable obstacle is really stupid. But then there is also something super cool about being able to climb and jump up onto a giant giraffe robot that you use to reveal the world map.
While you are out adventuring you are going to come across various robotic creatures or hostile humans and this game has a pretty decent combat system. Your main weapons aren't thigns like guns or magic but rather older technological weapons like rope traps and bows and arrows. What also makes the combat fun is that each different enemy you come across has its own weak points that can help defeat them quicker in combat. While you fight you can also perform a dodge roll to avoid an enemy attack or quickly move around. I found this to be neat but at times a bit disorienting. As I played through the game I found some combat situations to be a bit unenjoyable. The last few main story missions are sets of battles against the tougher enemies over and over again and this wore me down.
Other gameplay aspects that really helps Horizon Zero Dawn is its role playing system. Slain enemies and finished quests will reward you with experience and skill points. You can use skill points to further enchance Aloy's abilities and getting enough experience will level you up which gets you more health and extra skill points. Another enjoyable role playing aspect is that you can craft various items. Items you pick up from slain enemies or from the earth itself can be used to make things like arrows or pouches for holding more items.
I had very little problems with the control setup in Horizon Zero Dawn. You do a typical setup of using the analog stics for character movement and camera control. Other buttons will help you attack enemies or dodge out of the way of attacks. The only real gripe I had about the controls was using the touch sensor on the controller to go into the menu system. I kept hitting this by accident throughout the game with how close it is to the analog sticks.
This game makes great use of the PlayStation 4's power. Character models like Aloy look fantastic and the world itself is very colorful. Special effects like lighting are done well but can get a bit intrusive at times. I also didn't notice any framerate problems as I was going through the game which I liked.
Much like the graphics the sound is also well done. There is a lot of voice acting throughout the game and I found it be well done. I liked the voice actresses used for Aloy. The battle music kicks in any time you are fighting and this helps bring tension to the battles. I liked how a certian sound effect plays when you knock off certian pieces of the robots body. This really helps when you searching for weak points or when an object that you can use breaks off from them.