Posted in Gaming

Horizon Zero Dawn – First Impressions


As a huge gamer, 2017 has given us some of the biggest and most highly anticipated titles on console and it’s only the early part of the year.  For me one of the titles I was early looking forward to is Horizon Zero Dawn, developed by Guerrilla Games which is a PS4 exclusive. I have only just got around to playing the game myself so I’m just giving a brief review of my thoughts so far on the game. Horizon Zero Dawn is an action-RPG game that features a very unique and interesting story-line. I’m just going to talk briefly on what I think of the game so far.

I think first and foremost the graphics of this game are absolutely amazing, you cannot fault the attention to detail in the game. I’ve only been playing for about a day or so now but when you’re running around the world I can’t help but take in how realistic the settings are. The landscape of the wilderness is just amazing and does remind me of Far Cry and the Uncharted games in parts. I think this game was designed with character interaction and integration as a top priority, as the character expressions are just so accurate to real life.

One thing I really am enjoying about the gameplay is the conversational element, in which you can respond to character’s in different ways which is cool. It’s a good way to decide on how your character, Aloy, can react to certain things that are happening throughout the narrative. It works on three responses, confrontational, emotional or logical choices. I am not entirely sure if these impact on the story throughout the game, but I think it’s a nice feature to have in terms of understanding more how your character thinks, essentially it is a form of role play for the player.

I love the huge map of this game it really is a substantial size and does seem like there are endless locations to explore. The game has the RPG element in the form of being able to craft weapons and items, as well as hunting mechanics in which you have to sneak up on some huge ass metal monster trying to salvage parts for a powerful weapon or piece of armour. In the way of crafting it does require a lot of foraging to gather necessary materials for crafting recipes, which is cool as it helps the player become familiar with the terrain.

The combat in Horizon Zero Dawn is refreshing for this type of game, it does have an emphasis on using the bow and arrow as your primary weapon; this is cool with me as I’m a fan of the Green Arrow so using a bow and arrow would be my weapon of choice any day. I think a long range weapon is essential in this game as some of the enemies you would not want to get up close with, like the Sawtooth for example! I made the mistake of getting up close when I first encountered it and man did that SOB mow me down like I was dog food! Lesson number one: observe your enemies attack pattern and route they walk in. You do have a spear that acts as a secondary weapon for the close range encounters so you can switch it up between the two. I really am enjoying the combat and it feels so much more fluid and dynamic, compared to the clunky and sometimes unresponsive gameplay of previous Assassin’s Creed games.

The game features a skill tree system, in which there are three different skills to develop and master as the game progresses: prowler, brave and forager. The skills enable you to really master stealth, with up close attacks and abilities with the change to increase your pickup rates of items for foraging/ scavenging quests. The skills are basic but in the long run will really make a difference to the abilities of your character for those more challenging encounters later on in the story. It’s a cool feature as it can be adapted to a gamer’s play-style as not every player will choose to approach this game in the same way.

My thoughts so far

So far I think that Horizon Zero Dawn is a fantastic game and I am thoroughly enjoying it, which has resulted in some late night gaming sessions! The gamer was a big announcement at E3 last year, but did not receive as much marketing leading up to it’s release as other titles have. The game itself does not disappoint and is probably one of the best games I have played on Playstation 4 in a long while. It has so many brilliant features to enhance the gameplay, as well as a well thought out concept that has created a brilliant story in a unique setting. I can’t fault this game at the moment and am very much looking forward to properly getting stuck into it. I can’t wait to see what else this game has to offer!

I will do a full scale review once I have completed my first playthrough.




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