HORIZON ZERO DAWN Review – It’s A New Day

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E3 2015 was momentous in many ways, but 1 particular title stood tall above the rest.

And finally after 2 years of waiting, Horizon Zero Dawn has finally released for the Playstation 4 and Playstation 4 Pro.

Of course during that wait, a team who had already spent 4 years on the title took up a new mantle;

That as the first title to fully support the Playstation 4 Pro.

While there have been other titles that have utilized the Pro’s HDR features and enhanced performance, Horizon Zero Dawn will be the first to be Forward-Compatible and run at 4K resolution in HDR.

But pretty looks aside, will Horizon Zero Dawn bring a new day to the Playstation?


WELCOME TO THE FUTURE
Earth, the far future.
Our forgotten civilization lies buried beneath a new wilderness, dominated by fearsome mechanical creatures.
Humanity lives on in scattered tribes, but their origins, and the fate of their ancestors, have passed into myth and legend.
In the homeland of the Nora tribe, a young outcast named Aloy is determined to find the answers she has been denied all her life:
why she was cast out at birth, and what became of her mother.

A title screen that leads directly into the games first cut-scene, it was here I knew I was in for something.
With the title proving popular in both demo and trailer format at conventions, this excitement translates spectacularly to the final version of the game.

Opening upon a serene world where nature dominates once more, we meet a nomadic man with a child that is soon revealed to be Aloy.
Establishing the story that leads us toward our heroine’s impending adventure, we set off across a world that will wildly expand beyond the horizon in front of you.

Reminding me so much of Projekt Red’s popular title The Witcher, the serenity asks to be disrupted by…something.

And something comes along in the form of giant robotic creatures.

Of course we’ve known about these since the E3 2015 announcement, but they come in far more forms than what we’ve seen (25 apparently!)

How would would one deal with such grandiose situations?

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A weapons wheel that grows not only in quantity but quality has Aloy become a Master Hunter of these mechanical beasts.

Yes, you read that right.

Gear quality is a thing in a world that is wide, which takes us from a game that seems bound by adventure, to one that is very much role-play.
While gear quality supports such label, it’s also the fact that you can collect resources as soon as you’re inserted into the world that adds to this.

And from there it’s really up to you as the player to dictate what comes next.

Of course for me, I knew the story would take a backseat to side-quests and resources. I can’t help but chase such things down for some form of ‘god-tier status’ that comes from collecting so much, so early (noted when I bought a Legendary (purple) piece of armour about 5 hours into the game).

And while gear quality and resource management scream RPG, the game takes this further with conversations driven by emotional response.

Yes, Aloy can make different responses to conversations with non-playable characters as you see fit.

Would you like to show compassion? Go for it!

Do you want to call that character a coward? Okay!

Are you neither here nor there? Same!

Horizon Zero Dawn sells itself very much into the idea of a ‘horizon’, growing further than what you could have expected.

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Fun combat mixes in with the vista of the world; one which I found myself slowly consuming.
While you acquire a way to take on steeds who would allow you to traverse the large plains of the world quickly, the sheer scale and beauty of the game screams when you pass it by.

For a developer that created the KILLZONE series, their first foray into the world of third-person is a success with a title that has strong combat mixed among a large narrative and world;

Horizon Zero Dawn will be a title that makes you want to buy the Playstation 4.

Summary

Providing a huge amount of game that will take you on a wild adventure, Horizon Zero Dawn is an amazing new property for the Playstation family that grows from strength-to-strength.

5

We were supplied with a physical Media Kit copy, played on the Playstation 4 Pro, thanks to Playstation NZ!

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