A “must have” for PS4 Pro owners

 

Name: Horizon Zero Dawn
Developer: Guerrilla Games
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Released: 28, February (US) 1, March (EU)
Platforms:  PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4 Pro
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4 Pro

 

Guerilla Games have been developing games for PlayStation since PlayStation 2 era with Killzone franchise.I thought they maybe they was joking when they announced Horizon Zero Dawn during E3 two years ago. A new world with robotic dinosaurs at the top of the food chain, and “our world” (the futuristic metal world) has gone under on a mysterious way. This just had to be good, and my exaptations went up when it comes with Guerrilla Games graphics.

 

So how well did PlayStation’s new exclusive game go?   

 

Graphics

Let’s start off with the graphics in Horizon Zero Dawn, have in mind that i’ve played this game on the PlayStation 4 Pro. Guerilla Games does not disappoint here. The visuals are stunning through every frame the game can muster. I can easily say that this game is the most beautiful and take the most advantage of the PlayStation 4 Pro with 4K support and HDR. If you need a reason to buy a new 4K TV or maybe just the PlayStation 4 Pro, Horizon is your reason.

 

If you can manage to slow down your “speedrun” from mission to mission, and just enjoy the view. Than you will know what i mean, every frame is beautifully made with no details spared.
I really can’t find much negative to say about the graphics in this game, nor about the animations. You can see that Guerrilla Games have worked hard on the details, but this is something we already know from them with Killzone. Photographic AI’s and animations and much more.

 

Video from the first 17 minutes of Horizon Zero Dawn, notice the graphics in the background and on the AI’s

 

Story

But what about the story in Horizon? Killzone franchise have had it’s ups and downs when it comes to story mode. Horizon Zero Dawn’s background story is strong, but almost every character besides Aloy (the main character in the game) lacks of personality. And Aloy’s story for me does not interests me so much, but the background story on what has happened in this world is very interesting. Aloy’s story isn’t bad, a well scripted storyline and excellent voice acting does increase the quality of Horizon Zero Dawn.

 

But what is the story?
The main storyline follows a young huntress in a post apocalypse world. Grows up as an outcast from the tribe, but without spoiling to much of the story becomes a “seeker” for the tribe.
Aloy as our hero is called, searches the world of Horizon to learn more about her past and previous civilization.   


Gameplay

But for the most of us, gameplay is the most important thing in every video game. Graphics and story can be excellent or extremely bad, but if the gameplay is extremely fun everything else just vanishes.

 

Like I said earlier, Horizon’s performance is extremely good in every little detail. With so little flaws from launch comes Horizon in as an very successful video game. Controllers are easy to learn and feels natural, same goes with response time when you “push the buttons” [time the character respons after giving a command on the controller) A well builded skill tree to upgrade and gain experience, modifications for each weapon and armor. It might feel a lot to take in at first, but it doesn’t take long before you get the hang of it.

 

The world is big and you get the option to fast travel as many other open world games. But here in Horizon, that option is limited. You get “packages” to use for fast traveling, and this is a good thing. You need to think twice before you decide to rush your way through Horizon’s world. Every side missions you can do on your way for the next main story, is equally interesting. Sure the time between every main story mission can differ between 30 minutes to hours. But that’s the fun of it, and resources is something you deeply need for ammo, upgrades and so on. Side missions can be interesting in both background history or just a challenge in different hunting competitions. This will keep the player to return to Horizon for more.  Each type, both side missions and story missions.

One extra thing that I liked a lot about Horizon Zero Dawn is the combat system and gaining intel about enemies. For each robotic machine you encounter, you won’t be getting any tutorial on how you can defeat it. No here you have to study your enemy and learn by yourself. And this is one of the strongest aspect of this game. One small issue I have is something that also occurred in Killzone. I’ve have died a lot in Horizon, but that is because I’m stupid to go into a fight where i am outnumbered and “underpowered”, so that’s not the issue I got, but the lack of damage indication towards Aloy. It is hard to tell how much Aloy is taking “fire”, sometimes a hit does small damage and other times you fall to completely zero on the health bar on one hit.

 

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First encounter of a robotic boss

 

Verdict
I must say that Horizon Zero Dawn is much better than I expected, Guerilla Games has delivered a new fresh game that is extremely well done. The gameplay is rewarding, I’m eager to learn more about what has happened in this world and of course a compelling story led by Aloy.
For me personality is something that I wager on a lot in a game, especially when one of the biggest aspect of a game is story. ( Look at Uncharted 4 for example)

But those are small issues when it comes for an overall, Horizon Zero Dawn is a strong and beautiful game. I welcome you the PlayStation family with open arms, this is a must have game for PlayStation 4 Pro owners.
9/10
+ Stunning Graphics / Photographic
+ Combat System
+ Engaging background story
+ Many things to do besides main story line
– Lack of personality in AI
– Lack of damage indicator

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