Review: ‘Horizon Zero Dawn’ brings new flare to PS4
March 20, 2017
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Console exclusives have fallen extremely flat in this new console generation. Mediocre ‘console sellers’ like “Killzone: Shadow Fall” for PS4 and the more recent release of “Halo 5” for Xbox One have disappointed not only fans of their respective series, but fans of the respective consoles. Guerrilla Games, a Netherlands-based game studio owned by Sony, has been producing the wonderful “Killzone” series since the Playstation 2 era, but gave fans a very disappointing experience when it came to the series’ last installment, mentioned above. Fortunately, they have shocked the game industry with their new powerhouse of a game, “Horizon Zero Dawn,” which meshes the best of their previous work with the characteristics of an open-world role-playing game.
“Horizon Zero Dawn,” like “Killzone” takes place in the far future, but that is where the plot similarities end. While the “Killzone” games are first person action games, “Horizon Zero Dawn” is a third person adventure game with light RPG elements that keep the game fresh. In “Horizon Zero Dawn,” players take the role of Aloy, a outcast orphan forced to live on the fringes of her society with her caretaker, Rost. The world of “Horizon Zero Dawn” is in the near future where society has fallen apart, and mankind has left its massive amounts of technology behind to live off the land in small tribes. Hostile machines, based off of real life animals, roam the earth, a permanent reminder of what life used to be like. Aloy’s tribe, called the Nora, avoid the ‘old world’ technology and live according to a mysticism reminiscent of tribal religions before the emergence of monotheism.
The plot starts slow, but picks up speed dramatically after the first hour or so. The world of “Horizon Zero Dawn” is fully explorable, with hundreds of hours of content and side missions. As someone who was personally worried on how the game would run on a Day 1 PS4, I am very pleased with how Guerilla has engineered this game. While the game probably only runs at 20 frames per second, it was a smooth experience with no sudden framerate drops or failure of textures to load. That being said, the graphics are still stellar, and players won’t need a new PS4 Pro to have the game look top-notch.
“Horizon Zero Dawn” is an amazing game worth every penny. There are hundreds of hours of content in a huge open world that never fails to deliver. Guerrilla has redeemed themselves with this game, and hopefully this trend will continue long into the future. “Horizon Zero Dawn” is a definite pick-up for anyone willing to give a new series a try.
Final Rating: A+