Horizon Zero Dawn from Guerrilla Games is easily one of the most capturing action role-playing games released in the last few years. Published by Sony for PlayStation 4 on March 1st, I discovered it while looking for new Let’s Plays to watch in between study sessions. Soon after I had watched the first few videos, I knew that I had to get it for myself.
What makes the game capturing to me is the combination of a diverse open-world, various side-quests, different combat techniques for different enemies as well as the stunning graphics. What makes it outstanding is the plot. In fact, you could film a series following the mind-blowing journey of the parallel world in Horizon Zero Dawn. Not only is the story witty and intelligent, it is also presented very well to the player. Together with the protagonist Aloy, you gradually discover the secrets of her birth and even the origin of her world. Presented with pictures worthy to be hung up in your home.
Why not Witcher 3?
I´ve had my fair share of playing a few other perks from similar genres such as The Witcher 3, The Last of Us or Rise of the Tomb Raider, just to give you an idea. Of course, these were fun to play as well, but as soon as I had really gotten the hang of the gameplay, the story was over. With Horizon Zero Dawn, you discover new ways to defeat hostile machines even after a hundred hours of playing. Nearly all strategic decisions considering the fight with different machines or other enemies can be made by the player and allow you to play around with that. You to go full kamikaze or get a round of camouflaged headshots. Further, the various weapons with different munition options give the player a chance to fix a Glinthawk (metal bird from the game) to the ground before using fire-arrows to set them on fire, while using a totally different technique for non-flying enemies etc.
The game is rewarding because you are at any time aware of your skill level. Developing my gaming skills alongside Aloy developing her fighting skills really makes you feel confident. Seeing the differences in approaching machines (from hiding and running to confident, offensive attacks) in your own gaming makes you realize how far you´ve come. And with Horizon Zero Dawn, once you´ve mastered your skills, the game is not over. Even after finishing the story, the player always has the opportunity to go hunting for any kind of machine and collecting various skins and weapons.
What can you learn from Horizon Zero Dawn
What I take from this – at least in my opinion – masterpiece, is the confidence to fail in the beginning, well knowing that it will get better. The fact that the player accompanies Aloy in such an extensive way (From infant to 19 years old) allows for mistakes without feeling incompetent in the beginning whilst becoming confident in the process. Some might even get a little boisterous.
What helps all this is the fact that it is an offline game. Often times, interacting with other players from the beginning in an online match can get super frustrating and to be honest made me put away one or two games. If you want to improve your skills to defeat others in online matches, it is often an eat or be eaten mentality that scares players like me off. In Horizon Zero Dawn, skill developing does not happen under stress, it rather happens unnoticed by the player whilst having a hell of a good time.
I recommend this game to anyone that might be a bit overwhelmed by the competition in the online community and would like to develop their skill and feel confident in their abilities for future games or online terrain. But be warned… you might not see the sunlight for some time.
Written by Lara
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