Without a doubt, one of the best games to grace PlayStation 4 libraries the world over is none other than Horizon Zero Dawn. It’s a superbly designed post-apocalyptic open-world action adventure game with a strong female lead character and an intriguing world filled with mysteries and danger. With the title recently released on PC and a PS5 sequel called Horizon Forbidden West on the way, we thought it fitting to revisit this incredible game and explore what makes it so awesome.
In Horizon Zero Dawn you step into the worn leather boots of Aloy, a fiercely talented hunter who’s been cast out of her tribe and thrusts herself out into the world in search of answers about herself and her past. Outside of the typical highly skilled and capable traits of any protagonist, Aloy’s profile is a perfect fit for an avatar exploring this particular world. In Horizon Zero Dawn, human society has fallen hundreds, maybe even thousands of years ago. What calamity befell them remains a mystery. As Aloy, you’ll explore the sprawling grasslands that have now covered the remnants of the once-great human cities, her curious eyes serving as your proxy throughout this journey.
When developer Guerilla Games announced Horizon Zero Dawn, it came as a bit of a shock to gamers familiar with their body of work. Their prior claim to fame was the critically acclaimed Killzone series which were FPS games with great combat mechanics. The question was how well they could pull off a third-person open-world game. And pulled it off they did. Horizon Zero Dawn plays and feels like a labor of love fueled by passion and creativity. Engaging and battling the AI mechanical animals and monstrosities that roam the land is one of the best aspects of the game. It blends familiar open-world game combat with the more methodical and tactical elements of Monster Hunter games. Instead of jumping into battle head-first, you’re encouraged to stalk your prey, learning its habits and patterns, followed by laying traps and striking it at its critical point before delivering the final blow. All with the aid of an increasing number of weapons and gadgets Aloy accumulates along the way.
Visuals & Audio
Horizon Zero Dawn is a spectacularly crafted title that’s a joy to both see and hear. Even on a base PS4, the game looks stunningly gorgeous with the world rendering in brilliant detail. Even its farthest reaches feel equally varied and exciting. You’ll want to explore every nook and cranny to see what else you’ll discover. The biggest credit needs to be handed to the creature designers who’ve brought to life the game’s jaw-dropping mechanical beasts which are designed with incredible nuance. All of this accompanied by an epic score that masterfully delivers the intensity, precariousness, and enigma of the world of Horizon Zero Dawn.
Horizon Zero Dawn is by far one of the best games of the past decade. It’s a game that manages to hit all the high notes of every aspect of its composition. It’s truly a game you shouldn’t miss out on.