HORIZON ZERO DAWN

You slowly push your way through the tall grass. You make too much noise and red lights illuminate around you. Metal churning and sparks get closer as the enemy closes in on you. You draw your bow and shoot at the enemies taking them out one by one. A larger enemy crashes down next to you and knocks you to the ground.

There are six difficulty choices that range from story mode, a mode that eases combat, to ultra hard, a mode that lowers your base weapon stats and increases the enemies difficulty. I really liked this because I could choose to play the story mode to get comfortable with the game and focus on the mysteries and then play a harder difficulty to challenge myself a bit more.

It is 3021 and Aloy is born. It has been hundreds of years since the fall of the old civilisation. People have reverted back to primitive ways and have formed tribes. You play as Aloy, an outcast girl who is also refereed to as the motherless by some people in the local tribe. She is raised by another outcast named Roth.

The reason why both of them are outcasts are two of the mysteries behind the game. Her life starts off hard but she is working towards The Proving where if she is successful she will be welcomed back into the tribe.

The way the game starts out it reminds me a bit of the Fable games. You start off seeing Aloy as an infant then as a child and then as a teenager. When she is a child you get to learn the basics of the game which I liked because it made it feel more realistic than being chucked into it when she is a teenager and having to learn how to survive.

As a child Aloy falls into forbidden ruins. She then finds a device called the focus. It allows her to scan the area around her finding people and machines and their weak points. The focus is a really good system to give Aloy a unique advantage and meaning as the protagonist of a single player game. However, it isn’t that great to use during combat because you move much slower and can not attack while in this mode.

There is a lot of depth in Horizon Zero Dawn with all of the mysteries and how you unravel them. It also has a lot of similar mechanics to Assassins Creed series with the climbing and revealing parts of the map from high places. It also has a very tactical angle to the fighting style as enemies have weaknesses and strengths and you can mod your weapons to counteract their strengths.

There is a good selection of weapon choices and traps available. There is a base weapon like the Hunting Bow which has two arrow types and as you get higher tier weapons you get more choice of elemental weapons to widen your possibilities.

The map is huge and there is so much to discover. There are a lot of settlements and camps that you can come across. There are ruins that you have to go into to find out more about the ‘metal world’ which is the time before the fall of civilisation. This felt like an enhanced version of the dungeons and caves in Skyrim because each had a purpose and felt relevant to the ending.

Overall I really enjoyed playing Horizon Zero Dawn. I didn’t want to put down the controller and there is so much to keep you interested. One of the main features I liked was how you could level up carrying capacity for each weapons ammo, your weapon satchel and much more necessities. The RPG element to the game was fantastic. I really enjoyed the skill tree perks and it felt like I could adapt my character very quickly to my play style.

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