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The Eagle’s Cry Game Review: Horizon Zero Dawn

Sean Ganley, Entertainment Editor

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As I’ve stated in previous game reviews, I’m what some may call a video game addict. I find video games to be a great way to escape all of one’s problems and enter a new world, while having adventures you can’t possibly do in the real world. Thus, due to my passion for video games, I always find myself increasingly open to those that provide new and unique ideas–something that isn’t a sequel, reboot, or shooter. Having so far sunk into around 20 hours into Horizon Zero Dawn, I can confidently say that I have found that sort of game.

Horizon Zero Dawn is a new entry from developers Guerilla Games, who were previously known for creating the first person shooter series Killzone. It is set in approximately 1,000 years in the future where a disaster has caused the destruction of modern human civilization and the survivors have been reduced to living in primitive tribal societies. Also occupying their world are giant robot like creatures, who take the structure of many different kinds of animals and dinosaurs. In Horizon Zero Dawn, the player controls Aloy, a hunter and archer in this world who, having been an outcast her entire life, sets out on a quest to find out more about herself, as well as what caused the current state of humanity. Aside from battling large mechanical creatures, Aloy must also fight a mysterious tribe that looks to turn said creatures into their own weapons.

With many critics already calling this game the next console seller for the Playstation, I can’t help but agree as I have found Horizon Zero Dawn to be a very well crafted game. One thing that impressed me was the open world format for the game, particularly how Guerrilla Games–a studio that had only previously worked on Call of Duty-esque games–was able to so successfully transition into the open world genre. The huge map of the game sees you travel across deserts, forests, and even miniature communities occupied by a diverse set of minor characters. Another thing that kept me entertained was the gameplay, in which you are able to hunt down robotic dinosaurs for parts using a wide variety of arrows (such as regular, explosive, flammable, etc.) and traps. The graphics were also some of the best I’ve seen on the PS4, with scenery such as mountains, trees, and buildings looking as realistic and immersive as possible. However, I feel that the most impressive aspect of Horizon Zero Dawn is just how unique it actually is. From the plot to the characters, I can honestly say that I have not watched or played anything like Horizon Zero Dawn in the best possible way. Just the pure amount of mystery and intrigue was enough to keep me hooked on playing this game for hours on end.  

Although I did enjoy this game immensely, I did notice some faults within it. One of these would be that some of the characters (with the exception of Aloy) weren’t as fleshed out or well developed as they could have been, often leaving me disconnected with some aspects of the games’ world. Additionally, I did feel that the Horizon’s story sometimes got too ambitious to the point where the plot became a little convoluted and overwhelming by the game’s climax. However, these flaw, while evident, are minor and do not overshadow the game’s many strengths and innovations.

After playing Horizon Zero Dawn for so long, I can now fully understand why so many people have already fallen in love with it. Like them, I can without a doubt see Horizon Zero Dawn taking the crown from the recently concluded Uncharted series as the definitive flagship for the Playstation.

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The Eagle’s Cry Game Review: Horizon Zero Dawn