I’m going to begin this review with this: if you own a PlayStation 4 and you do not own Horizon – you are doing yourself an injustice. This game is absolutely stunning from beginning to end. I must say, I was skeptical at first. An open world, role playing game from a studio whose background consists of first person shooters. However, I was super intrigued from the moment we all saw it revealed by Sony. I’m hoping that by the end of this review, you will go out and buy this game.
From the beginning cutscene of this game, Guerrilla Games had me hooked. This seemed like MY kind of game. You start off as a child and then grow into the main protagonist, Aloy. An outcast in a world filled with robodino’s. If you aren’t sold yet just by that, then I can’t think of why you are still reading this. Nonetheless, you, the player start off this gaming knowing nothing. How the world came to this point, why these creatures exist or why Aloy is one of the most badass antagonists ever in a video game. I’m going to keep this spoiler free as possible, because I truly want everyone to experience this game for themselves — much like The Last of Us. You start off as Aloy as a child, seeing struggles of the world and discovering how to use the Focus- a wonderful gift found very early in the game that helps you with the surrounding world. It’s basically a Bluetooth device that goes into your ear that’s actually useful…I kid, I kid. But, in all seriousness, the Focus is an awesome device that is more than meets the eye. As the story missions and world unravel, you begin to find out what happened before this life. Why the Earth is not the same as it used to be, who you are and what others intentions are.
From the second you begin controlling Aloy as a child, the gameplay is absolutely perfect and fluid. I don’t believe the game is perfect, but is damn well near it. Jumping, running, shooting your bow or climbing – everything about the game looks and feels exactly like a video game should feel. I had doubts being that this studio brought us Killzone, but this was their first shot at something new and Guerrilla Games and Sony knocked this game out of the park. My time with the game has been short. I spent 32 and a half hours in the world of Horizon: Zero Dawn and I’m itching to replay it. I’m not sure what else to say about gameplay as it is a game that is so amazing, that you truly just need the controller in your hands. The climbing reminds me of Uncharted, the discovering of locations via Longnecks draws from Assassin’s Creed and crafting system resembles a simpler, tweaked, perfected version from the Far Cry franchise. The skill tree has some very awesome perks and, as most skill trees do, there are duds. It’s not very exciting towards the middle of the game, as you have the ones you really want. Leveling up doesn’t take too long. So, you feel really good every so often knowing that you’re leveling up.
How Hard is the Platinum?
I spent 32.5 hours in this post-modern apocalyptic world. In that time, I finished the story, completed a certain amount of side quests, reached the max level of 50 and completed all collectibles and miscellaneous trophies. There is no difficulty trophy for this game. I played the game on Normal difficulty and it was actually challenging for the most part. I was level 49 and still had trouble fighting some of the harder creatures of the vast world. I mostly died from falling though…it can be a real pain sometimes. There are no missable trophies, so play the game at your own pace, doing whatever feels organic and natural to you. I completed the story while getting all collectibles and such as I saw fit. Then, I finished the story and went back to get the remaining ones that I hadn’t cleared. It is not too tedious and the challenges are fun. Everything about this game is beautiful and fun. Get the Platinum so you play it as much as possible.
I spent 32.5 hours in this game and completed everything needed for the Platinum trophy. However, I have been itching to play more of it and get more lore from it. If you own a PS4 and do not have this game, again, I stress you go and buy it right now. It has features of and draws inspiration from Uncharted, Far Cry, Assassin’s Creed and so many more fantastic games. It takes the best parts of those games, perfects them and ties them together in a brand new world to discover. The world is huge, beautiful and most certainly not empty. Stealth is a huge part of this game and there are creatures everywhere. You will need to think about how to either avoid them or take them out. I recommend this game to everyone. I honestly believe this game is worth purchasing a PlayStation 4 just for this game. It’s that damn good. It isn’t perfect, but it’s super close to it.