Horizon: Zero Dawn captivated me from the minute I inserted the game disc into the PS4; with a world as immersive and big as Horizon’s world is, I had a fun time just roaming around it and I loved sightseeing the many environments in Horizon. This is an open-world game that is done the right way and I feel like it’s ahead of the curve in comparison to other open-world games.
On top of the environment being breathtaking, the game is just a ton of fun to play. One of my favorite things about Horizon is the variety in which the machines appear in this world; no two machines are the same and Guerrilla Games has done a great job at creating these beasts in which Aloy fights throughout the story mode. My personal favorite machine enemy is the Stormbird; they’re a major pain to deal with but they just look awesome and menacing upon arrival within the story mode.
The story within Horizon is a major talking point simply because at the end of the day, stories do drive gamers to be engaged with the game as a whole. One reason why The Last of Us was so beloved is because of the characters and the overall premise of the story mode. Because of The Last of Us and games such as Uncharted, people expect a grand story that might rival something as seen in a movie; don’t expect that with Horizon: Zero Dawn. While I love the story mode and Aloy, the main character in this game, Horizon is more beloved for its great gameplay and the overall setting within Aloy’s world. I don’t necessarily find any problem with this simply because if one plays a Mario game, they’re not playing it for the story mode; it’s a Mario game, after all. I’d apply this same logic to Horizon. While it attempts to give players a great story, it’s not one game I’d point out and say, “ya know, Horizon was one of the best experiences story-wise” because I would be lying.
Overall, I still love Horizon and feel like that this is a huge step forward for Guerrilla Games. I love Aloy, I love the world that she partakes in, and I just feel like this is a game that everybody should try to play at some point before 2017 is over. I recommend Horizon: Zero Dawn and I feel like this game has GOTY potential written all over it. While the story is not its strength, everything else that’s packed into Horizon: Zero Dawn kept me occupied and entertained for hours on end. We need more games like Horizon: Zero Dawn and so far, this would be my personal favorite game of 2017.