Horizon: Zero Dawn

Has anyone else been following Horzion: Zero Dawn? This game has a unique feel to it, and the story sounds quite intriguing. Here’s the story trailer from E3 2016:

You play as a hunter, who lives in a post apocalyptic world where artificial creatures dominate the ecosystem, left behind by the “old ones”. Some of these creatures you can ride. It sounds a lot like a certain other franchise, except instead of organic creatures, they’re mechanical.

Here’s a demo that was just released of Horzion running on the Playstation 4 Pro, where Aloy climbs on top of one of the robots, Shadow of the Colossus style:

It looks really good, I saw trailers and footage for this for a while now. I’d love to try it.

Minor nuisance: I really wish the main character wasn’t so chatty. I really dislike vocal protagonists outside of cutscenes or dialog.

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Did anyone get Horizon: Zero Dawn? I didn’t, however I’ve been watching a Let’s Play on YouTube. Fairly standard third person action RPG mechanics (combat reminds me of Mass Effect), but the premise feels fresh and there’s numerous mysteries to contemplate. If anyone’s looking for a new big budget RPG to jump into that isn’t a sequel this seems like a great choice.

If only I didn’t spend $600 (!!) between Breath of the Wild and Nier: Automata this month alone.

Speaking of Zelda though, isn’t it remarkably similar? I didn’t even notice since I ignored pretty much all gameplay shown for Zelda until I bought it. Crazy how they released within days of each other.

Man, I can only handle so much open world…I’m playing Zelda now and after that moving on to Nier.

What scares me about Horizon is how repetitive it might become…In Zelda there is always something new to discover, shrines to find and their puzzles to solve, main dungeons to do, climbing and discovering new landmarks, finding hidden Koroks etc…Horizon might be a bit too bare bones for me; and after a while I was incredibly burned out after playing the repetitiveness that was the Witcher 3.

I guess I’m saying that Zelda is kind of spoiling me. It’s “too” good! How much hunting and sidequests can I do in Horizon before I completely lose interest and start comparing it to Zelda and what Zelda does better?..

Horizon’s story does seem intriguing though…

Apparently Horizon: Zero Dawn is only 19 hours for the main quest, so even if it’s repetitive in places it’s not hugely long by RPG standards. Completely understand the “only handle so much open world” comment, which is why I didn’t get either this or Zelda.

I do wonder if either or Sony or Nintendo planned the timing of their open world game deliberately in an attempt to cancel the other game out.

Much like BotW, Horizon is a game I’d like to play, but Gravity Rush 2 and NieR: Automata are more than enough for now. I still need to complete NieR and the Gravity Rush 2 DLC will soon be released, and Persona 5 will be out not long afterwards. So I’ll probably end up picking up Horizon at a discount later this year.

The Verge has posted an interesting comparison piece discussing Horizon: Zero Dawn and Breath of the Wild’s different takes on the open world formula. While it feels somewhat one-sided, I’m in agreement that the sense of stumbling across aspects of the world rather than following rigid quests is what appeals to me about open world games. If I’m looking for a story driven experience, I’ll generally prefer games with less filler that don’t diverge too often from the main story, or at least don’t require it (e.g. Panzer Dragoon Saga).

@legaiaflame, you played through the entirety of The Witcher 3, do you agree with article’s comments about it?

The Witcher still can’t excape from the controlled world blueprint it just hides it very well. You still do the main story quests just like any other open world game. But you get so burried in sidequests that the story actually becames secondary! So, in a way the game most certainly, veers you away from the story, with the ridiculous quest count! And the main story imo was actually lacking; with some of the later dlc being more interesting!

But I think most of all, playing a game well past 100 hours becomes way too repetitive. I played Skyrim for a little over 80 hours and I played the Witcher 3 for 200 hours or was it 300?! That goes to show you just how much content compared to Skyrim, the Witcher 3 actually has! The game was just “too” long! And that might be a bad thing. Is it over yet!? Lol… Not that it was a bad game though, it had it’s strengths and weaknesses…

Even Zelda BOTW has its controlled world blueprint​ intact. Sure you can go straight to the final dungeon/boss of the game, explore the massive world, climb anywhere, but there are always the 4 main dungeons waiting for you, with scripted cutscenes and events that advance the “intended” main story. If you choose not to, you are just missing out on the game’s preferred path.

I picked up Horizon: Zero Dawn recently and I’m genuinely impressed by how good this game looks. The day and night cycle and environmental effects are just incredible. I’m playing it a on a PlayStation 4 Pro and it’s simply the best looking console game I’ve ever played. Uncharted 4 looks great, but it’s still a linear and heavily scripted game that never really gives you the impression of being a small part of a very big world. In Horizon: Zero Dawn the graphics really contribute to building a familiar yet alien world. I often find myself just stopping for a moment to take a look at the environment, such as a star-filled sky at night or a dense fog forming over a large forest in the distance, which I just traversed moments ago. The photo mode also provides a ton of options to tweak your screenshot.

While I’d have to play BotW to really compare the two, I’m also not sure if I agree with the Verge article. I’m someone who generally dislikes GTA-like open-world games, but in this game I find myself focusing more on side-stories than usual. What’s there in terms of quests is certainly scripted, but there’s plenty of content here to distract you on the way to your location. For example, I recently ran into a bandit camp on the way to a quest and ended up clearing that one first. And I can easily spend a half an hour hunting in a forest to craft more items. More recently, a side quest allowed me to explore an incredibly advanced ruin built by the machines, offering more insight into how they are created. Is BotW really all that different, I wonder?

On the other hand, the characters and storyline so far haven’t really made that much of an impression. Compared to say NieR: Automata, where all the characters where flawed and struggled to survive, Horizon’s main character Aloy comes across as a bit one-dimensional so far. At a time where we’re seeing more complex and flawed main characters, Aloy tends to come across as a traditional good-hearted and highly skilled heroine who shows very little in terms of human flaws. It’s not a bad thing, but after hearing her performance as Chloe in Life is Strange, I feel like Ashly Burch’s voice talent is under-utilized here. Room for improvement here, but it’s only a minor flaw when the rest of the game is this good.

It can certainly be argued that Horizon: Zero Dawn merely combines the best of what other games have done before, but when it’s this good I’m not complaining. What I think we’re seeing now is that, after the hype surrounding BotW has subsided a bit, that Horizon: Zero Dawn continues to sell after what some argued was a slow start. Much like how I picked it up on a recent discount, I expect this game to perform very well over time. Below you can view some screenshots I recently posted on Twitter.

The compression on the screenshots also don’t do the game justice, I’d have to upload the PNG ones to really show all the detail. And even then, I’m playing the game on a regular 1080P TV and not a 4K HDR-capable TV.

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Looks tempting indeed, but buying a PS4 pro now just to play this game would be a madness… will I fall for it :sweat:

Well, the game is optimized for the regular PS4 as well, so you don’t really need a Pro specifially.

Having finished the game now, it reminded me of Panzer Dragoon Saga in more than a few ways. But unlike in Panzer Dragoon Saga, here you actually get an explanation for what happened during the fall of the Ancient Age. During the game, Aloy’s search for answers regarding her own past runs parallel to her discoveries regarding the origin of their world, and in the game’s ending these two come plot points come together in a memorable and bittersweet scene. Interestingly, since I mentioned how the game wasn’t using Ashly Burch’s voice to her full potential, this isn’t true for the latter half of the game.

While I can definitely point out flaws, such as the repetitive boss battles, this is one of the best games I’ve played on PS4 so far.

I’m glad that Horizon: Zero Dawn held you all the way through. The main reason I decided to skip it was because it’s the start of what I suspect will be a multi-game console-exclusive saga; this isn’t something I want to invest in right now. That said, it’s good that there’s a big budget game with so many parallels to Panzer Dragoon for fans hungry for a similar world to immerse themselves in.

It’s definitely set up for a sequel, although on its own the game’s ending is satisfying enough. It’s really the background story to what happened in the past that I actually found to be the most interesting. Much like the books found in Panzer Dragoon Saga, the past events are revealed through datapoints that you can find throughout the ruins in the game. A good number of those are voiced, and there are a lot to track down.

It sounds like my kind of game; I might play it one day. Hopefully it’s not too explicit in revealing all the details of the back story. A large part of the appeal of the Panzer Dragoon story was piecing together incomplete information, much of which had more than a single interpretation.

Yes and no. Yes in the sense that it reveals a lot of details so you feel like many of the major questions have been answered by the end of the game, but there are certainly plenty of questions left unanswered as well. Rather than being boring data dumps, they often consist of small messages from people who lived in the past. You’re learning much of the background story from their experience. This is all mostly in the latter half of the game, however. The first part can feel rather slow, and the stories there focus more on the present-day world. With some exceptions, I didn’t feel the characters and quests there were all that interesting.

I just cracked my pants (not sure this expression exists in english but thats something you say in France when you do something not so… rational) and ordered a bundle (on amazon Germany, they were cheaper than France) of a PS4 pro + Horizon and also a copy of NIER as there was a good discount on Zavvi (coming from UK).

That plus Doomfist coming on Overwatch it is going to be a tight game time schedule :expressionless:

I find this game to be one of the most overhyped and biggest letdowns this gen. The game is not fun to play is boring as hell and I simply hate the stealth sections.

Nice, let us know what you think about the games!

Outside of the very beginning where you learn to play the game, I don’t recall any forced stealth sections to be honest. At what point did you drop the game?

I am enjoying the game. I like to play brutish and it seems it is possible. Maybe not with groups of 20 ennemies but you can still do it with groups of 3 or 4 ennemies. A bit like in Assassin Creed once you were familiar with combos and enemy positioning.

You can play stealthy but that’s not exaggerated I guess. As said, you can still go and finish in melee.

What I found weird is the engine and the way the camera moves. It dosent seem linear, there is a sort of acceleration, maybe to make it easier to rotate the camera but I personally prefer linear and flowing engines like the one in Zelda or Assassin Creed. It is a bit annoying to me but you get used to it…

Don’t want to spoil so I will just say this: I am at the part where you get out of the first zone of the game, so the world just got bigger and more dangerous.

How long is the game if I do all secondary quests ? I am taking my time and trying to finish them before finishing the main quests.

Now, with my PS4 pro, in addition to Nier, I ordered some ‘older’ games: WItcher 3, Uncharted 3, Fallout 4, Dishonored 1 + 2, Elder Scroll Tamriel (this one was part of a bunddle so I might re sell this one, MMO take too much time). I never played those but they had good reviews and there were sales so…