Games of 2017 – Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn

What it is
Horizon Zero Dawn is a post-post-apocalyptic third-person action role-playing game. You play as Aloy, and you spend your time trying to discover who your mother was or is, all the while saving the world and overthrowing diabolical plots. You know, standard video game stuff. The main combat situations revolve around battling mechanized animals, with standard human fighting filling in during many of the actual quests.

What I like about it
First, Horizon Zero Dawn looks absolutely gorgeous. I would say it looks even better than the Witcher, which is high praise. Traversing from biome to biome is always breathtaking. The added weather effects really get in your way as you make your way around.

The general story idea has been done before in other mediums, but it really hooked me in Horizon Zero Dawn. I went from very little interest in playing before launch to instantly hooked after the first fifteen minutes or so. The story takes you on a journey not only for Aloy, but also for humanity’s past as well. Digging around in the ruins and finding old data logs has been immensely rewarding, much like the audio logs were in the first Bioshock game.

The combat mechanics are wonderful. I’m not much for bows or sniping in games, but there’s nothing better than taking dead aim and letting loose on HZD’s various enemies. The different weapons and ammo types have been really fun to play around with as well.

What’s maybe not so great
Though I really enjoy the story, the way they’ve broken it up in terms of progression has been slightly annoying to me. Just when I think I’m entering the final section, they throw a little twist in and then make me traipse halfway across the map to essentially repeat the process for a few more nuggets of information. Maybe my patience just can’t handle longer games anymore, lol.

Parting thoughts
I really had no interest in Horizon Zero Dawn up until about a week prior to launch. I’m not super into science fiction that relies on a deconstruction of technology and humanity. I’m not a big fan of Planet of the Apes, for instance. Thankfully, the few videos I watched beforehand managed to change my mind and take a chance. HZD scratches similar itches in me that the Witcher has. It certainly won’t dethrone the Witcher in any way, but it has been an enjoyable substitute when I don’t feel like playing a fantasy game.