5 Thoughts: Horizon: Zero Dawn

“Horizon: Zero Dawn” is a critically acclaimed game that has been out for quite a while now, so instead of a full-fledged review I figured I would do a quick hit of 5 thoughts I had recorded in-the-moment while playing the game.

1) “Horizon: Zero Dawn” has such a truly unique setting and story.

The mashup between early human civilization and advanced AI-technology is an interesting dichotomy that piqued my interest and kept me invested in the world building of the game. I couldn’t wait to gobble up every data point I could find so I could unlock the puzzle of the world and figure out how the current state of being came about.

2) Wow. Lance Reddick seems to be everywhere lately.

This is less about the game than the man himself. He’s definitely making a name for himself in video games. In addition to making an appearance in “Horizon,” he has also lent his voice acting abilities to “Destiny” as Commander Zavala and “Quantum Break” as Martin Hatch. His voice was instantly recognizable the first time I heard him in this game.

3) This game brings out my worst hoarding tendencies.

I just had to collect everything in sight, and my inventory was simply nowhere near big enough to handle everything I wanted to carry. I didn’t even need half the stuff. Partway through the game, I already had all of the best gear available, so I’m not sure why I lugged around any of the resources that I had in my pack at that point. If anything, that’s one of my few knocks on the game. Aside from crafting ammo, once I collected all of the best outfits and weaponry, it almost felt useless to consult merchants or gather special items – at least on “normal” mode.

4) Holy cow, “Horizon” is totally gorgeous.

It is truly a graphical achievement in gaming. The vast landscapes are so lifelike, it’s almost surreal (which seems like an oxymoron here). Even the movement of tall grass as you pass through it is so realistic. But what really astonished me the most is the rendering of the night sky. It got me every time – I couldn’t help but stop and look up.

5) There are so many different ways to play this game.

If I wanted to be stealthy, I could creep around and pick enemies off one by one. What if I was in the mood to strategically plan ahead? There were a myriad of different traps to lay out before engaging in combat. Even when I was feeling reckless and turned into a “run-into-the-fray” type player, there was a way to do that too (albeit maybe a little harder). There were a variety of different weapons to choose from and a variety of different ways to approach any combat mission – and very rarely did Guerilla Games shoehorn me into a specific direction, which was something I greatly appreciated.

This game was a total joy to play and, in my opinion, deserves 100% of the accolades it has received. If you haven’t played “Horizon” yet, I would highly recommend you do so. It’s a can’t miss in a generation chock-full of awesome games.

2 thoughts on “5 Thoughts: Horizon: Zero Dawn

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