March 17, 2019 at 4:42 PM #1011
Horizon Zero Dawn
Rating: 4.0 – Great
Inconsistency on the Horizon
Horizon: Zero Dawn starts off strong, but quickly becomes a mixed bag. On one hand, the main storyline is very well done, though it falls flat in a lot of ways. Many of the characters are decent, but feel a tad too forced and/or nondescript. For example: Erand, while being a character with potential, his voice actor never goes above "pretty good." And this is true for nearly every character in this game. Rost is great, Aloy is great, the old woman in the beginning is really good, the man you meet later in the game is great…but other than that, they’re all pretty bland, especially the bad guys.
The side characters and quest givers are almost all horrible acted and their stories simply inspire busywork. I found myself hammering the X button just to move things along. I felt that skipping their dialogue was better than ruining the experience, which, despite its many flaws, can feel pitch perfect at times.
The gameplay is where Horizon shines: Combat is intense, exploration is fun and rewarding. But there are flaws to balance and progression. When you get the best melee attacks, many of the machines can be easily stun locked, turning strategic battles into mindless hammering on R2 and R1, rather than being bothered by hitting the weak points. There are about three or four machines in this game that gave me any real trouble and those feel like they are only difficult because they’re huge damage sponges that don’t get phased easily. That said, there are hours and hours of fun combat to be had, here. And even after the point where combat becomes incredibly easy on the highest difficulty, it is still quite addicting.
The music is great, though a tad forgettable for the most part. It does the job well and can even be quite emotional, especially at times you’d least expect it. I found myself misty eyed just wandering, lost in the wild when just the right piece of music came through.
There very few technical flaws to this game. No real complaints.
In the end, I’d call Horizon an amazing, yet flawed mixed bag that will rarely bore you. It’s worth your time, flaws and all.
Main Story: 9/10
Side quests: 6/10
Side content and collectibles: 8/10
Final score: 8/10
(I would have given it 9/10 if the side quests weren’t so pointless for the most part)
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