Familiar Game
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It’s not bad, but was definitely disappointed.

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    Horizon Zero Dawn

    Rating: 3.0 – Fair

    It’s not bad, but was definitely disappointed.

    From appearances, Horizon Zero Dawn was a well made game. The visuals looked great, the voice acting was strong, and the little intricacies included in this open world game added depth and details. However, I just could not find myself getting immersed into this game. Playing through Horizon Zero Dawn felt like a drag and after the first five or six hours I was trying to force myself to complete the game. I think this stems from a few areas, which I will go into further into the review.

    Horizon Zero Dawn follows the story of Aloy, who was an outcast from her tribe. She is taken care of by Rost who is also an outcast. The game is set in a post apocalyptic world, where the fictitious world is surrounded by machines that resemble animals and creatures. The story starts off with Aloy as a child and quickly progresses the user through that phase and into adulthood, with Rost being the mentor. For the most part, the story was actually quite solid.

    For the overall experience, first thing is first. Horizon Zero Dawn felt large, the world was beautiful, and there was a sense of care that went into design of this large fictional world. The scale was grand and you initially feel the sense of awe. Traversing through this world, while beautiful to look at, was a different story. It felt soulless and lacked any interesting purpose to really engage me throughout the course of the game.

    Aloy is armed with various weapons and tools, with one being the focus. The focus gives her an added advantage over enemies. You can track an enemy’s path, so it helps with your stealth attacks and it also provides visibility into enemy weak spots. It’s a handy technology tool. Additionally Aloy has a series of weapons like bow and arrows for long range attacks, or close range weapons that allow you to attack enemies. The combat system for the most part felt solid, as the player can utilize these different tool to finish off enemies.

    Both close range and range attacks felt pretty smooth. Users can do quick and strong strikes against enemies and dodge out of enemies attacks. Aloy also has ranged weapons, such as bow and arrow. Additionally, as players go through the game they can add additional tools and upgrade, which is standard fare for most role playing games.

    The game also provides players with abilities to set traps or utilize stealth. For the most part, the game has a nice balance of utilizing stealth or being a bit more aggressive with attacks. The developers also made cool use of Aloy’s tools to allow you to track movements of the robots, which added a nice touch to the game and how you utilize the stealth attacks.

    Despite the solid combat system, this starts to wax and wane given that after a while it just feels like a boring grind of rinse and repeat. You move around this large world defeating robot creatures, you collect herbs, and you level up. It is pretty standard rpg fare, but it just felt so bland and uninteresting. The side quests also do not help keep players engaged, as it felt tacked on and meaningless. If this was a shorter game, crammed into eight to ten hours I think I would have enjoyed this game much more, but the game really started to drag after a while.

    The game is fairly long, so it does give you plenty of play time. With that said however, the game does not always do the best job at keeping you engage throughout. The breadth of the game is topnotch however. The game is large in scale and environments are beautiful for you to explore, the question is there is not enough worthwhile tasks to help facilitate that. The graphics for Horizon Zero Dawn looks beautiful, especially considering the scale. The sound department was good, especially the voice acting which I particularly enjoyed. The menu options were nicely laid out for the most part, making it easy to access things during your travel.

    Most people enjoyed this game more than me, but I did not think Horizon Zero Dawn is a bad game. It has its strong suits and the mechanics are there, with elements like solid game play and scale. I just wish that there were more meaningful quests that reinforced the scale and game play, so things would not have gotten repetitive after a while. For early parts of the game, Horizon Zero Dawn had the making of a great title. This unfortunately did not hold true throughout and I was left disappointed. Even with that said, I would recommend checking this game out still. It is at least worth a rental if you own a PlayStation 4.

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