Review of Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn is an action role playing game with a strong emphasis on combat and, boy, is it fun.

Now is the time to play!

The game stars Aloy, a tribal hunter and outcast of her people, who is desperate to figure out her own origin. The pursuit of that answer unveils more questions, both about her world and the world that game before. The most engaging aspect of the story is the gradual reveal of what happened to the world before and how did it change from Earth now, to Earth with massive robot t-rex’s with laser canons.

Aloy is a strong protagonist, both physically and mentally. Her time spent as an outcast of her people shows in her dialog. She is abrupt and to the point, often responding with sarcasm. Through it all, she is shown to be intelligent, compassionate, and curious. Her time spent in her homeland as a Nora, gave her skills with the spear and, more impressively, with the bow. She is agile and quick because slowness equates to almost instant death at the claws of one of the many varieties of robots.

The robots are a highlight of the Horizon Zero Dawn world. They interact with the environment and people, as well as creating the game’s most engaging enemy type. Everything from small raptors to grazing deer type all the way up to massive t-rex. Each robot is distinct in its attacks and visuals. They are covered in armor that can be blasted off by arrows or explosives. Weak points can be pinpointed to maximize damage. Best of all, Aloy is able to upgrade her spear to hack the robots and turn them from foe to ally. Combining stealth, precision strikes, and hacked robots creates endless possibilities for each encounter and the game encourages experimentation. In some games, bigger enemies move slower, but Horizon Zero Dawn gives the player no such luxury. They are quick, violent, and sometimes shoot lasers. It’s incredible.

The game is fun and there’s no better time to pick it up and try it. The sequel is coming and promises to be even better.