‘Horizon Zero Dawn’ Review: Gameplay Relics from the Past Hold Back an Otherwise Engrossing Open-World Adventure

Breitbart | 3/10/2017 | Staff
katz1234katz1234 (Posted by) Level 3
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Horizon Zero Dawn straddles the past and future in much the same way as its post-apocalyptic setting, falling just a little ways short of its full potential when it leans too heavily on tired mechanics. It’s a good game, removed from true greatness only by its adherence to tired formulae.

Horizon Zero Dawn takes place in the far future, littered with the wreckage of a technological renaissance not so far removed from our own time. Here, the scattered remnants of humanity have been forcibly returned to their tribal roots. Modern conveniences are now strange and mysterious relics, humanity’s mistakes the basis of the game’s inhabitants’ mythologies. But while the world has changed around them, people remain the same. War and greed battle with unity and innovation for control of mankind’s collective future. On top of everything, robotic beasts roam the wild, saw-toothed artifacts of the past that threaten the tribes’ survival; they are also living resources for the survivors of mankind, as valuable as they are dangerous.

Game - Boots - Aloy - Outcast - Nora

The game puts you in the boots of Aloy, a rebellious outcast from the Nora tribe. Exiled at birth without explanation, she is taken under the wing of a rugged warrior by the name of Rost. Your first steps within the Nora tribe’s hidden valley are those of a curious child, taught to track and hunt by Aloy’s adoptive father. It’s an elegant but entirely predictable form of a tutorial, simultaneously introducing both Aloy and the player to the world.

After that, you’ll spend the vast majority of your time hunting a wide variety of robotic fauna. Fortunately, this is where the game excels. Each creature is beautifully designed and well animated, with varying behaviors based on circumstance, environment, and the proximity of its allies. It means that the hulking technological denizens of Aloy’s world feel...
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