5 Reasons to be Excited for Horizon Zero Dawn

first_imgStay on target The beginning of the year has been great for PlayStation 4 owners. In the last few weeks, they have been treated to such games as Gravity Rush 2, Yakuza 0, and Nioh. This would be enough to keep PS4 owners happy, but they’re about to get one of the biggest games of Q1 tomorrow. That’s right; I’m talking about none other than Guerrilla Games’ Horizon Zero Dawn.Unlike a lot of other recent AAA titles, Horizon Zero Dawn fully delivers on nearly all fronts. It is a sprawling open world game with beautifully rendered graphics and tight, intuitive gameplay mechanics. It is arguably the first truly “must own” exclusive of this generation. The hype surrounding this title is very much real.There are a lot of reasons to be excited for Horizon Zero Dawn. Below are the top five.Stunning graphicsHorizon Zero Dawn features the best looking graphics on a console to date. This game takes full advantage of the PlayStation 4 Pro’s extra horsepower. Thanks to checkerboard rendering, it looks exceptional on 4K HDR-enabled televisions. Folks who play on a standard 1080p TV will also benefit from supersampled textures.I’ve put many hours into this game. In that time, I have never seen any questionable looking textures or graphical anomalies. Every part of the world is rendered in exceptional detail. Even random NPC characters and building interiors look great. Graphically speaking, Horizon Zero Dawn has no equal on consoles.Massive open world to exploreOpen world games are standard these days. Normally, this wouldn’t be a selling point. However, Horizon’s rich and varied world is in a class of its own. A lot of this has to do with the aforementioned graphics. These gorgeous locales aren’t just for show, however. Secrets can be found on every mountain top, sandy desert, overgrown forest, and human settlement.Unlike many other open world games, exploration isn’t a mundane affair here. The game has a great deal of fast travel points. However, you will find that taking the scenic route is always more satisfying. After all, you want to see what awaits in each area. Most of the time, hoofing it on foot or riding a robot leads to unexpected but delightful situations. There is always something interesting to discover.An enthralling and engaging storyLike open-world titles, post-apocalyptic settings have also become ubiquitous. Horizon, however, has a unique take on this worn out genre. Like the gameplay, it combines various genres into something wholly original. Despite the prehistoric-like setting, Horizon is, at its core, a science fiction story. And though it isn’t upfront about it, there is also a strong underlying message about human hubris destroying the planet.Most video game stories aren’t told as elegantly as those from traditional media. Horizon manages to not only have a great story but one that is masterfully told. The story unfolds at just the right pace. Each new revelation is accompanied by a new and enticing mystery. Thankfully, none of this feels forced or awkward. By the end, most of the story’s questions have been fully and satisfyingly answered.Meaningful side questsEvery open world game has random side quests to complete. Most of the time, these missions feel like filler that inflates a game’s play time. Horizon has its fair share of side quests as well. Thankfully, most are meaningful and add depth to the game. With very few exceptions, each side quest introduces you to an interesting new character. Many quests involve finding objects or killing machines and people. However, they don’t feel like a waste of time. There is always a fascinating story behind each mission.Action junkies will no doubt get a kick out of the hunter’s lodge side quests. These missions will require players to use all of their cunning and reflexes to survive. Combat is one of the game’s strongest attributes (as I’ll explain below), and the hunter’s lodge quests force players to use everything they’ve learned to take down the nastiest of robots.Robot fightsAs I mentioned above, hunting and fighting giant robots is the single best feature of Horizon Zero Dawn. While battling humans can get downright tedious, going up against crazed machines never gets old. There is a lot of animal-like automatons in the world, and each has to be taken down in specific ways. Figuring out a robot’s weakness is a game unto itself. Feeling a giant mechanical beast is one of the most thrilling experiences you’ll ever have.To successfully take down a robot, you have to use every weapon at your disposal. This includes arrows, traps, and bombs. Each of these come in different varieties. For example, fire arrows are sometimes more effective than standard ones. Ice bombs work great against fire-spewing machines, and electric traps stop most robots in their tracks. Tying robots down with rope is also a great way to immobilize them. Few games have combat that is as thoroughly enjoyable as this. PlayStation 4 Becomes Fastest Console to Sell 100 Million‘Death Stranding’ Is Your PlayStation 4 Holiday Exclusive last_img read more