A game that started off as intriguing and piqued my interest since we saw its announcement at E3 and its game coverage, I mean c'mon, robot dinosaurs! Though I had no real intention to get it as a day one release, the 'fomo' had gotten its grip on me. As I sat idly by, content with playing Breath of The Wild, carving my way through its wilderness and making my own adventures. Every so often while on my PlayStation, I would go through my friends list and see a handful of friends playing Horizon: Zero Dawn (HZD). To add insult to injury, the constant chatter on WhatsApp groups didn't help either, and so I caved, dropped the nine clips (nine hundred rands) and bought the game.
A few days later I get a package, and the game has arrived, it's safe to say that I'm about as giddy as a school girl on prom night. The end of the day arrives and I rush home to begin playing the game. I do the necessary requirements, carefully unwrap and examine the cover and its contents, insert the disc, install the game and wait for the day-one patch to install. Of course, I want the best experience I can.
So I'm playing the game, initial excitement is over and a good few hours into it. My first impressions are underwhelming, though my expectation was grand, based on opinions and experiences of others. Now don't get me wrong, the game is beautiful, staggeringly so! It's absolutely phenomenal. It really is a technical marvel at what developers can do, not to mention that it is Geurilla Games' first attempt at an action role-playing open world game.
The world design is amazing though, the attention to detail and how astounding it is, it can be breathtaking at times. When you get to that pinnacle point of a lookout and just soak in the beauty from upon high, it almost feels as though you are in our very own world. Truly picturesque views and landscapes. Aiding this is a fantastic feature built into the game, and caters very well for it, is that of the photo mode. if you are at least a little into photography, this game affords you so much luxury of not even having to leave the comfort of your home to take pics of sprawling vistas.
Combat, one of the more enjoyable factors, despite you only being limited to four weapons to be used on the fly. Though you can at any time go into the options menu and switch out your weapons in favour of better (or worse) tactics. This comes in handy as although you may seem limited to mechanisms at your disposal, the combat is somewhat calculated, so you need to think a bit and not just be bombastic in your approach... cos that shit will get you killed!
But overall the combat is very enjoyable and can be quite formidable if you're playing on higher difficulty options.
The story and writing are just amazing, the world building through notes, items, descriptions and lore is amazing. The really get you to believe in this possibility of this alternate reality, and the fact that it's plausible helps to sink you deeper into this rabbit hole. One of my biggest gripes herein is that you can kinda get a feel for when it's about to end. It's not too predictable (though you think it is), just that you get the feeling that you're nearing the end when you really are. But that story though! Man, it's mind-blowing, no, not mind-blowing as anything can just blow your mind, more like mind-BLASTING!
If you like games with deep and rich storytelling, if you're a sci-fi fan, or even if you like enjoyable games, then you owe it to yourself to get this title. It's a year later and it has seen some amazing price drops. Better yet, get yourself the Complete Edition as this will include The Frozen Wilds DLC.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to start a new game plus (NG+) run of this masterpiece and to delve deeper into the story by playing the DLC section. Hell, I'm only 70 odd hours in, what's another 100?
If you own a PS4 and have not played this game, what the hell is wrong with you?