In each edition of So I Tried… we jump into a game that we have never tried and see what we find. Will it be something new to love? Something new to despise? Giving the title just under an hour to see if it is the game for me no matter how bad it may be. In my continuing fashion of being late to all the major videogame releases, I sat down with Horizon Zero Dawn on PlayStation 4 and saw what it had to offer.
What I thought it was
Though I’d never played it I had seen a lot of the title over the past two years. After all, it did release in February 2017 with The Frozen Wilds expansion releasing in November of the same year. Set in a world full of machines that need to be hunted and their parts crafted into weapons and armour, my impression of the title was a more action driven Monster Hunter experience. With a rich and detailed world to explore, characters to meet, and plenty of mysteries to uncover, I went into Horizon Zero Dawn with no real expressions other than curiosity.
What it actually is
Turns out Horizon Zero Dawn is an action role-playing title that is right up my street. Set in arguably one of the most beautiful and detailed worlds in a videogame this generation, the game is engaging as much as it is whimsical. You play as Aloy, whose name I’m sure is meant to be a play on the word alloy, and begin a grand adventure into the unknown to uncover the long buried mysteries of the old world.
What starts as a charming coming of age story quickly developers into a more mature story about revenge, self-discovery, and honour. It’s funny and lighthearted, but delivers on the emotional strings that ensure you are engaged from the very beginning, and caring about the world and its characters.
As for the gameplay, it’s fast-paced, responsive and a lot of fun. Taking the time to lay down traps and lead your prey into them is rewarding, but so is just going in all arrows blazing. There is no right or wrong way to hunt or complete your tasks in Horizon Zero Dawn. The game gives you tools and opportunities to experiment with them, and that helps keep the open world fresh and interesting. When you find your rhythm though it almost becomes a relaxing experience when you perform a flawless hunt. Needless to say, the moment-to-moment enjoyment of the title is huge and makes it a worthwhile visit.
Will I keep playing
Definitely! As I picked up the version that comes with The Frozen Wilds expansion, I have something like 40-50 hours of content to enjoy. The world is interesting and detailed, the gameplay is fun and rewarding, and the photo mode is amazing. What more could I ask for? If you haven’t played Horizon Zero Dawn yet I highly recommend it.