Games of the Year

Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn Screenshot 1
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Horizon Zero Dawn is an action role-playing game developed by Guerrilla Games and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. The plot follows Aloy, a hunter in a world overrun by machines, who sets out to uncover her past. The player uses ranged weapons, a spear, and stealth to combat mechanised creatures and loot their remains. A skill tree provides the player with new abilities and bonuses. The player can explore the open world to discover side quests. How have machines dominated this world, and what is their purpose? What happened to the civilization here before? Scour every corner of a realm filled with ancient relics and mysterious buildings in order to uncover your past and unearth the many secrets of a forgotten land.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous

Enjoyed the atmosphere. Love everything melee/bow related, while also in sci-fi setting.

The plot is as well cool, both side quests and main story are deep enough to keep on exploring after some time into game.

Haters gonna hate, but Horizon Zero Dawn is really great because of a fresh sci-fi story. This mystery around the world full of robo-dinosaurs, no it doesn't look stupid. You really get into it, and actually it turns out to be logical. Kind of a Sci-fi Witcher for me. The gameplay was also fresh - difficult enough combat, with melee and bows.

Review from Steam

Came for the story, stayed for the scenery. Very good game, can't wait for forbidden west to come to PC,

Review from Steam

I'm glad Sony discovered the existence of PCs

Review from Steam

Zero Dawn is a game I would love to forget. Only in doing so, I would be able to relive the truly wonderful experience I gained from playing this addicting masterpiece.

Review from Steam

The sun came up over a mountain as I was looking up to scout out some glinthawks. I literally raised my hand to my forehead in real life in an attempt to block the sun's rays. That's how immersive this game is. Or how dumb I am. Either way, you should buy this game. One of my favorite single-player open-world experiences ever.

Review from Steam

---{ Graphics }---
☑ You forget what reality is
☐ Beautiful
☐ Good
☐ Decent
☐ Bad
☐ Don‘t look too long at it
☐ MS-DOS
---{ Gameplay }---
☐ Very good
☑ Good
☐ It's just gameplay
☐ Mehh
☐ Watch paint dry instead
☐ Just don't
---{ Audio }---
☐ Eargasm
☑ Very good
☐ Good
☐ Not too bad
☐ Bad
☐ I'm now deaf
---{ Audience }---
☐ Kids
☑ Teens
☑ Adults
☐ Grandma
---{ PC Requirements }---
☐ Check if you can run paint
☐ Potato
☐ Decent
☐ Fast
☑ Rich boi
☐ Ask NASA if they have a spare computer
---{ Difficulty }---
☐ Just press 'W'
☐ Easy
☐ Easy to learn / Hard to master
☑ Significant brain usage
☐ Difficult
☐ Dark Souls
---{ Grind }---
☐ Nothing to grind
☐ Only if u care about leaderboards/ranks
☐ Isn't necessary to progress
☑ Average grind level
☐ Too much grind
☐ You'll need a second live for grinding
---{ Story }---
☐ No Story
☐ Some lore
☐ Average
☐ Good
☑ Lovely
☐ It'll replace your life
---{ Game Time }---
☐ Long enough for a cup of coffee
☐ Short
☐ Average
☑ Long
☐ To infinity and beyond
---{ Price }---
☐ It's free!
☑ Worth the price
☐ If it's on sale
☐ If u have some spare money left
☐ Not recommended
☐ You could also just burn your money
---{ Bugs }---
☐ Never heard of
☑ Minor bugs
☐ Can get annoying
☐ ARK: Survival Evolved
☐ The game itself is a big terrarium for bugs
---{ ? / 10 }---
☐ 1
☐ 2
☐ 3
☐ 4
☐ 5
☐ 6
☐ 7
☐ 8
☑ 9
☐ 10

Review from Steam

I need to preface this review by noting that I am an adventure/puzzle gamer and avoid titles with combat. I also rarely play RPGs (although I played them frequently 'back in the day.'). So, HZD was a big step outside of my comfort zone.
I fell in love with the game within the first few minutes. You play Aloe (from a 3rd person perspective), a remarkable woman warrior who is an outcast from her tribe. You build skills, harvest resources, obtain weapons/armor, craft potions and ammo, gather collectibles, run errands, and do quests (side quests and the main story-line). The world is post apocalyptic with killer machines patrolling the landscape. Humans try to survive in a primitive culture.
The art is beautiful and the voice overs and overall sound track are exceptional. There is enough to see and do that I can play for hours (and hours) and always have a new experience to find. The world is truly 'open' and the map is vast, with settlements, ruins, vistas, and a host of mechanical creatures. A quick travel feature allows you to jump to points previously visited and you can save (as often as you like) at any campfire you have activated.
Since I am an admitted wuss at combat, I am playing with the difficulty set to 'Easy.' This means that I stand a chance of survival and can reap the full benefits of the game without constantly screaming in frustration. For me, however, the game is still challenging and requires stealth, strategy, and perfect execution of my plans. In HZD, brute force (charging into the fray) is not very effective and wastes a lot of resources.
The game has an intuitive interface and, although there are quite a few hot keys, most of the interface can be accessed through a single screen (map, inventory, crafting, quests, and notebook). The notebook is invaluable as you catalog the machines you've encountered and it provides an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of each. For me, playing with a keyboard and mouse is most effective. The interface assists you by noting quest tasks, locations, etc. This may seem like hand-holding to some, but it is a nice feature to keep me on track.
My approach has been to initially invest in building XP, skills, and weapons/armor before moving to the main story quest. This requires gathering collectibles (which can be sold), doing lower level errands/side quests, and generally improving my character. I focused on building my health capacity and obtaining stealth skills/armor - two areas quite helpful to an adventurer. Although I am normally a completionist, I am not even thinking about Steam achievements at this phase of the game.
I highly recommend HZD to those who want to test the waters of a beautiful and engaging RPG with stealth/combat. There is no shame in playing with the 'Easy' setting if you are not a combat veteran. My only complaint is that HZD is very addictive. I keep returning to the game to do 'one more quest' and it is impacting my sleep schedule!

Review from Steam

Highly recommended for explorers who also enjoy a good story!
Beautiful and interesting world to explore. Characters are actually memorable - even ones that you only meet during small side quests. The stories and lore are intriguing and it's hard not to get emotionally invested when doing quests. The game has both made me shed a tear and laugh out loud. Combat is fun and varied - it's satisfying when you manage to take out a tough machine by utilizing the information you have about weakpoints and making use of your arsenal of different weapons and ammo. There are several different difficulties you can choose from and you can change it at any point (except in New Game +). If you want to just focus on the story and want combat to be easy then Story mode is great - for the most part you don't have to worry about hitting weakpoints on machines. You can take them down without. The higher the difficulty the more important it gets to be strategic about your attacks. I especially enjoyed the stealthy features of the game, but usually it's up to you how you handle each situation. I played through on story mode (since I expect to go for the Ultra Hard New Game + achievement, so nice to just focus on the story the first time around), so often taking the stealthy approach isn't technically needed - I just found it fun. :) But it's likely a much more needed strategy at times on higher difficulties - unless you enjoy being overrun and trampled by a herd of machines. :D
A thing I really love about the game is the mix of high action combat, stealth and more chill exploration. Even if there are many machines to take on, there are also plenty of areas in the world where you have room to just relax and enjoy the scenery. I love how well the character animations are done - not just on Aloy (the character you play), but also on all the different characters that you interact with. All dialogue is voice acted and the character animations actually follow what is said - both in speech and expressing emotions. When Aloy moves around in the world her animation changes depending on the terrain - whether she's sliding down a steep slope or hiking through deep snow and so on. It's just all very well made and all helps to increase the level of immersion while playing. Small details that all add up. :)
For achievement hunters it should be noted there's no "point of no return" - once you finish the main questline you'll load the last save before that quest and can then choose to finish up anything you might have missed or intentionally skipped. It will take 2 playthroughs to get all achievements though, since you can't access New Game + until you finish the game the first time. But the second playthrough should be much faster if you completed everything else the first time around. :)
Gorgeous scenery, intriguing story, fun combat, lots of collectibles and lore elements to find, great exploration including some parkour - what's not to like??? HZD is definitely in my Top 10 of favorite games.

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