Games of the Year

Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn Screenshot 1
Horizon Zero Dawn Screenshot 2
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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

Spoiler-free review.
Technical
Finally a console ported game worth buying on pc - in three playthroughs I've only run into two crashes and a couple of glitches here and there. The game's well polished and not the buggy mess, I've come to expect by now, when going for AAA games. I suppose it helps, that the game has been out on console for ages now and yes, also running top end hardware. Nevertheless I'm usually very sceptical when it comes to ported games. Hence: BRAVO.
Story
Complemented with the soundtrack and visuals, the story was absolutely breathtaking. Been a long time I invested emotionally into a game. Give them writers a raise :) Even on third playthrough I still had shivers running down my back on some scenes.
Gameplay
The (story) missions themselves are pretty linear, with some hidden side rooms, if you want to explore and get some background infos to the lore/history. The map is, after a first/short walled of segment, open. Side missions and objectives scattered all over the place. Its left up to the player, how he wants to deal with the world. You ain't forced into specific areas and not even forced to complete every side quest. Overall you can get around 80 hours of gameplay, if you want to collect all, listen to all datapoints and so on. If you just focus on the main-missions, I estimate it'll last 40+ hrs ez.
Price
Well worth the 60 bucks on pc.
Addendum
I don't expect Sony's gonna read this, but just in case: This game was one of my favorite games this year. I'd even hand over more of my hard earned $$$ for quality products like this. I will not buy a console however, just to get access to exclusive games - even if they all as good as this one (looking at you there "God of War" or "The Last of us"). So why don't you do us all, and frankly yourself, the favor and learn from this - ease up on exclusives and seize the potential cash cow that is pc gamers ;)
Cheerio
PO3T

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!

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