A new IP has been a long time coming for Guerilla Games, who have been working on Killzone since they started working for Sony. Not that Killzone’s a bad game, but it’s quite clear that Sony wanted a Halo-equivalent game to put under their belts so essentially pushed the studio towards that IP rather than letting them have free reign over what it wanted to do. However, it’s a new dawn and Guerilla have now released Horizon: Zero Dawn, which I can honestly say, is one of the most exciting new IPs on PlayStation, and you only need to play it to see why.
You play as Aloy, a young girl who has been outcast from her tribe for unknown reasons, and is brought up in the wilds by another outcast. She doesn’t know who this man is, but he is not her father, yet he teaches her how to survive in this strange world filled with mechanical monsters. You start the game playing as the infant Aloy and then skip a large portion of her life and continue in her adult life where she is half-accepted into the Nora tribe that she was outcast from, but must prove herself before she is made into a “brave”.
Horizon: Zero Dawn looks beautiful, the lush environments especially are very well designed, and the open world is successfully imagined by Guerilla. The game feels a little like The Witcher 3 in terms of the camera placement behind Aloy. The characters themselves also look good, but there facial expressions feel a little wooden at times. One thing that is a little annoying, but forgiveable due to the scale of this game, is that there is quite a lot of clipping with characters’ hair and clothes, and there is some pop-in here and there. However, this is an open world game with no loading screens other than the initial load or if you fast travel, so it isn’t too much of an issue in the grand scheme of things.
This is an action adventure game, with a lot of RPG elements. It’s clear that Guerilla have taken a lot of ideas from games like Far Cry 3, as there are crafting and hunting elements, as well as getting to specific points to unveil things on the map. There are a lot of side-quests that you can start by talking to NPCs here and there, and a lot of people you can talk to, to just get a bit more information on the lore of the world. Aloy gains experience and levels up with everything she does, and you can unlock new skills with the points that you earn. You play most of the game with a bow and spear like weapons, and you can buy or pick up upgrades or new weapons as well.