Horizon: Zero Dawn

A couple years ago when Horizon Zero Dawn came out for PS4 I was very interested in it, but I never actually bought it… not sure why. I wish I could say like the rest of the world I got stuck into Breath of the Wild instead, but that wasn’t it either (I still haven’t played that). Then not long ago they announced a port of HZD to the PC, but I didn’t want to pay full price for an old game, and I was not exactly hurting for things to play so I stuck it on my wishlist and forgot about it.

Last weekend, I got an email that it was on sale for 50% off, so I bought it, and by Saturday morning it was installed. I finished the main quest last night, and I really enjoyed this game. I started out playing it with the PS4 controller - “as intended”, but also figuring that I would probably spend some time playing it on the Steam Link as well - but a couple days in I switched to the mouse+keyboard instead and liked that a lot more (though the close combat stuff got a bit clumsy at first with it due to dodge being on the left ctrl key).

Yeah, I liked the game - I had shit I wanted to do last weekend and accomplished exactly none of it, clocking in 21 hours by the time Sunday night rolled around. In fact, I liked the game so much I opted to start NG+ on “ultra hard” difficulty to potentially get all the achievements for it, though I’m not sure whether I’ll have the energy to actually go through and finish that. I do also have the DLC to go through as well, maybe I should start on that.

Complaints? Sure, I’ve got a few… my gaming desktop plays the game in silky 1440p, spending the vast majority of the time north of 120FPS, but some of the cut scenes for some reason render at 30FPS which is really jarring.

Then there’s the fact that the difficulty’s weird… not to get all “masturbatory gamer” on here but with the difficulty set to normal I found the game incredibly easy, dying maybe twice when I got overly cocky - on NG+ I’m having a lot better time. I also found it really handholdy: Aloy will often speak a voice line giving a hint of a puzzle before one’s even in sight, the GPS practically tells you exactly where to go in almost all cases, and the jumping puzzles to climb up cliffs might as well have neon signs telling you the path.

I am quite sure that during testing, someone went “I got lost and it was super frustrating” and the developers went “well we can’t have that” and went overboard in the other direction, because it seems like they built this massive, beautiful world and were shit-scared you’d spend longer than 10 seconds lost in it.

These are all silly complaints of course, because I later learned… after finishing it the first time, that I could have set the difficulty higher at any point, and I could have turned off a lot of the GPS helper stuff to make it a little more adventurey. That’s on me, I guess, for not looking before I got too far into it.

But yeah, I really enjoyed it and don’t regret spending ~$35AUD on it whatsoever. Hopefully Sony port more games to the PC, including the sequel.

Update: 2022-06-04: I finished NG+ on Ultra Hard today for the achievement, and hunted a few more. I am not sure if I have the energy to 100% it on everything, but yeah, no regrets at all on buying this!

Horsham, VIC, Australia fwaggle



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Horsham, VIC, Australia

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