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Thread: Horizon Zero Dawn

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland

    Horizon Zero Dawn

    Are any of the TTLGers stepping out on their PCs with the PS4 game Horizon Zero Dawn? Technically it's one of the most stunning games I've played, and while I generally prefer virtual cities to virtual wilderness (I think there are cities later in the game, but I'm not there yet) HZD is also beautiful artistically. It's not dissimilar to the usual Ubisoft open world, but it's considerably more subtle about it, hiding its Skinner Box much better than even the best Ubisoft games.



    At the same time, as much of a marvel this game is, I can't say I love it, at least not yet. I'm enjoying it, but there's something overly earnest and overly YA about the characters, world and story. It comes across as too heavy-handed, and I wish there were characters that didn't take themselves so damn serious.

    Also, I have to admit that I suck at the game. I'm okay when it comes to hiding in high grass, luring machine animals to where I am and killing them stealthily, but as soon as I'm supposed to take down one of the bigger, more dangerous machines, I flail about the place, get hit way more often than I should, and usually just about manage before running out of arrows and health.

    Anyway, is anyone else playing this? If so, what do you think of the game? Any tips for this outcast amateur?

  2. #2
    Moderator
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Australia
    This has been on my radar for a couple of months now but I haven't really got the appetite to heavily invest in another vast open-world game at the moment (I'm still juggling a few unfinished ones as it is). I've found that with open-world games the various systems really have to be fun and sophisticated enough to motivate me to stick with it, particularly if the story and characters aren't enough on their own to sustain my commitment. On that note, what's the combat and gameplay like? I must admit that seeing those slow-mo's of the player shooting beasts with her bow and arrow reminds me uncomfortably of the bear battle in Rise of the TR, one of my least favourite parts of that game.
    Last edited by twisty; 1st May 2017 at 01:03.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Combat is really the main gameplay loop, which may be one of the reasons why I'm a bit lukewarm on the game. The combat's definitely varied, but I'm not particularly good at it yet and can't necessarily judge whether it'd appeal to more combat-eager players, and on the whole I prefer games that focus more on traversal.

  4. #4
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland

    Yeah, so...

    I started playing this a few weeks ago as well, but I've just been dipping into it for short sessions recently. I agree with pretty much everything Thirith said. It's very pretty, but it's not really holding my interest. The open world is wayyy too packed with stuff, feels like you can't walk 50 meters without some dramatic event happening, could've done with more down-time. The stealth is not great, certainly does not live up to that in Mordor or FC3/4. The combat is occasionally brilliant though, at least when fighting humans. When fighting the robo-dinos it's often just annoying.

    And the characters and story are just bleh. I think the biggest offender is the main character, Aloy, herself. She's just every generic hero trope packed into one character, and for someone who supposedly grew up in the wilderness, cut off from civilization she is way too well spoken, quick-witted and emotionally intelligent. It would've been both more plausible and interesting if the main character was someone more like Brienne from Game of Thrones, who is not the sharpest tool in the shed, but an amazing warrior. Brienne has clear flaws and strengths, and that makes her interesting. What flaws does Aloy have? That she's almost too pretty?

    I don't know. Maybe it's not just Horizon, feels like every AAA action game I've played this year has ended up feeling underwhelming. Gravity Rush 2 got left unfinished. I barely made a dent in Ghost Recon Wildlands and Just Cause 3. While the things that have engrossed me the most have been Shadow Tactics, Strafe, Rain World and Hollow Knight. And I'm not saying that to be some kinda cool gaming hipster either. Clearly I keep buying these AAA action games because I expect and really want to enjoy them, but somehow they're just not doing it for me recently.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    It improves over time. I agree with your criticism, and I still find Aloy bland - the type is done competently enough, but it's not a type I find very interesting - but the better I got at the game's systems the more I enjoyed it. Also, IMO it improves quite a bit if you remove most of the HUD or at least make it appear and disappear dynamically. It still feels like a 7/10 game with 11/10 presentation, but it's definitely not bad.

    I didn't know you'd bought Ghost Recon Wildlands! Did you play it on your own? I still think it might make for a good coop game (if the connection problems we had with the beta have been solved, that is), but it'll have to come down in price a lot before I'll buy it.

  6. #6
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Alright, I'm not gonna give up on it yet. Will keep going a bit further.

    I got Wildlands with my graphics card, and yeah I'd definitely be up for some co-opping at some point.

  7. #7
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Ok, I turned down the difficulty from Hard to Normal, and it's finally happening, Horizon Zero Dawn is clicking with me. Currently doing quests for the people of Meridian.

    Also enjoying the Photo Mode.












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