I don't know how many of you gamers have taken the time to play this, but if you haven't yet, you are totally missing out! This beautiful RPG offers a one of a kind experience and a truly unforgettable story. Every waking moment playing this game really is worth it. Whether you are pulling an all-nighter or you only have time to squeeze in an hour of play time, you won't be disappointed.
Horizon Zero Dawn takes place in the distant future where robots have taken over. But when I say taken over, it's not in the way you would think. These aren't artificial intelligence robots who look like humans and want to enslave the entire human race because they are tired of being our servants. These robots are based on wild animals ranging from the common deer to monstrous metal dinosaurs. And you would think that mankind with all their advanced technology would just be able to wipe them out and put a stop to the free-roaming machines. But here's the catch; mankind is living in tribal times, surviving using spears, clubs, and the very effective bow and arrow.
You play the game as Aloy, a fiery red-headed girl who wants some answers and will stop at nothing until she gets them. She is a strong female lead with a passion for proving she can do the impossible. You start the game at young age, not knowing much of your past. Why are the robots running themselves? Who are your parents? Why is mankind fearful of the robot enemy? What led to the fall of mankind? All these questions fuel Aloy on her adventure and make her strive for greatness.
Horizon Zero Dawn offers many different ways to approach the game. Most of the time, you can choose to be stealthy and sneak past your enemy. Being stealthy presents many opportunities to attack your enemies from the shadows and make a clean getaway. But if you wanted to, you could always run in head first, firing your bow with lethal precision, and choosing to ask questions later.
In terms of weapon choice, there isn't much outside of the bow and arrow. Fortunately, you won't need much else. The bow is fully upgradable as well as the arrows themselves. You can choose to use the basic arrow, or swap for a more lethal option in the way of lighting your targets on fire. Or maybe you want an edge against the machine menace and you want to use the electric arrows to short circuit their systems. There's always a way to take down your enemy. A bonus to using the bow and arrow is everything is craftable right from your menu. It really helps to gather supplies along the way to any mission. Don't be afraid to venture off into the world to look for sticks and scavenge parts off of any robot that dares to cross your path.
Another feature of the gameplay that I personally enjoy is dialogue option. Anytime you choose to converse with an NPC, you are always given a bare minimum of three dialogue options, never more than six. This gives you the opportunity to really delve into someone's character, learn the origin of the area, or even try to get some insight on the task at hand. The best feature by far when it comes to in-game dialogue is emotion. From time to time, you will be given an opportunity for Aloy to choose a path. She can either be wise, quick-tempered, or merciful. It lets you build the type of character Aloy can be. For example, there is a scene where Aloy is 6-years-old and another kid throws a rock and hits her in the head, giving her a nasty cut. As he throws the next rock, Aloy catches it. You are then given three options. You can either throw the rock back and peg him in the head with it, drop the rock and show mercy, or throw it back and knock the next rock out of his hand. The diversity of the different choices sheds a light on character building that I wish we could see in most other RPG's.
Now I want to talk about craftables and purchasable items. Most of your ammunition for the bow can be crafted right out of your inventory. This also includes traps and healing items. Everything you'll need for these can be picked up from the grassy areas around you, or looted off of hostile robots after you've taken them down. Healing items and bombs are crafted from certain plants you can pick up and store along the way. And trust me, don't ever hesitate to pick up the healing plants. You will need plenty of them on this journey. Your actual equipment including your armor, bow, and spear can be bought at local markets inside the large villages. Armor upgrades are very important because the armor will offer unique abilities that may help you in combat. And last but not least you have your carrying capacity. This covers each type of ammo, consumables, and throwables. These can be upgraded by hunting the local wildlife. You'll need leather, skins, tusks, and pretty much anything from actual wildlife to upgrade your pouches and quiver.
Overall this game offers an amazing experience. The gameplay and graphics are damn near perfect and the story is truly unforgettable. The end of this game will leave you with your jaw on the floor and in an emotional state. You'll want to laugh, cry and be angry all at the same time. But it is worth every last penny. And I go as far to say that its replayability is pretty high as well. There's an option after you beat the game to start over, but you get to keep all your equipment, levels, and armor. But why start over? The map is so big and there are plenty of areas, caves, and underground mines for you to explore and unlock secrets and new enemies. It's almost as if the game never ends.
Overall rating: 9.5/10