While here at MGL we’d love to bring you our own thoughts on Horizon, we’re waiting on the release of the title on PlayStation 4 and PS4 Pro on March 1st here in the UK. But, as gamers ourselves we are super excited about this game and here we have our Horizon Zero Dawn review round up. Plus, (free bonus content alert!) we give you a full rundown of everything you need to know about the game including all the features, trophies to collect and videos you should take a look at.
And you should also take a look at our feature on the main character Aloy, Played By Ashly Burch!
New IPs are a tricky one and can end up not living to anyone’s expectations. But with Sony really pushing the marketing on this one and the embargo lifting so early (and just before most people’s pay days!) It’s safe to say they were confident on this one. Confidence that is proving well placed following reviews so far!
We’ve been awaiting this for some time so below there are some scores and comments on the game from a number of outlets with links to the full review for you. Down the page we also have lots of information, the trophy list and videos to watch here. Help out your fellow gamers and Share this on social media and if you are happy… or not, get commenting at the end of the article.
Review Round Up
Below are the reviews we’ve checked out so far, if the themes change we may add a few more perspectives later. The outlet from where the review comes from contains the link to the review if you prefer to read further. To make you get a sense of perspective they have been split into groups.
The Great Reviews
The significant majority of reviews are hitting around 90 or more on Metacritic at the moment with the game averaging 89 overall. These are some examples.
Outlet: Giant Bomb
Comments: From Jeff Gerstmann:
Horizon comes to a satisfying conclusion in a way that left me feeling like they should probably never make a sequel. It’s a near-perfect story that creates a world and also provides meaningful answers about said world.
Horizon: Zero Dawn is familiar but also really refreshing. It’s not a short game (I spent around 30 hours with it), but the storytelling still feels concise and efficient. The combat has some nice options that make encounters fun, even when you’re just stacking up stealth kills from the relative safety of a bush. And the presentation end of the game holds up its end of things with a solid soundtrack, great voice acting, and a cohesive design that makes all its disparate parts fit together. All in all, it’s a great game
Outlet: The Jimquisition
Comments: From Jim Sterling
… it’s a world I simply love being in. Not only is it gorgeous to look at, it’s packed full of interesting locations and the machine threat is as fascinating as it is intimidating.
Enemy AI isn’t always reliable, which might be my one real gripe about the game. Laying down traps is one thing, but sometimes robots just magically know where they are even if you’re undetected, and you’ll spend some frustrating time trying to convince them to walk near the bloody things.
Horizon: Zero Dawn is just brilliant. I speak as a critic who has played more “open sandbox” games than any one human should and has grown so very weary of them. I should have gotten sick of this thing in an hour, but I’ve been glued to it for days and days and I don’t want it to end. I love existing in this world
Comments: From Lucy O’Brian
Aloy’s personality helped me care about her journey on a more personal level. Nimbly voiced by Ashly Burch (known for her performance as Borderlands 2’s Tiny Tina), she’s a charming character to watch and play as because of the wry wit that tempers her big-hearted heroism; some of my favourite smaller moments came from Aloy’s sarcastic interactions with other characters who didn’t get the joke.
Across a vast and beautiful open world, Horizon Zero Dawn juggles many moving parts with polish and finesse. Its main activity – combat – is extremely satisfying thanks to the varied design and behaviors of machine-creatures that roam its lands, each of which needs to be taken down with careful consideration. Though side questing could have been more imaginative, its missions are compelling thanks to a central mystery that led me down a deep rabbit hole to a genuinely surprising – and moving – conclusion.
Comments: From Peter Brown
…combat–deservedly–owns the spotlight. The world’s intricately crafted environments teem with electric beasts and warfaring cultists, and the pronounced excitement of controlling Aloy in the midst of rampaging enemies is a near-constant thrill.
For every minor imperfection, there’s an element of greatness that recharges your desire to keep fighting and exploring Zero Dawn’s beautiful and perilous world. Guerilla Games has delivered one of the best open-world games of this generation, and redefined its team’s reputation in the process.
Middle Ground Reviews
If not in the above category, most of the rest fall here with little under 80.
Outlet: Gaming Trend
Comments: From Travis Northup
The narrative shows promise at the outset, as it establishes a compelling setting and sets up an exciting premise of our hero setting out to explore the world as an ambassador for the Nora tribe, determined to save her people. As the plot progresses, however, it becomes bogged down by the lengthy, Hydra-headed story of the world’s origins thousands of years ago.
Horizon Zero Dawn’s visual presentation is excellent, especially when it comes to the environment, and its robotic inhabitants. It’s less excellent when it comes to humans though, as many characters have a bizarre dead look in their eyes, and are animated unnaturally.
Outlet: Dark Station
Comments: From Joel Szerlip
A lot of the dialogue comes across as standard RPG fare and doesn’t add much to the overall narrative. I had to, on several occasions, remind myself what my goal/objective of this game was.
One of my biggest struggles with Horizon Zero Dawn is the entire menu system. In order to craft upgrades to your weapons and equipment, you have to navigate a cumbersome menu system that is absolutely atrocious at telling you what you have and what to do.
Horizon Zero Dawn is one of the best looking games I’ve played on my Playstation 4 Pro. The game is just downright stunning.There’s nothing about Horizon Zero Dawn that breaks out into its own unique experience. I absolutely loved this game. I think it’s a fantastic adventure full of amazing experiences to be had and fully recommend it to anyone who owns a Playstation 4
Comments: From Chris Carter
I’ve always liked Ashly Burch’s work, and she succeeds in giving Aloy a little bit more spark than the average voice actor… the rest of the cast falters. Not only do they sport bland designs, but they really don’t have a whole lot of interesting things to say, even when you exhaust all of the choices on the occasional dialogue wheel.
What makes it fun is that the machines are formidable. Several of them are huge, resembling Japanese style Zoids or Metal Gear robots, and they make for some great open world candid boss battles beyond the scripted critical path ones from the story.
Horizon Zero Dawn is a fascinating premise wrapped in a tortilla of tropes. It has detective vision, radio towers, skill trees, masked load screens, and a world map littered with billions of points of interest — all stuff you’ve seen before.
Only a few not so good reviews, so much I included a not so complimentary one 7/10. There is one stand out bad review of the game here too.
Comments: Steve Wright
Even with six years to refine its presentation, Guerrilla’s writing is quite sloppy, from bland character dialogue down to total contradictions.
For all the hype that’s been extended to Horizon: Zero Dawn, it hasn’t managed to fully deliver.
Once you see through its flash, Zero Dawn comes off a bit tired, rehashing concepts you’ve seen before. Its true failing is its everything but the kitchen sink mentality; if a little focus was applied, this would have been spectacular, not merely satisfactory. That’s said, let’s not mourn what could have been — just yet, anyway — and celebrate what is a decent groundwork for something bigger and better to come.
Outlet: US Gamer
Comments: From Caty McCarthy
Horizon Zero Dawn is a conglomerate of familiar RPG tasks, and fails to make any of them feel worthwhile; lacking the strong narrative to pull you through or differentiating hook to set the game apart from others in the genre.
The game’s beautiful, too. Arguably one of the best looking games on the PS4 to date. But all those positive feelings melt away once you enter another main mission, and you find yourself quickly roped into more claustrophobic corridors and arena battles, stripping the player of the freedom that makes the travel between locations feel so pleasant.
Horizon Zero Dawn is disappointing. It has a story that I struggled to care about, a bland protagonist, and overtly repetitive and constraining missions that worked against its open world sensibilities.
All About Horizon Zero Dawn Details
Horizon Zero Dawn is an exhilarating new action role playing game, developed by the award winning Guerrilla Games, creators of PlayStation’s acclaimed Killzone franchise, exclusively for PlayStation 4.
As Horizon Zero Dawn’s main protagonist Aloy, a skilled hunter, explore a vibrant and lush world inhabited by mysterious mechanized creatures. Embark on a compelling, emotional journey and unravel mysteries of tribal societies, ancient artefacts and advanced technologies that will determine the fate of this planet, and of life itself.
- A Lush Post-Apocalyptic World – 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.
- Nature and Machines Collide – Horizon Zero Dawn juxtaposes two contrasting elements, taking a vibrant world rich with beautiful nature and filling it with awe-inspiring highly advanced technology. This marriage creates a dynamic combination for both exploration and gameplay.
- Defy Overwhelming Odds – The foundation of combat in Horizon Zero Dawn is built upon the speed and cunning of Aloy versus the raw strength and size of the machines. In order to overcome a much larger and technologically superior enemy, Aloy must use every ounce of her knowledge, intelligence, and agility to survive each encounter.
- Cutting Edge Open World Tech – Stunningly detailed forests, imposing mountains, and atmospheric ruins of a bygone civilization meld together in a landscape that is alive with changing weather systems and a full day/night cycle.
Launch Build Up Video Series
Over the past week or so the PlayStation YouTube has been alive with a series of videos that showcase the world and the game’s features. See them below.
The Robot Monsters
Additionally we had some details revealed on the robot monsters you’ll see roaming the wilds of this land. Check the videos and information below.
The combat-class Thunderjaw is one of the deadliest machines encountered in Horizon Zero Dawn. A formidable beast equipped with cannons, disc launchers and a mouth laser, its powerful ranged attacks will quickly cut down any hunter foolish enough to alert it. Space permitting, it can also unleash with a devastating range of melee attacks such as charges and tail swipes.
An acquisition-class machine, the Snapmaw is frequently found basking in or near bodies of water, where it gathers valuable minerals from the sediment. It can move with surprising ferocity when alerted, lashing out with an array of melee attacks that include powerful lunge bites and tail swipes. For ranged attacks, it fires off cryo mortars that freeze the target on impact.
Soaring through the sky at high altitude, the fearsome Stormbird is a combat-class machine that can swoop down and attack its prey with tremendous force. It is just as dangerous on land as it is in the air, with a variety of swift and powerful attacks that range from wing blasts to claw slashes. Its enormous metal wings are capable of collecting and discharging the electricity in the air.
The Behemoth is a huge, rugged transport-class machine that uses anti-gravity technology to transfer precious cargo from smaller acquisition-class machines into its stomach container. When provoked, it may charge at the enemy or use its anti-gravity unit to hurl heavy objects. It is also equipped with a set of grinding drills that allow it to grind and propel rock projectiles.
- Earned a blazing sun mark in all trials at all hunting grounds
- Scaled all of the Tallnecks
- Took back all settlements from bandit clans
- Reached the core of every cauldron and accessed its info
- Earned at least a half sun mark in all trials at all hunting grounds
- Killed all the corrupted machines in every captured zone
- Killed 3 enemies using strike from above skill
- Detached 10 components from machines during combat
- Killed 10 machines weak to fire while burning, or weak to freeze while frozen
- Detach 5 heavy weapons from machines during combat
- Unlocked and used the overrides for 7 different types of machine
- Kill 30 humans by landing headshots
- Found and knocked over all of the gazer training dummies in the Nora region
- Killed at least one of every type of acquisition machine
- Killed at least one of every type of reconnaissance machine
- Killed at least one of every type of combat machine
- Killed at least one of every type of transport machine
- Reach Level 10
- Reach Level 25
- Reach Level 40
- Reach Level 50
- Learned all skills
- Took back a settlement from a bandit clan
- Reach the core of a cauldron and accessed its info
- Earned at least a Half Sun mark in all three trials at one hunting ground
- Earned a Blazing Sun mark in all three trials at one hunting ground
- Scaled a Tallneck
- Encounter and focus scanned every type of machine
- Found and accessed a vantage datapoint
- Discovered a strange metal flower
- Found a wooden effigy left by a banuk traveller
- Found and accessed all vantage datapoints
- Found all metal flowers
- Found all arnaks figures
- Found an ancient vessel
- Found all ancient vessels
- Given Aloy’s actions, all possible optional allies joined the defense
- 10 stealth kills on machines
- Used a weapon coil or modifiable
- Kill all the corrupted machines in a corrupted zone