The story of “Horizon Zero Dawn” is about a young girl by the name of Aloy. In this world, humankind has been split into small tribes: The Nora, the Carja, and the Oseram. Humankind has dwindled to the brink of extinction, and has been bumped back into a somewhat primitive era, to where there is no guns, only spears, bows, and arrows; but the unusual thing is that there are wild, animalistic machines that prowl the wilds of the land and have been known to hunt humans.
In “Horizon Zero Dawn,” players take on the role of a girl named Aloy, who is an outcast in her tribe because she was found without a mother. Aloy is trained and raised by another outcast, Rost; and when she was younger she fell in a cavern and found what her people call “A Cave of the Metal World.” Here, she finds the bodies of people from hundreds of years ago and a device on the side of one of the corpses, called a Focus, which allows her to look at life in a new aspect: seeing the weaknesses of machines, viewing hidden messages, and even tracking people based on a number of sources.
As Aloy grows up, she wishes to know more about her past and who she really is. She discovers that the High Matriarchs of her tribe know more about her past; but as an outcast she is forbidden to interact with them in any way. So the only way she can become a full member of her tribe and be able to talk with the Matriarchs is by winning a trial her people call “The Proving.” During the event, Aloy and the other members running The Proving are attacked by a mysterious group, who possess focuses like Aloy. Aloy is the sole survivor of the attack and immediately goes to the Matriarchs with questions; they have no answers, so Aloy is appointed a “Seeker” and is able to go to all areas with no consequences, meaning she can go outside the sacred lands, dwell into the Caves of the Metal World, and etc. Aloy sets out to find out who she is, why these people attacked her, and what the truth really is about the world she knows.
“Horizon Zero Dawn” is a third person shooter adventure game. In this game, stealth is the player’s greatest ally; all the machines in the game are based off of an animal and have different qualities to them that make them harder to kill and more dangerous to cross paths with. There are machines, such as Watchers, that are smaller but faster and usually travel in packs; and there are much larger machines, such as Thunderjaws, which are slower but much more combat ready. Currency in this game is Metal Shards, which can be taken from destroyed machines, defeated enemies, and supply crates. But Metal Shards are not the only thing players need to focus on collecting, players must collect parts from machines, animal skins, and even plants for healing and creating potions.
In “Horizon Zero Dawn,” the player’s outfit matters as well; some help with stealth, resisting certain elements, and increasing defense against certain attacks. There is also a skill tree that can help Aloy in a number of different ways, a number of weapons that hold different ammo with different advantages. But just like any great game, it is all about how the player utilizes these objects with the information they collect that make the true experience of the game. On the flip side, this game does have certain spots that seem tedious and difficult to figure out. There are a few graphical errors during the cut scenes and areas of dialog. But with that being said, this game is certainly a must play of the year; it is for sale now on PlayStation 4, and it is a PlayStation exclusive game, for $59.99 plus tax. “Horizon Zero Dawn” has an amazing storyline and gets a rating of 4.2/5.