Horizon Zero Dawn, some frustrating design, but still enjoyable

  • I just beat it, while I enjoyed it, there were some things that really bugged me, but has the foundation for a great series

    I will say that I dont think Im very good at this game/patient enough to get the most out of the game

    My biggest issues

    • Weapons/ammo choices, just way too many, can't fit them all on the weapon wheel, despite there being 3 different bows that have different ammo type, a trip caster, a ropecaster and two different types of bomb slings....not including the shotgun thing I never used. Either needed a bigger wheel or less ammo types, or an easier way to swap loadouts

    • Fighting humans was boring, very easy, and Id just turn the difficulty down and slaughter them instead of picking them off one by one with head shots or stealth attacks as that takes so long and doesnt feel rewarding

    • Leveling up only appears to be more HP and not getting stronger and tougher

    • I know you're suppose to avoid a lot of battles, but when I'd get caught up in a big battle with lots of enemies, it usually wasnt fun and I would end up getting overwhelmed, though perhaps I should have used rope caster more for crowd control

    • Maybe I just didnt have the right ammo down, but it felt like even hitting with an enemies weak element it would take a lot of hits to get it to go down, perhaps I just am not good enough at aiming or didnt figure out the optimum strategy for the heat of the battle

    • Most characters were blah and the sidequests were just boring fetch quests

    Last 3 are more nitpicks

    • Climbing was sometimes hit or miss as it wasnt always easy to tell what you could climb on and some rocks that look like they should be climb able arent and sometimes I just end up doing my best Elder Scrolls and jump up the sides of mountains

    • Tutorial missions had to be equipped to progress, wish it would progress in the background

    • Scanning enemies, it would have been nice to be able to cycle through weak points without having to move the cursor or go the pause menu

    What I did like

    • I enjoyed the overall story, found it interesting, did like Aloy, Sylens, and Elisabet and to a lesser extent Erend.

    • The world is beautiful, though didnt feel much reward for exploring, but loved how it just looked....even at night it felt alien at times

    • Big one on one (or two on one) encounters are fun, felt kind of like Shadow of the Colossus, loved being able to make a plan and set traps and then spring into action

    • Controls and combat were fun overall

    For me overall its a B, it has as the foundation of a great series or game, but needs some tweaks IMO. Fast access to more weapons/ammo type would be my first change....nothing sucks momentum and fun like having to pause and add weapons to the weapon wheel. I ended up playing between 3 difficulties to maximize my fun....just put it on Story for big human encounters (just because those were boring), easy for big group battles (more than 3 machines) and for smaller battles kept it on normal and even sometimes changed difficulty mid battle if I slayed all the smaller minions and wanted to face the big one on normal. Had I not, I would have put the game down as different situations I wanted to handle different ways and didnt want to be stuck in the stealth and lure as that just took too long and really wasnt fun after awhile. If I was to do it over again, I probably would use rope caster more for crowd control, but alas I did not, but still enjoyed it

    Anyone else have mixed feelings about this game which got great reviews?

  • I just played and finished it last november. For me it was a really good game with a lot of small(ish) problems, but no GOTY contender. Probably a 4/5. I made the mistake to get the Platinum trophy and this occasionally burned me out and made me do frustrating things like the huntings camps that just weren't fun.

    I played 80% of the game on Hard but for the last 20% I just caved in and put it on Easy because it just got frustrating. My biggest gripes were that combat against one machine enemy was pretty great but once you fight against more than two or even two big ones the combat got really annoying and basically broke apart.

    Another problem was the world that felt really empty and meaningless and I would have prefered if the game tried to be more of an RPG. For my taste it was "too much Far Cry" (as in: too much action game).

    Though I really liked the vibes of the world and it reminded me of a nice mixture between Far Cry, Gothic and Fallout. If done right a successor could be stellar.

  • I played this when it first came out, I loved it tbh. I'm not that great of a gamer but I like a challenge. I usually don't have a lot of time to game so if something is too hard or too finicky to get good at then I put it down fairly quickly. I don't remember that happening with this game. I do love me some stealth and slower paced games so I probably didn't mind playing it more strategically. The main thing that got me with this game was those codecs and little hidden story elements... The one about that kid, oh man that killed me. I actually thought that was a better story than the main one. Just the way it was told and how it was spread out over different areas you travelled to, I loved that part.

  • Banned

    One of my favorite games from a world building perspective. Learning about the old world and what happened to it was such an amazing experience that not many other games have given me. The way it is all presented, through the "vistas", codecs and various bits of lore you find... Oh man, I wish I could just erase the game from my memory and experience it all over again.
    Also one of the only games I played through on the hardest difficulty from the inset. Just gives the encounters with enemies so much more tension.
    Top 5 of this gen for me easily.

  • It was a very middle of the road game to be honest. The combat was alright, but the world was unnecessarily large and the story and main character were extremely weak

  • Not me, i absolutely loved it. I especially enjoyed the combat, all the encounters with the machines are intense and challenging, and it only gets harder with time, even as your skills are improving. It's honestly one of the biggest reasons i platinumed it, it's so much fun to just explore the world since there's always a new encounter to be had, one way or another. I actually collected all the extra stuff essential for the Platinum before i even got to the first main story mission in Meridian, and by the time the main story was finished it was only a few small steps from the Platinum trophy. By the time i came back to do the main story i already equipped myself with all sorts of knowledge and gadgets to use in encounters, and boy it's so satisfying to just completely crush all the enemies in the main story.

    The open world is absolutely beautiful, and there's a good amount of things to do in it. Although the open world structure a bit too formulaic, i can understand that since it's Guerrillas' first open world game.

    The biggest problem i had with the game are the side quests, they're absolutely boring and unmemorable. Also, the main plot of how it all happened is fantastic, but the things that are happening in the present are no match for it, i hardly even remember the characters other than Aloy. Despite that, the main plot is just so strong that i'm okay with all of the other parts' flaws.

    It's completely deserving of glowing reviews for the combat alone, IMO. I'll be back to play the Frozen Wilds DLC soon, so excited for that.