Robot Dinosaurs scour a post-apocalyptic wasteland as Alloy searches for the secret to her origins and the origins of the world. Horizon: Zero Dawn is an action game with RPG elements that follows the story of a young woman named Alloy. The game follows Alloy as she uncovers the secrets of her past and learns of the truth about the world she lives in. This truth involves unraveling not only her place in prophecy but also her place in the world, who destroyed the world and who created this new one.
The story begins when a rival tribe attacks Alloy’s village. After her mentor dies in a scuffle Alloy is thrust on a quest of revenge and discovery. Along the way, Alloy must battle machines and humans alike as she overcomes various obstacles and completes challenges. The game offers a variety of locations, people, equipment, and enemies. Alloy was raised as an outcast of the Nora people, a nature goddess worshiping peoples and one of three tribes present in the post-apocalyptic wasteland. The other societies in the game are the Carja, a fiery sun-worshiping peoples and the Oseram, a hard-working smiting race.
Horizon also sports a variety of enemies. The main opponents over the course of the story are herds of robotic animals, some of them clearly dinosaurs, left over from after the apocalypse. There are more common animals like rams, bulls, deer, and a kind of cow/horse hybrid. However, there are also Tyrannosaurus Rexs, Sabretooths, Brontosaurus’, Pterodactyls, Alligators and two different types of jungle cats. The game also includes a variety of gear to help you hunt these robotic monsters. Alloy is equipped with three different bows. The first, the hunting bow, is a fast-all-purpose weapon for hunting game and killing bandits. The second, the precision bow, is a high-power bow for larger animals and machines. The last bow, the war bow, holds special arrows designed to target enemies’ specific weaknesses.
Since the game also demands you exploit those weaknesses to kill certain machines several traps and specialty ammos are also used frequently when hunting. There are standard explosive traps and shock traps which leave certain machines twitching and vulnerable for attack. There are also trip-wires, tie-downs, and a very versatile sling shot. All the specialty weapons in the game inflict a different type of damage, to exploit a different type of machine. The stand-out aspect of the game is the combat system. Fighting any of the various opponents in the game never becomes stale or boring. Instead the precision combat systems reward skill and practice. Only after spending hours with the game does farming materials become easy and larger opponents can kill Alloy easily regardless of her level.
Alloy as a character stands out in a market full of one-dimensional heroes. For one, the developer’s choice to go with a female protagonist allows the game to have a larger emotional range. Secondly, Alloy’s complicated past provides a lot of interesting exposition instead of boring backstory. Lastly, Alloy is no less formidable a fighter because her character design is female. The game boast a hefty, engaging and challenging main story line as well as a full side story. The game also offers a litany of errand s and small side missions. In addition to story based activates there are hunting lodges, corrupted zones, and bandit camps each offering a unique action based challenge. Overall, Horizon: Zero Dawn is a great role playing game for anyone looking for a more action based experience.