BySimon Rune Knudsen, writer at
A tryhard person enthusiastic about dad rock and weird beers.
Simon Rune Knudsen

If you're reading this then you're likely already familiar with Horizon Zero Dawn, Guerrilla Games' massively hyped PlayStation 4 game that's due out on February 28. Reviews for the title are emerging and they're looking really, really positive.

But before we dive into the critical details, let's just recap what kind of game is. We play as Aloy, a hunter living in a version of Earth that's overrun by primordially inspired robots. The story takes place in a distant future, and Aloy, who's lived a sheltered life until now, sets out to discover what lies beyond the cloistered existence within her tribe.

The result is an open world action roleplaying game, where a rewarding combat system allows for epic battles against mechanized dinosaur-like creatures. All the while crafting, skill trees and a rousing story ensures a strong sense of character development and excitement throughout the game.

The Best PS4 Exclusive Since Uncharted 4

[Credit: Guerilla Games]
[Credit: Guerilla Games]

It seems like the story, graphics, combat system and world building are all subject to praise, while the only mechanic that seems to be consistently bashed is the crafting system.

At the time of writing, the game is sitting with a comfortable 89 out of a 100 score on Metacritic, which is more than any other major PS4 exclusive title since Uncharted 4: A Thief's End's release on May 10, 2016.

Let's take a closer look at what some of the media are saying about Horizon Zero Dawn.

The Story Is Surprisingly Well Told

Perhaps people didn't expect much from the storytelling and narrative of Horizon Zero Dawn since it's a brand new franchise, but when you read through the current reviews it's one of the aspects of the game that receives the most praise. Here's some quotes from the current reviews:

Playstation Universe, 9.5/10 rating:

Horizon Zero Dawn reinvigorates open-world RPGs with an excellent story, creative science fiction, and demanding gameplay.

IGN, 9.3/10 rating:

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.

Giantbomb, 5/5 rating:

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.

A Well-Greased Open World Experience

Another thing that Horizon Zero Dawn is being lauded for is the world in which the game takes place, and how you interact with it. Sometimes, the open world gameplay experience doesn't work out, but it seems that the choice paid off in this case as Guerrilla Games managed to build an immersive setting for Horizon Zero Dawn.

The Telegraph, 5/5 rating.

On the surface, Horizon seems like a jumble of influences but, just like the murderous machina wandering its lands, the game is far more than its component parts, delivering a gripping story, satisfying combat, and the most gorgeous video game environments I’ve ever seen. Horizon confidently carves out an identity of its own in an overpopulated genre.

Polygon, 9.5/10 rating.

Horizon Zero Dawn thrums with the energy of a creative team finally allowed to explore something new. It builds on elements of open-world and loot-and-craft gameplay that we've seen before, but it does so within a context, a setting and a style that feel fresh.

Gamespot, 9/10 rating.

Guerilla Games has delivered one of the best open-world games of this generation.

Only Minor Mistakes Mar An Otherwise Excellent Experience

[Credit: Guerilla Games]
[Credit: Guerilla Games]

Within the overly positive reviews there are of course some 'buts' hiding. No game is perfect, and it seems a few things might be bringing Horizon Zero Dawn down a notch from perfection. Some mention the crafting system being a bit uninspired, while others find the aesthetics of the robot creatures unappealing or the side quests boring.

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All in all though, it seems safe to assume that the game is a worthwhile buy.

I for one can't wait until February 28, when PS4 users get to embark on whatever adventure is in store for Aloy. Reading through the glowing reviews hasn't made me any less excited.

What part of Horizon Zero Dawn are you excited about?


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