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Horizon Zero Dawn

post #1 of 75
Thread Starter 

Fuck.

 

Is this how you PS4 players have been living this whole time? I love my XBox One, but when Microsoft puts out an exclusive, it's a dude wearing a helmet. When Sony puts out an exclusive, it's brilliantly rendered people with genuinely affecting facial expressions, pitch-perfect motion capture and voice acting. Between this and Uncharted 4, I had no idea that video game characters could be so nuanced and fully realized.

 

Anyway, I spent at least a good 6-8 hours with Horizon yesterday and I'm blown away by nearly every aspect. The gameplay is tight and comfortable from the get-go and combat is equal parts challenging and also very quick to pick up. You'll feel like a badass hunter from the start, then get smacked down hard and fast by the next big bag machine in the food chain and be reminded that this game plays rough and plays for keeps. Then you'll learn from the ass-kicking, attempt that beast again and feel like an even more badass hunter for having taken it down with clever planning and well-aimed attacks.

 

The story so far is fantastic. It starts out feeling like it's going to be run of the mill post-apocalyptic sci-fi fare, and then keeps throwing in kinks and twists that dispel that first impression pretty quickly. The characters feel real, despite some standard filler RPG dialogues, and Aloy's shifts between confidence in hunting and tracking and frustration and fear in knowing very little about virtually everything else feels natural and relatable.

 

Finally, the music. Brilliant. The game's score perfectly blends a dichotomy of rolling, upbeat piano and strings pieces that convey a sense of wonder and discovery in exploring the game world, and slow, somber laments that make you think of the world that was lost to this one.

 

Getting deeper and deeper into this game is going to be like getting further into a great book.

post #2 of 75

Just started this last night.  Not going to say I'm blown away yet (seriously, been spending the last couple of months with Witcher 3, which seems about equal graphically and bigger geographically), but am enjoying it so far.  But seriously, just dipped my toe in.  One thing that drives me crazy is how slow everything is when I scan.  Not only movement, but looking around slows down as well.  I understand why.  I would probably be running around with that thing on all the time otherwise. But I at least wish you could look around with the same speed.  Also this game reminds me how much I suck at stealth games.  Luckily the lookers or searchers or whatever they are aren't too hard to kill right off the bat.  But I'm afraid I may have wasted one of my skill points on the silent takedown perk, when I have a hard time even getting close enough to one to use said perk.  I may have to check to see if I can re-do my skill choices.

post #3 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalyn View Post
 

But I'm afraid I may have wasted one of my skill points on the silent takedown perk, when I have a hard time even getting close enough to one to use said perk.  I may have to check to see if I can re-do my skill choices.

 

Invest in the perk that lets you whistle at them.  If you're hiding in tall grass, you can pile up bodies as they amble in one at a time to checkout the noise.

post #4 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dark Shape View Post
 

 

Invest in the perk that lets you whistle at them.  If you're hiding in tall grass, you can pile up bodies as they amble in one at a time to checkout the noise.

Good idea.  I was hiding in the tall grass trying to throw rocks against the trees next to me.  That didn't do anything.

post #5 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by D.T. View Post

Fuck.

Is this how you PS4 players have been living this whole time?

I've only been telling you...

Now a multi-player game needs to come out so all my prodding can be justified.
post #6 of 75
Thread Starter 

I was on the fence about getting Wild Lands for either PS4 or XBox One. But a buddy of mine stealth'd me and pre-ordered it for himself on the XBox One. I'm kinda obligated now.

post #7 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by TzuDohNihm View Post


Now a multi-player game needs to come out so all my prodding can be justified.

Not yet!  My PS Plus sub ended recently, and between HZD, Witcher, and my lack of interest of any of the upcoming free games, I'm saving myself some money for a bit.  I'm hoping I can stretch not having PS Plus until at least Destiny 2.

post #8 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalyn View Post

I'm hoping I can stretch not having PS Plus until at least Destiny 2.

That should give you a year or so.
post #9 of 75

I wanna play this game, dammit!

 

stupid console exclusives...

post #10 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob Singer View Post
 

I wanna play this game, dammit!

 

stupid console exclusives...

post #11 of 75

Picked this up yesterday, and have put around 4-5 hours into it already -- I'm already like this:

 

[​IMG]

 

Earlier tonight, I finished the quest where

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Aloy tracks down the Scrapper that stole the father's spear, and I rescued his daughter from being killed by the machines, right before the Proving. Also recovered the hill-lady's prayer beads and talked the crazy Outcast-guy who's hearing the "voices" down from the ridge. People in towns sure are assholes to my character, though.

 

The writing is really damn good. Incredibly beautiful world, and I think what I like about it most is one of the things The Witcher 3 did so well. There's this very real, very natural, and organic logic to the connections between the geography, the cultures, and the interactions between those cultures. It's all exceedingly well-thought-out. The world is wholly believable, and feels like it has formed naturally over a very, very long time. It doesn't feel like some writers just came up with random ideas and randomly plopped them into the world.

Didn't expect this plot to already sink its teeth into me. Also, the combat-flow is straight butter. Goddamn.

post #12 of 75

Also, a quick tip (which plays a huge role in getting one of the major Trophies for the game):

 

During dialogues, ALWAYS pick the "heart" option if you're wanting to gather all possible allies for the endgame (similar to The Witcher 3) -- if you do otherwise, you risk either alienating or killing certain characters you'll need at the end.

post #13 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by D.T. View Post

I was on the fence about getting Wild Lands for either PS4 or XBox One. But a buddy of mine stealth'd me and pre-ordered it for himself on the XBox One. I'm kinda obligated now.
If you set each other's Xbone as your "home console" then all your digital games are shared and you only need to buy one copy.
post #14 of 75

Finally got to fire this up a few minutes ago - wow, that intro.

post #15 of 75
I have a side mission that is several levels above what I am. Going to see if it's possible in this game.
post #16 of 75
Played just a couple of hours, and I'm absolutely amazed.
Love that I haven't encountered any big creatures yet, but the small and medium ines still can kill you if you screw up badly when stalking and setting traps.
post #17 of 75

CDProjekt Red congratulated Guerrilla with a cute picture:

 

 

A response from Guerrilla:

 

 

post #18 of 75

I'm chuckling over Erend flirting up a storm to a totally-oblivious Aloy.

 

Several hours in. So far, it's like Far Cry Primal meets Boston Dynamics, but there's a huge indication that in the near future, we're going to go to the electronics-store next door. I've already found some sort of cyber-armor techsuit that I need more batteries to power, which is awesome. The little hints of what happened during the apocalypse you find throughout the tutorial (and then later, when you get to wander around) are incredibly interesting. The actual story is nicely engaging, too; I'm digging it.

     

I also really appreciate a lot of the feminist overtones the game is presenting, both overt and subvert. Things like not over-sexualizing Aloy's character model, or having the camera aimed at her butt. The designers seem to respect her as a person, rather than an asset they can sell to teenage boys, and that makes all the difference in the world, here.

 

(Also, I wonder if Aloy's Focus-device is, unbeknownst to her, posting her accomplishments to some thousand-years-dead social media website? The $2 wilderness survival-app that the previous owner bought as a total joke is certainly getting a major workout right now...)

post #19 of 75

Instead of going straight to talk to the old lady I decided to harvest the fire arrow stuff.  After getting killed three or four times by the whatevers that ran away and then came charging back I turned it off and went to bed.

 

I mean, I guess it's probably just learning curve but am I not supposed to be gathering fire arrow parts just yet?

post #20 of 75
Thread Starter 

Machines are supposed to kick your ass. Horizon's not a run-and-gun type of game and every encounter requires planning and carefulness in combat.

 

Come back with that in mind and fresh eyes, and it'll click. Once you get into that hunter mindset and realize that even the horsies in this game can straight fucking murder you, it all makes sense and starts to become super fun.

post #21 of 75
Gonna have to pick this up once I finish up Dark Souls 3, and maybe RE7.
post #22 of 75

Man, it feels so surreal playing this game, entering into a ruined city for the first time, looking around trying to figure out why the hell it seems SO FAMILIAR, only to climb up the side of a ruined skyscraper, unlock my first Vantage Point, and suddenly find out that

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
the ruined city is actually Colorado Springs, where I lived for a couple of years. Feels so eerie running up-and-down those same streets in this game, thousands of years later after everything's mostly decayed and gone, only this time fighting for my life against relentless murder-robots.

 

Holy shit, this fucking game.

post #23 of 75
I can't figure out the Vantage Points. But still loving the rest of this game. Usually in games I find a method of attack and just stick with that the whole way. This game is good in making you want to try to figure out different methods to take down different robits and bandits.
post #24 of 75

So this game is good?

 

I've kind of got open-world fatigue - I'm finding it's not as easy to get excited by these games as it used to be. The most common critique I'm seeing (in otherwise positive reviews) is there isn't a whole lot of location-specific interactivity with the world, and that things get a little tedious. How are you finding it so far?

post #25 of 75
Honestly, it's pretty standard open world fare. Just real pretty. The world slowly opens up. You meet people who have quests for you. The creatures get bigger and badder as you go. You level up and open more perks. You take out bandit camps. You pick flowers and wood and loot everything you kill for crafting supplies or to sell for more money. You name any basic open world game trope and it's in here. So if you are burnt out on that type of game right. Is you should probably skip it or just rent it to be sure.
post #26 of 75

Thanks. I think Witcher 3 ruined me on these games until Red Dead Redemption 2 gets here. That's the high water mark in my mind.

 

But I'm itching for a new game in the meantime, just don't know it is.

post #27 of 75

Man, they really try to go for the feels, don't they?  I guess there's a reason it's not called Horizon Zero Tears.

post #28 of 75
Fuck this Sawtooth thing. I might be done already.
post #29 of 75
Well, my reply to Amos was meant to just be an honest answer to his question. Little did I know that at that point I talked myself out of wanting to play the game anymore. Jumped back to Witcher today and sold my Zero Dark Horizons for 50 bucks on Craigslist. That money is now estimated Mass Effect money. So....see you guys in the MAss Effect thread?
post #30 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by TzuDohNihm View Post

Fuck this Sawtooth thing. I might be done already.


Use the Tripcaster a couple times - when he gets stunned there'll be a little circle symbol showing the stun time winding down.  Beat on him while he's down, spam O to dodge when he's up.  If you haven't used the Tripcaster yet, you have to shoot it twice to anchor the trip line.

post #31 of 75
Finally got it down. I kept getting seen trying to set the traps. More than half the time the track didn't show me the path. The same amount of time the Sawtooth didn't seem to be staying on the path. If he heard me he didn't seem to follow the track. I ended up getting a trap set and went to set the second one when he hit the first. By the time I got over to him he was getting back up and then I ran too far away as he ran into the second so he was almost done being stunned.

Anyway I got through the proving and set it down for the night.

I am 50/50 on owning it as the writing is quite atrocious and repetitive. I also think the facial expressions are a step back from releases I have seen last year which coupled with the writing makes it harder for me to commit fully.

The story has me interested but there are some issues. Side quests are difficult to locate. Unless I am standing right on top of a quest giver their general direction once they shout at me to help has so far been rough to discern as they blend into the very busy environment.

My final gripe is based upon the past few years of Destiny, ESO, Black Ops III and Overwatch. I think cooperative and social games have ruined me on single players like this. I find myself missing the social conversation of a party of friends, questing and raiding with those same folks, exploring the game together and sharing tips. However, a PSN party doesn't offer me the chance to enjoy the game as I am the type that reads and listens to every single bit of dialogue in order to follow the story. I don't skip through much of anything. In a party I can concentrate.

So I'm not sure. Anyone got a convincing argument to push me over the top?
post #32 of 75
Thread Starter 

Regarding the Sawtooth, the little hunting lodge or whatever right in that area is your friend. Run circles around it, setting tripcaster wires any time you're at a safe distance. Beat it on the second try with not too much effort.

post #33 of 75
I'm really enjoying playing through this currently. I'm level 29 and still doing main story missions that have level suggestions of 15 to 20. It's not like I even was grinding to level up or anything I just kept wandering around and stumbling onto bandit camps and other stuff.

For all those complaining about the Sawtooth battle, it didn't pose me much of a problem. It really is staged as a tripcaster tutorial and it's hard to fail if you use you focus to highlight the sawtooth' path and then use the tripcaster to lay lines over that path while the sawtooth is looking somewhere else. Then when the tripcaster's shock damage knocks it down go in and beat it with your spear until it gets back up. Then run to break it's line of sight and wait until it loses interest and goes back to walking its path.

I just finished Cauldron Zeta and I can't wait to hear about how everyone else did that one. After dying countless times I finally had to fast travel away and get myself the shadow ropecaster weapon just so I'd could tie the boss of the cauldron down. Being able to take a breather in the fight really helped and bought me a small window of time where I could use blast arrows to target and knock off some of the boss's components so it could no longer one-shot me from across the room with the multitude of heavy artillery strapped to its back.
post #34 of 75
I just thought I'd post again after playing some main quest lines today to say that I really like the character development of a lot of the NPCs in this game. I finished the Meridian quest that involves Erend, the Sun King and Erend's sister and really ended up liking how all the NPCs in it got their moment to shine and the game really did a good job at giving motivations and then adding new dimension in the form of a strange coda by hinting at an uncomfortable love triangle forming between Erend, the Sun King and Aloy, by having both characters start to flirt with her as the quest was wrapping up.

I'm now actually more interested in seeing how Aloy's future dealings with the Sun King and his vanguard Erend turn out, than I am in figuring out the mysteries surrounding how the machines came to be. Which isn't to say that uncovering the history of the game's world hasn't also been a fascinating journey in progress.
post #35 of 75

Making my way in after the prologue and Proving and maaaaan, I really hate the Nora, culturally. Like, what a bunch of weirdo sadsacks, casting people out left, right and centre, trying to act all badass warriors yet getting their shit pushed in all the time, telling people where they can and cannot go, ugh. I'm loving how Aloy clearly thinks of little of them as I do. She's awesome and she knows it. Hopefully she's going to round up other outcasts, tame a bunch of Zoids and ride around giving 0 fucks and taking 0 prisoners.

 

Best moment so far was making my way through a 'cauldron'. Worst moment was what was waiting at the end of it and not being remotely prepared.

post #36 of 75
I love how in the beginning of the game most of the Nora reject her and then after Aloy leaves the Nora tribe's land she has to endure being called "that Nora girl," by every other tribe in the game. I played a side quest last night where Aloy just got fed up and basically chewed out an NPC for calling her "that Nora girl." It was totally unexpected and made me laugh.
post #37 of 75

Yes, straight up loving the mechanics of this. The voice acting, not so much... especially Aloy. Not quite taken to her the way some seem to have. But the core gameplay loop has that UbiSoft mini quest thing which I am shamefully addicted to, the robot takedowns are tricky. (the three Firebellows kicked my ass half a dozen times before I figured them out). Just working my way through the first cauldron now, trying to conserve supplies.

 

I've uber stealthed and it's making some of the combat a little easy. I'm damn near silent now, but there are situations where that simply doesn't work out so it's all good.

post #38 of 75
So I'm at the end game mission, the one that every non-spoiler online guide says is the point of no return. All I have to say is that at some point in this thread I'd love to have a spoilery discussion about this game because...

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
What happened to human civilization in this game's world is by far the darkest apocalyptic senario I've encountered in science fiction, literally every living organisim was wiped off the face of the earth by an automated war machine that a defense contractor lost control of, a machine that consumed biomass as fuel and could build copies of itself faster than it took the combined might of the world's militaries to destroy them. There was nothing they could do to stop it so instead they lied to the population about building a weapon and instead built another machine which had the job of re-terraforming the earth after first taking 150 years to decrypt the war machines security network and infect them with malware to brick them.

So for at least 150 years there wasn't a speck of life on earth's surface and then the earth was re-seeded and repopulated by this terraforming AI network.

What I find the darkest thing about this senario is that I could see something like this happening in the next century, all it takes is around 50 to 100 years of technological advancement and then one company that puts its profits ahead of its ethics.
post #39 of 75
The mounts in this game are badass. I was about to face off against a mini-boss at the end of the side quest 'A Daughter's Vengeance' only to have my mount beat me to the punch and take out the mini-boss and all of his cronies in the time it took me to fire two arrows. It make me laugh so hard that I had to upload it.

(The video has some minor spoilers since it shows the ending of one of the many side quests in the game, but there's nothing in it that will spoil any of the game's main story lines.)

post #40 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by TzuDohNihm View Post

I am 50/50 on owning it as the writing is quite atrocious and repetitive. I also think the facial expressions are a step back from releases I have seen last year which coupled with the writing makes it harder for me to commit fully.

 

Wait...wha? The writing in this game is excellently subtle and draws the player in, offering just enough detail to let you fill in the rest of the blanks using your own imagination. And of course its depiction of

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim K View Post

So I'm at the end game mission, the one that every non-spoiler online guide says is the point of no return. All I have to say is that at some point in this thread I'd love to have a spoilery discussion about this game because...
  Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
What happened to human civilization in this game's world is by far the darkest apocalyptic senario I've encountered in science fiction, literally every living organisim was wiped off the face of the earth by an automated war machine that a defense contractor lost control of, a machine that consumed biomass as fuel and could build copies of itself faster than it took the combined might of the world's militaries to destroy them. There was nothing they could do to stop it so instead they lied to the population about building a weapon and instead built another machine which had the job of re-terraforming the earth after first taking 150 years to decrypt the war machines security network and infect them with malware to brick them.

So for at least 150 years there wasn't a speck of life on earth's surface and then the earth was re-seeded and repopulated by this terraforming AI network.

What I find the darkest thing about this senario is that I could see something like this happening in the next century, all it takes is around 50 to 100 years of technological advancement and then one company that puts its profits ahead of its ethics.

 

Agreed, this was some pretty chilling shit, and when you read

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
the bio of the CEO asshole who's responsible for the whole entire mess, the similarity to actual real-life asshole CEOs is ominous (undoubtedly the writers' intention). If artificial intelligence ever reaches that next-level stage, we could be looking at our very own Ted Faro, Miles Dyson, or Daniel Graystone within the next few decades; someone who lets things slip too far to control properly.
post #41 of 75

The writing up to the proving is atrocious and repetitive and the facial animations are sub par for what I would expect out of a 2017 release.  Maybe the writing gets better but when one character says something and the person they are talking to repeats it verbatim then that is poor writing in my opinion.

post #42 of 75

^ Maybe I just missed this as I was playing, but where in the game does this happen? I can see it in maybe the occasional odd conversation, but the writing overall has been pretty stellar, as is the SF worldbuilding.

post #43 of 75
I agree with Tzu here. I wish I could say that the writing in the beginning of the game is anywhere near as good as it is once the story gets rolling, but it isn't. The biggest problem I had with it was that it was way too "on the nose."

Here's a definition that is much better than anything I could put into words for those who aren't familiar with the term:
"Writing on the nose is a screenwriting term that refers to dialogue or action in which the character’s innermost thoughts and feelings are fully expressed by what the character is saying or doing. There is no nuance, mystery, ambiguity or surprise (as there is in real life). The subtext has been written directly into the text" (source).

I wish I could say the writing gets better after the proving, but in my experience it didn't improve until I made it to the city of Meridian. After that the writing gets much less on the nose and a lot better, though I will say that I still sometimes encounter bad dialog in the side quests.
post #44 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leto II View Post
 

^ Maybe I just missed this as I was playing, but where in the game does this happen? I can see it in maybe the occasional odd conversation, but the writing overall has been pretty stellar, as is the SF worldbuilding.

 

It's been a few days since I put this down but if I recall correctly the first guy you meet with a Focus they basically repeat the dialogue back to each other. I want to say the Matron who defies the rest of the Matrons and her interactions with Rost, and Aloy immediately post-Proving, were very repetitive. The side-quest for retrieving the daughter and her mother's spear and the side-quest for the crazy brother were both sub-par too.

 

It is entirely possible I am confusing my dislike for the voice acting and the lack of facial musculature with bad writing but I do recall nearly every conversation/cut-scene up to the point of the cave post-proving(where I ended my play) to be stagnant.  The story is one thing, which I found somewhat engaging. The actual dialogue kept snapping me out of wanting to know more.

post #45 of 75
So I finally finished this and really found the game fun and the story is pretty good, but this game also leaves me with the feeling like it's really good, but not quite great. That's not to say that I don't fully recommend everyone play it, but I feel like Horizon's sequel will achieve the greatness that Horizon Zero Dawn just barely falls short of. I can't really point to anything specific other than playing this game reminded me of how I felt playing the first Uncharted. Like the first Uncharted game, Horizon Zero Dawn feels like it's just a warmup for the next game coming from its developer.

Also I can already guess at least one of the DLC quests for this game will be...
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Looking through Elizabet Sobek's reconstructed journal entries, she mentions that a really early form of GAIA's history teaching program, APOLLO, was sent out on the Odyssey spacecraft, the same program that was then later deleted by Ted Faro (because he didn't want to go down in history as the man who destroyed the world). I know through bits and pieces of the data points that I gathered that the Odyssey spacecraft failed, but I don't know if it failed after it entered space or failed on its launch. So I think Aloy will be sent on a journey to find the Odyssey and recover APOLLO from its wreck (if it crashed) or from its ghost ship (if it's in orbit).
post #46 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim K View Post

So I finally finished this and really found the game fun and the story is pretty good, but this game also leaves me with the feeling like it's really good, but not quite great. That's not to say that I don't fully recommend everyone play it, but I feel like Horizon's sequel will achieve the greatness that Horizon Zero Dawn just barely falls short of. I can't really point to anything specific other than playing this game reminded me of how I felt playing the first Uncharted. Like the first Uncharted game, Horizon Zero Dawn feels like it's just a warmup for the next game coming from its developer.

Also I can already guess at least one of the DLC quests for this game will be... Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Looking through Elizabet Sobek's reconstructed journal entries, she mentions that a really early form of GAIA's history teaching program, APOLLO, was sent out on the Odyssey spacecraft, the same program that was then later deleted by Ted Faro (because he didn't want to go down in history as the man who destroyed the world). I know through bits and pieces of the data points that I gathered that the Odyssey spacecraft failed, but I don't know if it failed after it entered space or failed on its launch. So I think Aloy will be sent on a journey to find the Odyssey and recover APOLLO from its wreck (if it crashed) or from its ghost ship (if it's in orbit).

 

According to one record that you recover in the game,

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
the Odyssey spacecraft is evidently still in a parking-orbit around the Earth, not having broken away on its intended course after it launched. The sequel-premise does indeed sound promising, and yep -- Ted Faro was a fucking douchebag.
post #47 of 75

Really cool article that breaks down where all of Horizon's major locations can found in the real world, and how to plan an actual road-trip to see them:

 

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2017/03/10/horizon-zero-dawn-makes-for-an-amazing-road-trip.aspx

 

They even include an actual Google Maps-map that shows how to drive from one end of the Horizon map to the other in real life, taking in most of the game's discoverable Vantage Points:

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
maproute610.jpg
post #48 of 75
Thread Starter 

I really need to get back to this. Zelda has just completely taken over all my gaming.

post #49 of 75

I've totally ignored the main story for a while and pootled about exploring the world, rounding up crooks, exploring cauldrons, etc. Last night I got back on track and got a big infodump at a massive skyscraper in the north. I was all set to leave when I noticed a ledge just by the exit so I jumped up, found more things to climb until I was right at the top and found another power cell - man, it would have sucked if I hadn't seen it and had to scale the darn thing all over again, proper blink and you'll miss it type stuff.

post #50 of 75

Finished this also finally. Didn't go for the All Allies in the end, was reaching the stage where everything was becoming a bit of a chore. No threat left in the robots or humans, so just ploughed through. My own fault for maxing out early on instead of just playing through.

 

Very good game though, cracking finale. Will keep hold of it and keep an eye out for the DLC.

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