Horizon: Zero Dawn Review – Heavy Metal

Rise of the machines.

Developer: Guerrilla Games
Publisher: Sony
Format: PS4
Released: February 28, 2017
Copy provided by publisher

Horizon: Zero Dawn‘s variety of inspirations is one of its most astounding features. Bringing together elements from Far CryMonster HunterThe WitcherMass Effect and more, Guerrilla’s first major original work outside of Killzone could easily be written off as derivative, but it’s the way in which these disparate ideas are brought together as a cohesive, lovingly crafted whole that makes it truly special.

In truth, Zero Dawn does nothing you haven’t seen before in so many open world games. It has side quests, it has big monsters, it has simplified crafting systems, it has stealth and combat and skill trees. It even has its own version of Ubisoft’s weary “radio tower” mapping system that has become something of an industry joke.

Despite its seeming unoriginality, and despite containing so many open world trappings I’d ordinarily hate, Horizon is something special.

A huge part of the game’s creative success comes from the world in which it’s set. Taking place on Earth hundreds of years into the future, humanity is split into separate tribes after a great calamity wiped out any modern concept of civilization. These tribes eke out primitive existences while avoiding the wrath of the machines – constructs that behave like peculiar animals and show little more than hostility toward organic life.

With incredible robot designs and diverse environments that incorporate snowy mountaintops, rich jungles, and arid deserts, Horizon‘s world is remarkable. As the map opens itself to the player, they find themselves in a similar situation to protagonist Aloy – an outcast from her own isolated tribe, coming to realize just how large and varied the world is.

Aloy’s tribe, the Nora, forbid exploration and interaction with old world remnants, and at first the player may feel the game has only forests and pre-medieval settlements to offer. Over the course of many densely packed hours, however, a detailed land full of different cultures in their own unique stages of development is revealed.

While many open worlds pick a single theme and stick to it, Horizon feels so much more real thanks to its believable heterogeneity.

This is one of the first open world games I’ve played in years that actually caught me in the trap of pursuing sidequests, hunting for collectibles, and scouring ruins for loot because it’s a world I simply love being in. Not only is it gorgeous to look at, it’s packed full of interesting locations and the machine threat is as fascinating as it is intimidating.

Simply watching robotic horses graze is a curious sight, and hunting them is even more enthralling.

Using simple stealth mechanics and a whole host of unique weaponry, players will doubtless spend much time tracking and taking down increasingly deadly creatures and harvesting their shiny bodies for precious materials. Environments are full of places to set traps, tall grass to hide in, and vantage points from which to snipe.

Aloy’s skills expand as she levels up to include critical sneak attacks, enhance aiming mechanics, and more. It’s worth checking out all the trees before investing though, as despite being split into three general themes – sneaking, fighting, and gathering – the actual skills in each tree share very little in common and you might miss out on something good if you simply try to complete a path.

Vital to survival is the Focus, a piece of mysterious technology Aloy recovered as a child. Using the Focus, players can highlight machines, get a visual read on their movement patterns, and detect weak spots. It’s also a big part of the many tracking quests that reminds me so much of The Witcher 3.

At first, the Focus and forgiving stealth make for an easy time, as Aloy has a huge visual advantage and the ability to quickly hide after striking. However, machines get larger, more aggressive, and harder to hide from, requiring players to use more tools and invariably resolve confrontations with increasingly direct action.

Key to taking down some of Zero Dawn‘s biggest mechanical threats is in shooting distinct parts of their bodies. The Focus highlights areas that can be torn from an opponent’s frame with enough damage. These include various power cells as well as weapons, some of which can even be used by Aloy if they’re removed. Additionally, the heavy armor that protects most machines can be destroyed with sustained attacks, exposing more of their bodies.

As better weapons are purchased with scrap metal and materials, they’ll make the systematic stripping of machines easier, with some arrowheads designed specifically to tear into vulnerable components more than deal direct damage. There are also elemental effects that can be conferred upon the opposition via traps or specialist arrows – fire deals continuous damage, ice weakens a robot’s overall defense, lightning can temporarily shut them down, and corruption turns machines against other machines.

It’s viable to play the whole game using the many bows on offer, but other weaponry can be purchased. The Tripcaster lays down traps that activate via proximity, Slings can provide explosive or elemental damage, and the Ropecaster is a fantastic little tool that entangles machines and keeps them out of the fight for a significant length of time – a valuable trick when going up against large groups.

As if that wasn’t enough, the crafting system allows for more simple traps to be built, as well as potions that increase health or raise Aloy’s endurance to specific elemental attacks.

Combat is often hectic, the machines trending toward relentless aggression once sufficiently riled. Battles against larger foes like the Sawtooth or Thunderjaw are often nervewracking affairs with metal monsters that can take Aloy down in only a short amount of time. Preparing ahead of time by laying traps and learning the surroundings definitely helps, but once it all kicks off it’ll be chaos – the fun, frantic kind of chaos as opposed to the messy, uncoordinated kind.

Enemy AI isn’t always reliable, which might be my one real gripe about the game. Laying down traps is one thing, but sometimes robots just magically know where they are even if you’re undetected, and you’ll spend some frustrating time trying to convince them to walk near the bloody things. They also sometimes forget about combat even when in the middle of it, running off and randomly returning.

Outside of these hiccups, battles are mostly thrilling encounters. It’s just that sometimes, sadly, the mask slips and the machines get a little bit too goofy to take seriously.

Loot is a big part of the experience, with Aloy gathering all sorts of crafting components, weapon/outfit mods, and rare valuables on the corpses of her cybernetic prey. Mods can make weapons more powerful, accurate, and elementally aligned, or be slotted into outfits to improve stealth and resistance to damage types.

In lieu of traditional loot (armor and weapons are specific items bought from merchants), modifications become the items of true worth, as well as specific machine parts that merchants require in order to sell their best gear. It’s not enough to just have the scrap metal currency – you’ll need to hunt down Sawtooths and hope one of them gives up a rarely recovered heart if you want that really good Sharpshot Bow.

When not out hunting machines there’s a ton of other stuff to do, and while some of the distractions veer into cheap collect-a-thon territory, there are enough well-written and interesting side quests, enough weird distractions to get into, that the occasional bit of padding is so much less egregious than it is in, say, Far Cry 4.

Optional missions are as detailed and lengthy as any you’d find in a more traditional roleplaying game, while those aforementioned “radio tower” stand-ins are actually fun – huge, giraffe-like constructs that patrol areas surrounded by enemies or unique environmental challenges that must be navigated before the creatures themselves can be climbed and hacked for map information.

Hacking! I haven’t even mentioned hacking, which is something else Aloy can do in order to take control of unaware machines. Most hacked bots will attack others for a temporary length of time, but some can be used as mounts, giving Aloy a big metal horse, cow, or ram to gallop about on. What I love about the hacking is how indicative it is of this game’s whole philosophy – it’s a neat toy with several applications, but it’s not something you’re railroaded into using.

This game is just bursting with options that you’re not pressured into utilizing but can prove wonderful in the right situation. You can’t even wield all the weapons available at once, so it really pays to experiment. Three of my four slots are given over entirely to bow types with my Ropecaster bringing up the rear, but that’s just one way to approach combat – everything’s useful, it’s simply a case of finding the right uses for you.

If I were to compare Horizon: Zero Dawn to any one game, it would be one it actually has nothing in common with – a Raven Software shooter by the name of Singularity. It never got the credit it deserved, but it drew together the best parts of successful shooters – including Half-Life 2 and BioShock – to create a “greatest hits” version of the modern first-person shooter.

It didn’t do anything new, but it did everything incredibly well, and that’s what counted.

This is what Horizon has done with open world games. It’s liberally borrowed from the best and most successful, mixing them together in just the right portions to create an impressive marriage of features that could have mixed disastrously in less skilled hands.

It’s done this while also providing us a fantastic protagonist. Aloy is a determined hunter with a sarcastic streak, at once naive about the world around her and just embittered enough to deliver a splash of cynicism on the side. She’s joined by several affable recurring characters, most notably the bounty hunter Nil – his sociopathic outlook on life plays so well against Aloy, and I would play a game that further details his exploits in a heartbeat.

Facial expressions can find themselves stuck in the uncanny valley, but Horizon is beautiful outside of that. Animations are smooth and full of extra little flourishes that make Aloy and her metal enemies are delight to watch in action, and they’re backed up by terrific sound direction – solid voice acting, terrifying machine cries, and a subtle soundtrack that never gets in the way.

Artistically, Zero Dawn is simply impressive. Every creature looks thematically similar to its brethren but visually distinct, and each one is some unnatural take on a beast seemingly extinct in the universe. I’ve always been a fan of Guerrilla’s visual style, and they’ve really hit it out the park on this one.

One word of advice, though – as soon as possible, go into the HUD customization menu and have everything set to “dynamic.” Without it, the otherwise gorgeous game is ruined by an aggressive overlay of text, icons, and pointers.

Horizon: Zero Dawn is just brilliant. I speak as a critic who has played more “open sandbox” games than any one human should and has grown so very weary of them. I should have gotten sick of this thing in an hour, but I’ve been glued to it for days and days and I don’t want it to end. I love existing in this world – a world of desperate survival but of growing culture and a sense of hope. A world of giant metal animals that promise some breathtaking fights.

A world that’s basically Disney’s Brave meets The Last of Us, Enslaved: Journey to the West, Far Cry, Mass Effect, The Witcher, Monster Hunter, Toukiden, and loads of other really, really cool shit.

That’s basically Horizon in a nutshell – loads of really, really cool shit.

9.5/10
Superb 

Adam Southcott
Guest
Adam Southcott

All thes people bitching and whining, saying the game’s bland and has no story ect, obviously have not played the game.

It has ample story and great combat with side quests that aren’t repetetive like most open world games these days.

You Nintendo fan boys need to grow the fuck up (he didn’t even give Zelda a bad review for fuck sake) you’re shitting on a good game cause you didn’t like someone elses opinion on a different fucking game. You’re a bunch of fucking mongaloids

Plautze
Guest
Plautze
There was this story where one person was sent out to discover the world and then would be beaten to death by his fellow cavemen for telling the truth about it. I am not saying that Jim tells only the truth as he tells his opinion (which is his right to do). I’m just saying this whole scene reminds me of that story… Interestingly enough, after he gave BotW a 7/10, all you BotW-fanboys come here at once to make sure he dared not give Horizon a better score. Which he did, so you bitch around. Perfectly understandable. Still, everybody… Read more »
Daniel
Guest
Daniel

I’m calling it. Sony sponsors are everywhere. How can this peasantry (sorry, I’m triggered and you might get triggered to) get a 9.5 when Zelda:BOTW gets a SEVEN!?

Roc
Guest
Roc

I’m calling it, you butt hurts

Deplorable Mr Cat
Guest
Deplorable Mr Cat

I love this game, easily a GOTY contender. I really hated the name “Aloy” when I first heard it and thought it was trying to be cute, but she is a bad-ass and hope to see more of her and this awesome world soon.

Lyon Eng
Guest
Lyon Eng
You gave a shitty game with no story and being a copy of SHPT like Biohazard 7 an 8, for honor have a 7, this game a 9.5, and Zelda BOTW with more difficulty, better gameplay, new mechanics, and a lot of things that maybe disturbed you on a logical evolution of a game you gave it a 7.5, so… how much did Sony paid you attention whore? To be honest you are not the worse, if you truly have studies on journalism, then you are very pathetic dude, or maybe your step father was a Zelda fan and told… Read more »
Faiz
Guest
Faiz

BOTW is extremely overrated. This game is excellent, and just because you are a blind Zelda fanboy doesn’t mean you can shit all over games that are actually good, but aren’t part of big franchises!

Roc
Guest
Roc

You seem really upset, maybe a snickers bar will help

hiyah there bud
Guest
hiyah there bud

I would say Horizon’s combat is better than BOTW & so is Horizon’s story. Aloy is a great character too. Only thing BOTW has on Horizon without a doubt is exploration & the amount of freedom to do it. So it really comes down to what you prefer. Do you like combat and story or exploration & sense of freedom more? That’s how I would pitch both games to someone as quick as possible if they had to choose between one or the other.

All of you mad af sound sound like you’re being paid by Nintendo lol.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

I totally agree with you. R.I.P. Jim 2015 or whenever the Sony payload (emphasis on the pay) happened. I do believe the Zelda was even lower though; it was just a seven, wasn’t it? I honestly haven’t played either, but Zelda looks awesome. horizon Zero Dawn looks okay. I am not gonna bother because of this sponsored crap everywhere until it’s in the bargain bin (like with Uncharted 4, which I ended up enjoying but not enough for GOTY, that probably goes to Watch Dogs 2).

Roc
Guest
Roc

Also you lost all credibility when you mentioned Watch dogs 2 as GOTY.

Roc
Guest
Roc

So basically you haven’t played either game, but you’re still butthurt that a game you’ve never played has gotten a better score than a game you haven’t played.

patwag
Guest
patwag

How can you judge his reviews if you haven’t played either -.- he has played them, he has more of a right to an opinion on them than you do

Redscallion
Guest
Redscallion

whoa this ones a doozy huh…. i guess this is what you get for releasing a game the same month as the new zelda…

bought horizon after hearing miracle of sound say it was his favorite game since witcher 3, and i wasnt disappointed at all. The story towards the end had me genuinely enraptured and invested in the world, and aloy’s personal journey is a pretty wild ride.

Roc
Guest
Roc

I wasn’t sure about this one after reading a few unfavorable reviews. Decided to rent it at a redbox, and I am pleasantly surprised at how fun the game is. My first impression of the game was not good, because it just drove me crazy how the theme was kind of a mixup between viking and native american cultures( longhouses, and dreamcatchers) it just didn’t make any sense. But after a few hours, the combat started to get a little more advanced and I was hooked.

Jelloinhair
Guest
Jelloinhair

Wish I could love this game as much but after putting so many hours in I just can’t. As an avid monster Hunter fan I can’t help but compare the two in some ways.

And when it comes down to it all this game does is make me go back to Mhgen every time I play zero dawn

Perky Pug
Guest
Perky Pug

I am very glad TheJimQuisition gave 9,5 to Horizon: Zero Dawn, because it deserves it 100%.

Excellent game on all fronts except some minor issues with side missions.

But still I can’t get over how TheJimQuisition gave Breath of the Wild, only 7 of 10. I am still baffled.

Played both games and they both are masterpieces. But feels like TheJimQuisition is not so treating both fairly and objectively. It emphasizes more on the good points of Horizon and more on the bad points of Zelda. Kinda disappointing.

Afroduck
Guest
Afroduck

Maybe, just maybe, HZD doesn’t have the things in it that annoyed Jim in Zelda.

Strangelove
Guest
Strangelove
Botw: Not so good story, not so memorable characters, bland Link, generic bosses, disappointing endgame boss, low durability of weapons, technical issues while playing on the tv, a big but not so lively world, etc. Therefor botw is a good game, but not as good as Horizon that features a very good story, good combat, interesting characters, side missions that aren’t repetitive (big one), takes the best tropes of other games and implements them in a gorgeous world that runs smooth as butter. What is even more impressive is that Horizon is a new IP with new characters and protagonist… Read more »
Welks
Guest
Welks

Horizon is generic and pretentious dross, Zelda is timeless

patwag
Guest
patwag

Being timeless doesn’t make every iteration of a series 10/10

Roc
Guest
Roc

To them it does

Strangelove
Guest
Strangelove

Spoken like a true ignorant fanboy. Can’t take you serious, hence what you say means less than nothing. The world needs less people like you.

Gregg
Guest
Gregg

Who cares? It’s one fat guy who liked this and didn’t like that as much. Big deal.

hate for plebs
Guest
hate for plebs

This review seems to be politically motivated. I’m not surprise by it Jim is leftist extremist a complete shill for the establishment

Chris Somethingson
Guest

When did “The establishment” start referring to women and minorities wanting representation in the world. I thought “The establishment” was more about how both corrupt politicians and CEOs of companies and high investment bankers were all friends and colluded frequently with one another to better themselves, while the common person suffers from this shameless profiteering off the government and the common person’s suffering.
But apparently now having a woman as the main character in a game which also has both black and asian people is “the establishment”, oh christ.

Kaili Burns
Guest
Kaili Burns

I hate current liberals and the establishment as much as anyone else but to call the review politically motivated when there’s no mention of anything political in the review just makes it seem like you’re desperate to delegitimize it.

Show me the proof that this is politically motivated. It’s your burden since it’s your claim.

Mr Jemandem
Guest
Mr Jemandem
First time i ever write her i think and im quite a fan of your work Jim but this is probably the first time i cant follow why horizen got such a good score. For me, i playd Zelda bevor i startet playing Horizen and i just cant over look the dull meele and laking of control in close combat. I always find my self dying to stuff i did not see coming, Camera Position is bad or the controlles for my personal feelings are responcive. Meanwile in Zelda i never had the feeling i dont have the control quite… Read more »
Strangelove
Guest
Strangelove

Clearly, Horizon is not for you. I don’t like football so I don’t like fifa games. Simple.

Mr Jemandem
Guest
Mr Jemandem

Well i dont like the mechanics in it but that dosent mean dislike the game. Its just every thing we had today in Unchartet Farcry and so on.. Horizon goes the save route unlike Zelda. That game will change how the next gen open world games will be like (Exploration and interacting with the World).

Strangelove
Guest
Strangelove
The mechanics shouldn’t come as a surprise since it was on display during numerous gameplays and infosites prior to release. Also, Horizon is a vessel with numerous elements of other games within – done exceptionally well. It makes for a cohesive game where no element seems out of place, without being intrusive and not being the meat of the game. Botw also borrows from other games like portal and assassins creed. You also do not understand that Zelda’s interpretation of an open world game is different than Horizon. One is geared towards combat, the other towards exploration. I’m not sure… Read more »
Cerebralbore101
Guest
Cerebralbore101

I’ve been absolutely loving this game to death for all the reasons Jim stated. The game borrows just as much from the Uncharted series as it does from Skyrim, and the Witcher. Stealth attacks, Climbing, and Heavy weapons all work exactly like they do in Uncharted.

Slizarus
Guest
Slizarus
After finishing it with 44.5 hours played.. I can say this is a solid 9.8, on a technical level it’s only embarrassing moments are sometimes the poor lip synching.. but I never fell through the world, never experienced a glitch, and I enjoyed the world. Jim, like you there are things I could have hated, but somehow I was compelled by the protagonist and even the sidequest characters, maybe it was just the world, but I believed it, I wanted to help everyone. This game in it’s current form is something I never imagined existing, and the fact that it… Read more »
Bumbel B
Guest
Bumbel B

The comments from all the upset little Zelda fanboys are hilarious. Guarantee 99% of them have not even played Horizon. Ignorant morons blinded by being fan boys. Get a life nerds.

M. Daniel Mills
Guest
M. Daniel Mills

Have YOU played Zelda?

David Jams
Guest
David Jams

This question is relevant, how?

BattleMcStruggle
Guest
BattleMcStruggle

I played Horizon, think it’s a great game, still like Zelda more and are absolutely not a fanboy (even hated some of the last games, especially Skyward Sword). Also i don’t feel offended by Jims opinion nor by the opinions of any other person on here.

You should grow up and accept other peoples opinions. I hope you’ll realise soon enough that you are acting in exactly the same way as these “fanboys”.

Rogerio de Andrade
Guest
Rogerio de Andrade

9,5 for this and 7 for Zelda? LOL
Talk about someone who is in desperate need of clicks.

Karabanera
Member

He doesn’t get ANY money from his website, as well as from his youtube. Research before you judge. Don’t be like social media

Onyara O
Guest
Onyara O

Really? Then how come my AdBlocker blocked requests on this wesite from these popular digital advertising systems:
– EmailRetargeting
– AdsNative
– Exelate
– Lotame
– Tedemis
– and a bunch of others

That’s a lot of adverstising, tracking and data mining for someone who claims to not make money from his website.

Sona
Guest
Sona

False, Sony pays them.

Stone Edwards
Guest

Sony pays off Jimquisition………………..HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Slizarus
Guest
Slizarus

Evidence?

Sona
Guest
Sona

Not like those are a lot needed.

Zelda is way more dense, complete than Horizon.

We all know Sony and others company (Ubisoft, Square, EA), pays reviewers for good scores.

In case of this guy, looks like the personal hate against Nintendo due to the DCMA that doesn’t let him get free money from views makes him rage that much to judge bad a master piece of game.

Roc
Guest
Roc

So Sony paid off over 60 publications that gave this gave an 8 or above? I think you need to take a step, and show me on the doll where he touched you.

LawfulNetural Chaotic
Guest
LawfulNetural Chaotic

The only dense thing here is you sunshine.

The Bandsaw Vigilante
Guest
The Bandsaw Vigilante

…Wow, you actually typed that.

Slizarus
Guest
Slizarus

*yawn* I mean links, articles, etc. You know, real evidence. Otherwise you’re just making more unfounded claims on the internet

BOLT
Guest
BOLT

>We all know Sony and others company (Ubisoft, Square, EA), pays reviewers for good scores.

I like how you just omited Nintendo. Like everyone’s bad except for those dudes you really like for no reason. Keep it up.

Rogerio de Andrade
Guest
Rogerio de Andrade

“don´t be like social media”… that advice would go way better for the reviewer. In this case, it´s so damn obvious that there´s no excuse

Karabanera
Member

What are you talking about? I meant it in a way about not researching what you’re gonna post. Jim clearly played Zelda and liked it, but not to extent of Nintendo fanboys. That’s all there is to it.

Rogerio de Andrade
Guest
Rogerio de Andrade
SVRich
Guest
SVRich

A site that doesn’t make money off adds doesn’t need clicks but regardless of that you decided this was clickbait and then happily clicked on through anyway essentially giving he what you believed he wanted….

Onyara O
Guest
Onyara O

It does have ads though. Check your adblockers from the review pages, it has a bunch of ad-related stuff and trackers: BlueKai, DoubleClick, eXelate, Lotame, Tedemis, etc.

Rogerio de Andrade
Guest
Rogerio de Andrade

Yeah, yeah. As if that wasn´t clear as water. Whatever. This site 05 minutes of fame already vanished.

SVRich
Guest
SVRich

It will be back once all the whiney Zelda fanboys like yourself get over someone having a different opinion to them..

Rogerio de Andrade
Guest
Rogerio de Andrade
Derf
Guest
Derf

But srsly, you do realize clicks only matter for ads, which there are none of, right?

Also, is your image folder just one pic?

Rogerio de Andrade
Guest
Rogerio de Andrade
Derf
Guest
Derf

So we take your insistence because you have no motive or reason, but a picture with a caption? Wow, I am so convinced.

Rogerio de Andrade
Guest
Rogerio de Andrade

It´s just that it´s pointless to try to keep any discussion with you, Einstein, https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3ab2c58bcec564a397e48db33af87f2f43ab2d918449b19bf377d14c143c4484.jpg so a pointless image is the proper way to deal with this

Derf
Guest
Derf

You say it’s pointless, but you haven’t tried discussion at all. How would you even know?

Do you yourself even know why you think what you think?

Rogerio de Andrade
Guest
Rogerio de Andrade

LOL. Ad hominem won´t work with me, boy. Get over it. Bye.

Derf
Guest
Derf

It’s not ad hominem. Learn your fallacies properly. There is no falacy in saying you haven’t discussed your reasoning when you haven’t discussed your reasoning.

Rogerio de Andrade
Guest
Rogerio de Andrade

yeah, yeah, Einstein. Whatever you say.

Derf
Guest
Derf

So you still won’t present your argument? I think it’s fair to repeat the accusation you don’t have an argument at this point.

Rogerio de Andrade
Guest
Rogerio de Andrade
SVRich
Guest
SVRich

The burn.

Nintengoth
Guest
Nintengoth

9.5? Serious? Zelda is worth the 10/10 as it’s something new for Nintendo and it does it brilliantly… This is just enslaved with a new character trying to be mass effect, 7.5 tops

Strangelove
Guest
Strangelove

Story: +Horizon
Exploration: +BOTW
Combat: +Horizon
Gameplay/exploration: +BOTW
Graphics: +Horizon (It’s smooth and has no technical issues)
Characters: +Horizon (Link and most of the support cast is dull/bland)
World Quality: +Horizon (more organic, lively)
World Quantity: +BOTW (more vast)

The point is, that Horizon is AT LEAST equally good, but imo it’s better than Horizon from an objective view. BUT, I do must say that both games puts emphasis on different elements: action vs exploring. When you compare shared aspects then Horizon is the winner.

Stone Edwards
Guest

Oh really? Zelda is a brand new IP with a great new female protagonist? Oh wait no that’s Horizon!

Jackson
Guest
Jackson

Valuation of the gender of a protagonist is about as lowest common denominator as art criticism gets.

Stone Edwards
Guest

Wow can’t believe this is getting replies 17 days later 😉

I wasn’t criticizing Zelda for not having a female protagonist, I was praising Horizon: Zero dawn for having one when even now the industry still frowns on that.

Jackson
Guest
Jackson

I know. My point is that a protagonist being female is not a positive quality, it’s a quality, and in 2017, the industry, as a whole, does not “frown on that”, even if pockets of the more mass market components of it labor under the delusion that female protagonists “don’t sell” or whatever.

Karabanera
Member

Games shouldn’t be rated on the history of the company. They should be rated as they are. Games. This isn’t a 1010 material and Jim treated it as such.

Alex Proxy
Guest
Alex Proxy

Zelda is 0/10 piece of dinosaur shit for autistic mariokids

caBooOm
Guest
caBooOm

do u feel better now

Casepb
Guest
Casepb

So if it had a stamina wheel you would have gave it a 7? I kid, I kid. Seriously though, you are one of the few people who rated this game higher than Zelda. I wish you good luck sir.

Shane O'Shaughnessy
Guest
Shane O'Shaughnessy

Horizon is the first game in which a lack of DLC or season pass has made me sad. I want MORE of this world!

Zeriel
Guest
Zeriel

So you think DLC gives you more and it’s not just ripped from the game during production and then sold to you later? Must be nice being so innocent…

Back in my day a game was released COMPLETE and we would get an expansion pack several months or even years later. Now DLC is planned even before the game is made, like Destiny.

Shane O'Shaughnessy
Guest
Shane O'Shaughnessy

That wasn’t my meaning. I meant that I never wanted the game to end, because I enjoyed being in Horizon’s world so much. Thanks for the history lesson though.

Sebastian Knauer
Guest
Sebastian Knauer

You obviously never even lived “back in the day”. Game addons have been done as far back as Mario 2, which, in itself, was just goddamn fucking DLC.

David Jams
Guest
David Jams

No, no it wasn’t. It was a completely new game that was modified to turn into Mario after the fact.

Sebastian Knauer
Guest
Sebastian Knauer

The fact that you believe that I’m talking about doki doki panic means that you’re not qualified to have a discussion with me.

David Jams
Guest
David Jams

…although I’m inclined to believe that you’re referring to the Japanese Mario 2 that we got in the Mario All-Stars cart for SNES a few years later. Which… DLC? Okay.

David Jams
Guest
David Jams

Well now I’m really curious to know what you mean, smart guy. Let’s hear it?

Sebastian Knauer
Guest
Sebastian Knauer

Don’t be so cocky when you know you’re wrong. Super Mario Bros. 2 in Japan was simply SMB with new levels.

David Jams
Guest
David Jams

That game was not DLC so… don’t be so cocky when you know you’re wrong?

Sebastian Knauer
Guest
Sebastian Knauer

Jesus fuck are you dim. SMB2 was *exactly* what is being sold as dlc nowadays. You’d know that if you weren’t a mid 20 year old trying to riot against DLC online.

Chris Topher
Member

Maybe not 9.5 but a strong 8.5 though the pacing and issues with not being able to make a dinosaur robot follow are annoying.
Not too much dlc so very happy.

J Mareeswaran
Guest
J Mareeswaran

I don’t own any console, but just watched the 5 and a half hour long video of Horizon ZD available on youtube. What the hell? Such a boring,cliched story worse than any B-movie I have ever seen. I want my 6 hours back.

Louisindywine
Guest
Louisindywine

Jim, you hit the nail on the head. This game does nothing new… by good lord it does almost every single thing insanely well. My sentiments completely align with you. I should hate this game. I mean, I beat it, I have the shield weave armor and best weapon… but I can’t…. stop…. playing. Extraordinary world. Ubishit should take notes.

Zul
Guest
Zul

I love you Jim but god damn do we have different tastes in games.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Yer dumb f*ck
Most ancient tribes worshiped matriarch figures. Most of their sacred centres were called navel or refer to wombs.

Zyphon
Guest
Zyphon

What are you even trying to say here

Bo Yang Tang
Guest
Bo Yang Tang

I think he meant to reply to the comment below by Antigonius

Mark
Guest
Mark

What I was trying to say to Antioginus Zyphon is that theres….you know what? Not wasting my effort explaining. Go read a book on pre-history.

your mom
Guest
your mom

how insecure can someone be to care about that lol.

Antigonius
Guest
Antigonius

This has to be literally the most heavy, hitting-you-over-the-top-of-the-head agenda-ridden game ever made
> they literally call your tribes’ leaders the Matriarchy
> the cave they live in is called The Embrace
>when you get halfway through the game you find out that in ancient times a
white general sent BILLIONS to die against a robot apocalypse while the
minorities got together and created GAIA – a black AI that reseeded the
earth
>but plot twist – the minority scientists that did so were GASSED! – By a White Male!
> He corrupted a subfunction named HADES to eliminate inferior life – aka the minorities

David Jams
Guest
David Jams

So you’re saying that you’re an insecure dude? Cool story.

Imp Emissary
Member
*Spoilers for what actually happened in the Horizon Zero Dawn.* 1. The leaders of the Nora are mostly A-holes, and the only one who’s nice to Aloy from the start is Teersa (who is white). Also, the other tribes shown are more male dominated (Carja, Shadow Carja, Oseram). Yeah, the Nora are a Matriarchy, and the one of the least advanced tribes, and are jackasses to our hero for bullshit reasons. 2. General Herres isn’t white and he felt real bad about what he had to do to save ALL of humanity (declaring himself a war criminal in the history… Read more »
J Mareeswaran
Guest
J Mareeswaran

5th & last point, the heroine is peerless white complexion despite no shampoos, soaps and fighting enemies continuously.

Imp Emissary
Member

Maybe Gaia put something in the water to keep all her little people clean?
Or maybe it’s nano-machines. Lots of games like to use those to explain ANYTHING. >:D

RudeOnion
Guest
RudeOnion

Oh nuuuu, women and minorities are depicted as powerful, capable beings?? Say it ain’t so! Oh the HUMANITY! Won’t someone PLEASE THINK OF THE WHITE DUDES??

Lee
Guest
Lee
I haven’t played this game, so I don’t know how accurate his summation/analysis is–for all i know it could be totally incorrect, but you’re misrepresenting his argument. He’s not implying that there’s something wrong with women and minorities being depicted as powerful; he’s saying that the game is intentionally designed to depict white men as inherently evil while other races and women are good by virtue of their race and gender; a racist and sexist aim that, ironically, many people who ostensibly are against sexism and racism would applaud, because the target is white males. Why don’t you respond to… Read more »
J Mareeswaran
Guest
J Mareeswaran

Why don’t you watch the 6 hour video of this &makeup your own mind instead of relying on someone else’s prejudiced argument?

LawfulNetural Chaotic
Guest
LawfulNetural Chaotic

Dude I beat the entire game and got every weapon, data point, vista and collectible. You still seem like a moron to me.

Lee
Guest
Lee

What 6 hour video are you talking about? I have no interest in this game; everything I’ve seen of it looks like generic modern made-for-everybody shit.

I’m not relying on anyone’s argument. Maybe you misread what I typed?

RudeOnion
Guest
RudeOnion
Oh, he is doing a fine job of making himself look deluded. I had nothing to do with it. Men aren’t ‘weak’ in the game. He’s just hung up because they aren’t all knights in armor while women are begging to be saved every second. I’m actually a huge fan of Nil, Avad, Teb and Erand, all of which are dudes, and all of which are very different from each other. But honestly, even IF all men were drpicted as weak or helpless, who the fuck cares? I suppose it’s easy for you (and him) to forget that, most of… Read more »
Lee
Guest
Lee
Like I said before, I haven’t played this game, but even if what he’s saying were true, it would of course be fine. It’s unbelievably stupid to expect any creative work, that you had no hand in making, to suit the way you want gender or race to be portrayed. My point was that you were attributing meaning and intention to his argument that you can’t know is there, and instead of responding to what he was saying, you responded to a cynical fictionalization. Maybe he does hate that “women and minorities are depicted as powerful, capable beings”, but that’s… Read more »
RudeOnion
Guest
RudeOnion

Not sure why you’re recapping everything that was said. Scrolling up isn’t terribly hard. I know what was said.

Lee
Guest
Lee

You don’t post like you know what was said.

RudeOnion
Guest
RudeOnion

And you’re arguing pointless semantics. I don’t even recall this conversation concerning you, to begin with.

Lee
Guest
Lee

Sorry for disturbing your private chat with Antigonius the woman hater.

Lee
Guest
Lee

You post like you imagine what was said and then react to that.

Martina Veselá
Member

Why did you write an essay when everything you’re trying to say can be said in a single sentence: “waah white male oppression!”.

Antigonius
Guest
Antigonius

Because unlike you I like to voice my irks in a detailed fashion. But you twitterite wouldn’t understand – to many words to process.

ben Sedgwick
Guest
ben Sedgwick

*too many

your mom
Guest
your mom

how insecure can someone be to care about that

Weasel Biggs
Member

You’ve missed the point by a few light-years, at the very least. @uldi:disqus has done a great job at telling you what needs to be inferred by the game’s themes. Matriarchal societies have solid historical precedents, and admitting that doesn’t make me or anyone else a rabid third-wave feminist.

Freesoul
Guest
Freesoul

wut ? Feminism: zero dawn ?
There were no historical matriarchy (may be you include fairy tales in history ?)

Weasel Biggs
Member

Some Celtic clans would like a word with you…

Freesoul
Guest
Freesoul

Well unless you refer to fantasy ala mist of Avalon they wouldn’t say much. While it is true that the ancient Celts treated their women fairly – women often had a choice in marriage, owned land… – they were not a matriarchal society.

Uldihaa
Member

Then the ancient Vietnamese and the Iroquois Confederacy would have a few words to say. Hell, Crete is believed to have been one. There is some evidence that many pre-history tribes where matriarchal.

Jackson
Guest
Jackson

Matrilineal, perhaps, but truly matriarchal societies are pretty mythical, afaik.

Uldihaa
Member
Having now started to play the game, I can see even more how wrong you are. You should really be careful about repeating the agenda of someone else, about a subject you have little to no first-hand experience with. It’s NOT called the Matriarchy, just the High Matriarchs. They are the tribe’s shaman/priests, and like most such positions they are also the keepers of the tribe’s laws and history (usually passed down through an oral tradition). Plot twist: Women as shaman were common in tribal-level civilization, as was the worship of a Mother Goddess; where the hell did you think… Read more »
The Magic Lemur
Member

I can’t even tell if this is trolling anymore.

Hunter Mearo
Guest
Hunter Mearo

Maybe you’re reading too hard into it. I tend to only start bitching about agendas when its praised for a story like that. Did you cry when you stopped playing as Joel in Last of Us or something?

AlexAndThunder
Guest
AlexAndThunder

You only start bitching when someone praises a game for a story they liked? Do you hear yourself?

Hunter Mearo
Guest
Hunter Mearo

Yeah, I’m talking about when specific people give overly stellar reviews though, not just anyone, for example when many renown SJW types gave Get Out (the film) a 10 with “social commentary” as a positive point to the film. I gave the film a 6 and called it a mediocre horror film with some good comic relief and I made a bitchy facebook post asking why so many people gave it 10s almost purely based on a racial commentary. That would be an example of what I mean or can you not read and infer that from my comment? haha

RudeOnion
Guest
RudeOnion

So…..if I like Horizon because you fight enormous robo-animals, that’s all fine and dandy. But if I like the game because I think Aloy is a refreshing protagonist, a woman with a non-sexualized design, that gets you all riled up?

What if I like it for both reasons? And the vast inclusion of minorities?

Hunter Mearo
Guest
Hunter Mearo

Nope, that’s a great thing and that’s actually one of the reasons why I enjoy her. I don’t know if I haven’t gotten my point across well enough but I’m talking about specific people or masses of people taking something to a ridiculous extreme. If you said to me that the whole game deserves a ten because of Aloy being a refreshing etc. and nothing else I’d be quite ticked off but you haven’t said that and that’s chill 🙂 I don’t think a product should be judged on one aspect

AlexAndThunder
Guest
AlexAndThunder

I can read and your comment (and what you’re posting now) is literally you talking about how you get upset when other people like something *for certain aspects* of it. It’s immature brattiness to start bitching because some enjoys something that you don’t. (Not to be confused with bitching because you didn’t like the content itself, which is of course just criticism).

Hunter Mearo
Guest
Hunter Mearo

Not other people, influential reviewers who ruin a critical vibe by focusing on a single point and only that. I’d be just as peeved if someone gave Destiny a 10 because of its amazing sound design or great gun-play. I tend to critique criticism when it comes to that so I don’t think it’s immature brattiness, it’s personal preference when it comes to reviewers. I just made a comment about it. I didn’t realise that I’d be taken this seriously aha

Lee
Guest
Lee
It’s increasingly common for artistic works to be judged by influential and mainstream outlets based on an adherence to certain moral ideologies instead of artistic quality. The practical impact right now may be mild, but it could easily get worse. We have to rely to some degree on critics to curate artistic works for our society; no one can reasonably be expected to seek out and try everything without any guidance. It’s an important role. They influence visibility and popularity; and so, on aggregate– especially in the case of games and movies where funding can be crucial–they influence what gets… Read more »
Uldihaa
Member
Uh huh, sure. So these ‘minorities’ were American minorities then, or British, maybe? Because, much to your probable shock, white people make up less than a third of the world’s population. An Indian would not be a minority in India, a black Namibian would not be a minority in Namibia etc. As for a white general sending billions to die in a war… Which countries have the largest and most well equipped militaries again? Oh yeah, those countries where white generals are common. How can an AI be of any ethnicity? Yeah, a white guy gassing a bunch of non-whites,… Read more »
Tiago Martins
Member

So sad that your poor, fragile, insecure ego was shattered by a videogame, you delicate, precious little flower. Kiss Kiss.

Manen
Guest
Manen

Nice

Tord Laudal
Guest
Tord Laudal

perhaps for once i will agree with the rating of a review by jim sterling at least lately… but then again i havent watched or read to many of his review. Still tbh nioh that he also reviewed seems to be must have game almost. Undertale was a review i agreed with… tlou was a review i didnt agree with

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