LTTP: Horizon: Zero Dawn, which leaves a LOT to be desired

Nov 22, 2018
Didn't enjoy it much. The world is lifeless and not very interesting to explore, everyone looks like a cosplayer, the combat is repetitive and boring, and don't get me started on the story. Anyone who puts this game on the same level as TW3 is out of their goddamn mind.
Oct 28, 2017
I fundamentally disagree with you on almost everything. Melee was meh, but I only used it for stealth finishers. The story and presentation was brilliant, I loved it, and I had a blast with finding ways to use new tactics to take down the world's inhabitants.

I guess it's a shame the game isn't for you, but I also found breath of the wild to be a boring slog with a lacklustre story experience. So different strokes. Good luck finding a game you enjoy more.
Oct 27, 2017
Didn't enjoy it much. The world is lifeless and not very interesting to explore, everyone looks like a cosplayer, the combat is repetitive and boring, and don't get me started on the story. Anyone who puts this game on the same level as TW3 is out of their goddamn mind.
It sucks you didn't enjoy it. It's my favorite game of the generation. But gotta say stuff like "everyone looks like a cosplayer" isn't a very charitable criticism of the game. The outfits and NPC designs are so unique.

I put the game above TW3, not because of the cutscene acting (sadly the animation can be a bit stilted at times) but because the story was more personal for me. Elisabet Sobeck is someone I wish I could be. It's harder for me to identify with Ciri's plight and even less between Geralt's issues with women.
Oct 25, 2017
Yes... :D. That well-documented shortcoming of this game compared to certain game is not mentioned....
At least this game had actual enemy variety and good combat, unlike that certain game which we are not mentioning.

God it took me too long to make this gif appear in my comment. Not worth it
Oct 25, 2017
The amazing combat and tight controls, interesting story and characters, superb pacing, visually arresting world, and wonderful soundtrack make it my favorite open-world game and one of the few I've actually bothered to see to the end.


Oct 27, 2017
The combat is so good though. Ropecaster and triple arrow headshot everything don't use melee. Great game.
Nov 22, 2018
It sucks you didn't enjoy it. It's my favorite game of the generation. But gotta say stuff like "everyone looks like a cosplayer" isn't a very charitable criticism of the game. The outfits and NPC designs are so unique.
The designs are alright on the concept art, but in-game everyone looks so goofy. Seriously felt like I was watching an Asylum movie when I played it.
Nov 4, 2017
I agree with you OP. I couldnt muster to play more than 6 hours or so. Got it through gamefly and was super excited cause I had just bought a Ps4 pro.

Visually it's a beautiful game, but it lacks the polish of big Triple A games imo. Too much clipping happening with Aloy and her environment. A lot of NPC look visually bad in comparison to Aloy and some of the main characters.

My biggest gripe, I just wasnt having fun. I didnt even get to the big city they mentioned in the beginning of the game. I wanted to like it, but I told myself I don't have to force myself to play something I just wasnt enjoying.
Oct 27, 2017
Can't agree. I loved it. The game grabbed me and didn't let go until the very end. Dlc was nice too. Hunting both men and machines was cool and the fights against the biggest robots were really fun.
Oct 27, 2017
I've been playing the complete edition for a few weeks now. Initially my goal was to do every quest but each subsequent main quest so that I could 100% the game by the time I finished it, but after 25 hours of playing, I no longer can do it. I'm a few main quests away from completing the game, having just escaped the Sun Pit with that other dude whose name I can't remember.

I didn't initially have the complaints I do now but that's because I expected some things to get better. The game is visually stunning and the foliage, when in the thick of it, can be mesmerizing. Other than that, however, the game is not very fun to experience.

-The transition between gameplay and cut-scene is jarring and unprompted. Unlike other games that require you to be in the vicinity of where a cut-scene takes place before starting it, this game abruptly begins one as soon as you kill the last human or robot required, even if you are meters away.
-Melee combat is extremely clunky. Even if needed as a last resort, I prefer my character just die so I can start anew.
-Voice acting ranges anywhere from mediocre to bad outside of Aloy and the other dude who helps you later in the game.
-Side-quests explore nothing interesting and only serve as fetch-quests that yield nothing of value.
-Never played a game up until this one that had a skill tree with not a single skill I wanted to have.
-Dialogue choices that really feel inconsequential due to the limited number of conversations with them.
-A villain so unimaginative you forget he exists even if you only ever do the main quests and plow through the story.
-The AI is clunky and dumb, not sure how else to put it.

And a few others I can't think of at the moment.

However despite these complaints, the over all biggest pitfall this game has is that it feels incomplete in almost every way outside of its visual presentation. It has a skill tree that feels like it could develop into something more meaningful, but it never quite gets there. It gives the impression of being an ARPG with leveling up, the aforementioned skill tree, and modifying weapons, but none of these things feel like they matter. It has side-quests that feel like they're going to lead to a startling discovery, only to be squandered with insignificance.

And by far the worst feeling I have in a game like this is that after 25 hours my character feels no more empowered now than when I started. I'm happy for those who really enjoy this game because I can see why it is that you do - after all, fighting the robots and dismantling them piece-by-piece can be pretty fun - but this gets old for someone like me very quickly if there's no incentive for continuing to do it outside of harvesting resources.

I'll be finishing the game soon as I have only a few hours left, but I am not looking forward to it. A shame since I went into this game not having read a single impression with the intention of making it my first open-world game I devoted all my time to completing entirely. Now I've discovered even completing the main quests are a chore.
It's quite easy to explain why I liked it and put over 130 hours into the main game and The Frozen Wilds.
TO make it short: It has a fantastic story, Aloy is awesome, the world is beautiful, the soundtrack is really good, the mech-creatures in it are amazing and the combat (bow/traps) against the mech-creatures is the best I've ever experienced.
All in all a great game and the best new IP this gen. I love it.
Played around 8-10 hours of it then dropped it when Zelda came out and haven't been back since.
Always funny to me seeing these posts in HZD threads, because it was the the complete opposite to me. Played and completed HZD, played Zelda BOTW afterwards and got bored rather quickly. A super boring game to me.
Jan 3, 2018
I feel it's one of the best 10 games I've ever played. Side quests absolutely explore interesting things; it's how the bulk of the game's lore gets fleshed out. You get a great sense of the different factions and how the tribes living across the land deal with survival in the face of the machines. The dialogue choices and skill trees are mostly flavor, I agree. That doesn't make them bad. It makes them flavor. And I don't see how you could possibly not sense a progression of Aloy's powers when you're breaking off T-Rex lasers in one shot with an upgraded bow, or annihilating Bellower throats with sling shots, or hell even completing cauldrons and taking over enemy Ravagers to use against other Ravagers. By the end of the game Aloy feels like a total badass.
Oct 27, 2017
I can't disagree completely with some of the game's faults, but I loved it. One of the most enjoyable experiences I've had this generation and I'd love to see more in that game's world.

I also platinumed it, but it wasn't really a hard game to do that for.
Oct 27, 2017
If you don't feel anymore empowered after playing all that time you didn't learn how to use your traps, mods, and weapons correctly.

Hell do the cauldrons and become a beastmaster god.
Oct 25, 2017
Some of the worst voice acting in any AAA game.

Almost none of the 'actors' (including Aloy) feel like they really belong in or understand many of the scenes they are in. Their accent, intonation, and emotions conveyed almost never seem correct for the situation. Completely takes me out of the game.

It felt like they just brought in people from around the office to voice the lines.
What I found hard to overlook regarding the story, so much so it undermined tone of the game itself, was the NPC design, seemed like a bunch of actors with cheap costumes on, they did not sell thier culture or history, it all felt so fake. Pristine faces, yet they we're meant to believe they're rugged, weathered individuals. Really impacted my desire to understand their plight.
Oct 27, 2017
Couldn't finish it either but was in love with the gameplay mechanics when fighting robots. I still get excited when ik think about running into a lot of different robots. It's just fun.
Oct 27, 2017
Honestly, after finishing it I couldn't understand why it was nominated for the GOTY in 2017 over other games. It's not bad, but Jesus the middle part is boring. The only thing I don't agree with you is the combat, I loved it as long as it was against machones (seriously, human enemies are the worst here. They're just boring).

The DLC is a LOT better though. At least the story and cutscenes aren't like seeing a girl play with Barbies.
Completely agree with what you said. It's a 7/10 game, thanks to the great combat (i won't even complain about melee like almost everyone else here, i just didn't used it much). But dear Lord, i didn't care about any of the characters aside from Aloy and at one point late in the game started to rush through the missions using fast travel constantly (once you finish the cauldrons there is no point of exploring anymore).
For the sequel i hope they will have less looting. This was pain, since each minute you get tons of crap that you never need during the game. Add that the inventory was limited zzz....
Oct 25, 2017
You play for the robot combat and the visual splendor, both of which are exceptional.

Everything else is... uneven, to say the least. The characters have the depth and personality of cardboard cutouts. That may be one of the biggest complaints I have. Seriously, the long-dead disembodied voices you listen to in the audio logs are more fleshed out characters.

The story itself never rises above average YA novel fare. Which isn't inherently bad, just very pedestrian.

The way the story is told, however, is worse, with the majority of the game's build-up and climax conveyed to the player through a repeated cycle of: defeat brainless human enemies, find and listen to all the audio logs, move to next room, start over. That shit was disappointing.
Oct 27, 2017
I thought it was fine, not amazing, but just fine. I probably spent more time with it than I do most open world games. And it's stunning visually, although you can tell the visual budget drops off slightly after the first couple of hours with the game.

With regards to the voice acting, I agree it's incredibly wooden but then it's difficult with a game like this with so many conversation trees etc. It's certainly no worse than Mass Effect which is the closest comparison I can think of in that regard.


May 11, 2018
Never disagreed so hard with OP. Put over 80h into the game on the originial highest diffuculty , got the plat ,and absolutely loved every second of it.

Some of you just dont know how to enjoy a game man.
Sep 16, 2018
Sorry it wasn't for you. I loved the hell out of it. It's either 2nd or 3rd on my GOTG so far list. God of War is first and I waffle between this and Witcher 3 for the 2nd spot.
Nov 10, 2017
You should visit the "souless' games thread. You'll find company there.

I never used melee combat. I have a friend who mostly uses traps, ropes and the spear and hasn't even upgraded his bow. Its fantastic how workable different approaches are in this game.

Uncovering the world, history and the story of the present day was a treat I haven't forgotten, nearly a year on.


Oct 26, 2017
Pretty much went the same way for me. Started by doing everything I could find but 10 hours in I started skipping stuff and 20 hours in I just wanted to be done with the game.
Oct 27, 2017
It has a skill tree that feels like it could develop into something more meaningful, but it never quite gets there. It gives the impression of being an ARPG with leveling up, the aforementioned skill tree, and modifying weapons, but none of these things feel like they matter.
Perhaps playing on a higher difficulty level would help with this? If combat is never much of a challenge, I imagine skill/weapon/armor upgrades wouldn't feel very rewarding, and there would be less incentive for being creative with your arsenal and trying different things. I played on normal and found it challenging enough that upgrades certainly felt welcome. For most of the game, at least - my Aloy was probably a little overpowered towards the end, with the
Shield-Weaver Armor
and all.
Feb 2, 2018
It is one of my favorite games of all time, so I disagree strongly. The combat is extremely engaging, probably the best ranged combat in any game. The creatures are incredibly fun to fight and they're detailed and varied. I also loved the chilling sci-fi back story that you follow throughout the game. Human enemy camps were a bit of a dud, but luckily that's just a small part of the whole. This game is one of the greatest creations in gaming.
Oct 25, 2017
So weird that we keep having this thread over and over. I think one just got closed a week or two.

People have different opinions, the thread re-re-re-do.
Oct 30, 2017
Favorite new IP, it's got it flaws but I'm confident the sequel will be bananas.

OP in terms of presentation they really improved it in the Frozen Wilds. Which is pretty promising considering that was a pretty quick turn around. The presentation upgrade makes the storytelling better and also seems like the VO improved a lot. Despite how uneven the performances could be in the base game, there was still some good bits of storytelling there.

But yeah I feel like you should be feeling more "empowered" as the game goes on. You'll get stronger gear but you'll also just get better at exploiting enemies. Each new enemy has a learning curve, but after awhile you'll begin to understand how to best take them out. Sure leveling up helps, but part of the "empowerment" was learning to use more efficient strategies and better understanding enemy attack patterns/behavior.
Oct 27, 2017
I loved the game, is this generation's Mass Effect to me.

I agree that it feels undercooked in a lot of aspects, but all the potential is there for the sequel to be a masterpiece.
Apr 12, 2018
Can we also talk about how easily Aloy gets stuck on various bits and bobs in the environment, and also how bizarrely short but disproportionately high her forward jump is?
Oct 26, 2017
Five or so hours in, so far setting and general atmosphere carries it for me, gameplay is nothing to write home about but how many open world games have good gameplay, really. It's partly my fault, on normal difficulty you can kinda just mash through the enemies with basic attacks and dodging, also that stealth takedown is super cheap. There's probably more variety somewhere in there but eh.

I can se myself finishing it, it seems just engaging enough to play to enjoy the unique setting and see where the narrative goes.
Oct 25, 2017
I saw Horizon as a pretty average game overall. I liked the combat against bigger machines, but melee and human combat was trash and there’s a lot of human combat in the main missions and outposts.

I liked Aloy and Sylens(to a degree, they weren’t true standouts or anything just better than their competition) but didn’t think much of most of the other characters in the game. The sidequests were rote and unimaginitive. Music was solid but nothing exceptional for the most part.

The story was fine, but the actual storytelling was horrendous and poorly paced. They told the story mostly through audio logs(ehh) and you were annoyingly forcefed them back to back to back within a couple locations rather than them being doled out over time.

I’m not too high on Horizon. I like a lot of what they did and there’s a nice foundation there, but there’s so much for them to improve.

Disliked the heavy emphasis on crafting too tbh
Oct 25, 2017
I'm with you OP. I liked the main story and some of the characters (really the only reason I stayed with it lol), but even then I feel the game cut waaaay too short and it ended at a midpoint rather than an end. All the side quests I did felt like total filler and honestly the combat isn't actually that good. At the end of the day, all you really need is to get a Ropecaster w/ some good damage enhancements and a sharpshot bow with tear enhancements and you're basically golden. Anything else is optional. I think it's a pretty decent game but in the year it came out in well..... It's got tough competition.

The villain is a true fuckin asshole. IDK what you talking about.
Being an asshole doesn't make you memorable, he doesn't even have that unique a design. He just looks like a generic brute enemy you'd find in this kind of game. I didn't even realize that he was supposed to be a main villain until like halfway through the story.
At least this game had actual enemy variety and good combat, unlike that certain game which we are not mentioning.

God it took me too long to make this gif appear in my comment. Not worth it
Mmmmmmmm I think they're about on-par with one another honestly and that other game doesn't lock obvious and essential skills behind a level up tree.
Oct 25, 2017
This makes no sense whatsoever. Aloy's abilities improve drastically over the course of the game.
Agreed. Aloy becomes a real powerhouse after a while after acquiring new skills and weapons.

Each to their own though I guess. I loved Horizon Zero Dawn and found very little to fault it over. The only thing that did irk me was the human enemies AI was too simplistic and easy to exploit, but the upside to that was that the Dinobot AI was exceptionally well done I thought and presented all sorts of challenges depending on the circumstances.

Some of the worst voice acting in any AAA game..
Wow I couldn't disagree more. It feels like we played different games.
Oct 25, 2017
Wasn't it this game that was once referred to as "a slay, yet basic"?
Yup that was it. Periodically someone new needs to start a new thread about how they don't like it. I'm probably just not looking but I don't recall other games getting this treatment.

Not that I really care one way or the other.. I just find it interesting. Comparisons to that "other game" should come soon.
Oct 27, 2017
You make some good points and you obviously thought about it before making the op so I respect your opinion.
Personally, Horizon is GOTG, the most fun I’ve had this gen, specially in an open-world setting. Played for 50h, first platinum on ps4. Couldn’t get enough of the lore and consider it to be one of the best sci stories in gaming (and perhaps media in general), specially some of the side-mission/collectibles lore. Aloy is a great character! The moment to moment gameplay is so dynamic and inventive, it’s the best of the gen. Yes, melee sucks very much and it’s the number one thing they need to improve. The way you really have to think before attacking and manage your weapons and strategies never stopped being interesting for me. And that’s the one thing I don’t get about the op, saying that no unlocked skill was usefull, because by the time you finish the game the way you can tackle your enemies is so different and so rich than in the beginning.
Oct 27, 2017
Just a matter of different strokes for different folks.

I absolutely adored this. On the other hand, I felt like BotW left a lot to be desired in many key areas. Therefore, at the time (pre-RDR2), Horizon was the most impressive open-world game this gen for me.