Shamelog #031 - A New Dawn on the Horizon

Beginning with Edith Finch, I wanted to check out the few 2017 GOTY contenders I own and haven’t yet played to see what all the fuss is about. The last few years have turned into an end of year ritual for me - the Giant Bomb GOTY podcasts, Kotaku’s Splitscreen rundown of all the notable games of the year, Geoff Keighley’s Game Awards show, IGN/PC Gamer/every other outlets GOTY lists and of course, Waypoint’s excellent GOTY content. These spoilerific discussions are some of the best parts of this time of year, so experiencing some of these mysteries first are always worth the time. Next on that list of games I don’t want to be spoiled: Horizon: Zero Dawn.

25 hours in, I can definitively say Horizon is a great open world RPG, with gorgeous vistas and a strong story hook.

I’m into the premise. Set X years into the future, after civilisation has fallen into ruin and mechanical beasts roam the earth, playable character Aloy must uncover the truth of both her origins and the plague that is The Corruption, a disease that threatens the mental stability of human and machine alike. While the blending of sci-fi and fantasy feels like the result of a board meeting where everyone threw something “cool” into a pot, it somehow combined to create a compelling premise with a believable series of events. It seems like some of the things included are going to be hard to explain, but what I’ve seen so far from Guerrilla has given me enough faith that they could do it justice.

Horizon does admittedly feel a little… formulaic. It might just be all the open world RPG’s I’ve put significant time into lately, but the stuff you do is very much in the same vein as other RPG’s of this era. The mish-mash of inspirations from Far Cry, The Witcher and Tomb Raider are worn on Horizon’s sleeve, but that isn’t to the game’s detriment. Guerrilla have taken the staples of a well known genre and built around it a fun world to explore and fight in, which is more than can be said for others. I’m keen to see the direction Horizon will take me.

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Games Left to Play: 111
Currently Playing: Horizon Zero Dawn