Horizon: Zero Dawn | Review Thread

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METACRITIC | OPENCRITIC

GiantBomb | 5/5

Horizon: Zero Dawn is familiar but also really refreshing. It's not a short game (I spent around 30 hours with it), but the storytelling still feels concise and efficient. The combat has some nice options that make encounters fun, even when you're just stacking up stealth kills from the relative safety of a bush. And the presentation end of the game holds up its end of things with a solid soundtrack, great voice acting, and a cohesive design that makes all its disparate parts fit together. All in all, it's a great game, it's Guerrilla's strongest release to date.
Cogconnected | 10/10

Horizon Zero Dawn is a sweeping epic, magically dancing across the lines between sci-fi and fantasy, masterfully intertwining two genres that traditionally have held their own space in gaming. It is Guerrilla Games' crowning achievement in video game development. Words cannot do justice for what you need to see for yourself.
Independent UK | 10/10

BGR | 5/5

Omelete | 5/5

Gaming Bolt | 10/10

Playstation Lifestyle | 10/10

Horizon Zero Dawn is an early contender for game of the year. Guerrilla Games has outdone themselves, in astounding fashion. This is a glorious game, the result of a team of masterful artisans who not only had a story that they wished to tell, but a world that was living inside of them which they wanted to share with us all. Now, we get to play inside their creation, and it is a breathtaking experience to behold. A massive, open world filled with equally massive, terrifying robots, juxtaposed against the beauty of the Earth, nature fighting back the darkness as it tends to do. Horizon Zero Dawn is the kind of game you play to get lost in, and can be enjoyed by players of all types. This could be the beginning of a stellar franchise, and there is something for everyone here. If you own a PS4, you owe it to yourself to give Horizon Zero Dawn a go.
Twinfinite | 5/5

Its magical world is a wonder to explore, it controls and looks exceptional, and the unique, modular build of its enemies ensures that combat never gets old. Yes, items could have been more accessible, and I was left with more questions than answers by the end, but these were mere speed bumps in the bigger picture. Horizon Zero Dawn is the PS4's first major exclusive of 2017, and it couldn't have gotten much better.
Telegraph UK | 5/5

On the surface, Horizon seems like a jumble of influences but, just like the murderous machina wandering its lands, the game is far more than its component parts, delivering a gripping story, satisfying combat, and the most gorgeous video game environments I've ever seen. Horizon confidently carves out an identity of its own in an overpopulated genre.
CheatCodeCentral | 4.9/5

Heading out into the world of Horizon Zero Dawn to take down these massive machines is an exhilarating feeling, which combines well with a story that gradually unfurls and engages its audience.
GameOver Online | 9.8/10

Horizon Zero Dawn is Guerrilla Games' best effort, one of the PS4's greatest games, and the best game ever crafted from the ground up for the platform. It combines a gripping narrative with intense action that blends both fast-paced combat with slower-paced, tense stealth sections perfectly. Everything about their vision for this game clicks into place and is accentuated by a stellar presentation. The game features top-shelf graphical work, a unique and enjoyable soundtrack, alongside a fantastic cast to make an unforgettable experience.
Digital Chumps | 9.8/10

XGN | 9.7/10

Guerilla Games has set the bar while it ventures into a new genre. The game looks phenomenal, and it offers variety, tens of hours of fun and an accessible system. It challenges you in every fight to play intelligently. This may be the best game of 2017.
Aus Gamer | 9.6/10

While the main storyline was lacking, there's a reason good world-building is critical to good fantasy, and like I said, this game nails it. I loved about the game was the way it used Aloy's Focus to force you to examine things. Each new area becomes a crime scene as Aloy examines and analyses what's been left behind. It's a clever way to blend the idea of technology into this otherwise primitive world.
JeuxVideo | 18/20

PSX-Sense.nl | 9.5/10

A great story, outstanding visuals and very enjoyable gameplay. Brilliant in every single way. Guerrilla once more cements its reputation as one of PlayStation's very best developers.
Gamer.nl | 9.5/10

It's not often that a game of this caliber lives up to all expectations. Horizon Zero Dawn starts slowly, but transforms in a huge action adventure. We haven't been obsessed with a virtual world to this degree since The Witcher 3. Horizon impresses in every facet imaginable.
InsideGamer.nl | 9.5/10

This game is so much more than a survival trip through the wild, ​with a ​ the brilliantly realized ecosystem with numerous 'robot animals'​. ​This game implements influences from all sorts of games and movies from the past years ​​ perfectly to form a new classic.
Arcade Sushi | 9.5/10

Tweakers.net | 9.5/10

Zwame | 9.5/10

God is a Geek | 9.5/10

It's been a long time since a game has been put together this well. The combat is awesome, the visuals are stunning, and Aloy is 100% badass.
Polygon | 9.5/10

Horizon Zero Dawn thrums with the energy of a creative team finally allowed to explore something new. It builds on elements of open-world and loot-and-craft gameplay that we've seen before, but it does so within a context, a setting and a style that feel fresh. Horizon Zero Dawn discovers a stronger sense of its own personality in one game than Killzone ever managed across half a dozen. Guerrilla Games has long been developing some of the most buzzed-about games in the industry; with Horizon, it feels like it has finally found its own voice, one worthy of all that buzz.
Playstation Universe | 9.5/10

Horizon Zero Dawn reinvigorates open-world RPGs with an excellent story, creative science fiction, and demanding gameplay. Aloy's debut is one of PS4's greatest games.
Hobby Consolas | 9.5/10

Horizon: Zero Dawn is Guerrilla's biggest game to date, and not just from a technical standpoint. It's also one hell of an action RPG, thanks to a complex and satisfying combat system. The story and universe are also huge; Aloy's future is already shining on the horizon. A star is born.
Jimquisition | 9.5/10

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.
IGN | 9.3/10, Editor's Choice

Across a vast and beautiful open world, Horizon: Zero Dawn juggles many moving parts with polish and finesse. Its main activity - combat - is extremely satisfying thanks to the varied design and behaviors of machine-creatures that roam its lands, each of which needs to be taken down with careful consideration. Though side questing could have been more imaginative, its missions are compelling thanks to a central mystery that led me down a deep rabbit hole to a genuinely surprising - and moving - conclusion.
Atomix | 9.3/10

AreaJugones | 9.3/10

Horizon Zero Dawn is as good as everybody expected. A powerful narrative and solid gameplay make this Guerrilla game one of the best titles that 2017 has to offer.
Everyeye.it | 9.2/10

Guerrilla Games did it. Horizon: Zero Dawn is one of the best Open-World games of this generation. It's a wonderful action-RPG set in a vast and unforgettable universe, with a solid (but conventional) plot and - most of all - challenging gameplay.
Meristation | 9.2/10

Horizon: Zero Dawn is probably the best Guerrilla game ever and one of the most solid open world experiences that we've seen recently. A true must-have for Playstation 4 owners.
IGN Spain | 9.2/10

There's so much to love in Horizon: Zero Dawn. You may love its gameplay, its magnificent world, its crisp visuals or the excellent sound design. An experience that's worth taking.
Gameblog.fr | 9/10

Few new licenses have been successful in setting the bar so high. Thanks to its varied, dazzling landscapes, its controlled rhythm, and sharp gameplay, Aloy's quest redefines what immersion in an open world means, if it does not revolutionize the genre.
GamePro | 9/10

Forbes | 9/10

No, Horizon probably isn't as monumental of an experience as playing Uncharted or God of War for the first time, but it's well-made, engaging and probably worth your time.
Gamespot | 9/10

Guerilla Games has delivered one of the best open-world games of this generation.
PS Nation | 9/10

RPG Site | 9/10

I took approximately thirty-five hours to complete Horizon Zero Dawn's main story, but the first thing I did after I finished was dive right back in. There were still exciting quests to do, gorgeous places to discover, and fascinating characters to meet. I'm still falling in love with this world and all the magnificent things it has to offer. Guerrilla Games has created something truly impressive and memorable with their first dive into the genre, and I have only endless excitement for all that's in store for the future of this universe.
Push Square | 9/10

Debuts don't get much stronger than Horizon: Zero Dawn. Guerrilla Games' latest borrows liberally from a variety of different sources, and yet it leverages these fundamentals to forge an experience that's daringly unique. The main quest tires a little towards the end, and the writing never hits the same highs as The Witcher 3 – but the tactical action stands leagues ahead of what we've come to expect from the genre, and the presentation is quite simply unmatched.
Gamereactor UK | 9/10

Gamereactor Spain | 9/10

JeuxActu | 9/10

Gamer.no | 9/10

Horizon Zero Dawn takes the best traits of the open-world genre and melts them together into Guerrilla's own, polished and refreshing vision. The voice acting, nuanced character roster and many fun ways to approach combat makes this a game I'd gladly see become Sony's next big flagship franchise.
The Games Machine | 9/10

Horizon Zero Dawn is a nice surprise because rarely is a game such as this is able to surpass expectations. It isn't just a game with a great plot; it isn't just a technical marvel; it isn't just a game with great, addictive gameplay mechanics. It is all of these things and much more. It is, above all, an Aloy that shines on its own, able to rise as the new PlayStation female hero.
LaPS4 | 9/10

Horizon Zero Dawn is a nice surprise because rarely is a game such as this is able to surpass expectations. It isn't just a game with a great plot; it isn't just a technical marvel; it isn't just a game with great, addictive gameplay mechanics. It is all of these things and much more. It is, above all, an Aloy that shines on its own, able to rise as the new PlayStation female hero.
Game Revolution | 9/10

There is a certain appeal to Horizon: Zero Dawn which I have not found in any other open-world RPG game. Perhaps it is the addition of shiny robots to the mix or the story of Aloy herself. Either way, this game has my full attention and I wouldn't call it anything less than stellar. If I had to compare it to another game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Shadow of Mordor would be on the top of my list. When compared to these two titles, Horizon is riddled with less bugs, more engaging combat, and successfully incorporates stealth gameplay. Try and guess what I'll be playing for the next few weeks.
GameRant | 9/10

When all is said and done, Horizon: Zero Dawn could easily be Sony's next great franchise, but even as a one-off it's very impressive.
Merlin'in Kazani | 9/10

Horizon: Zero Dawn starts as Aloy's personal story and then turns into a bigger, wider experience. Thanks to its fantastic and stuffed open world, its one of the best games of 2017 already.
GamePlanet | 9/10

Guerrilla Games' punt on a new IP has paid off handsomely, as despite its silly title, Horizon Zero Dawn is a magnificent open world action-adventure that lives up to its hype.
Next Gen Gaming Blog | 9/10

Press-Start AUS | 9/10

Eurogamer.it | 9/10

3dJuegos | 9/10

M3 | 9/10

ShackNews | 9/10

Hardcore Gamer | 4.5/5

Trusted Reviews | 4.5/5

GamesRadar | 4.5/5

We Got This Covered | 4.5/5

Multiplayer.it | 8.8/10

Vandal | 8.8/10

A spectacular and entertaining open world adventure that becomes one of the must-have exclusives of PS4.
Game Informer | 8.75/10

IGN Italia | 8.7/10

VentureBeat | 8.7/10

PLAY! Zine | 8.5/10

CGMagazine | 8.5/10

New Game Network | 8/10

Metro | 8/10

State-of-the-art visuals help create one of gaming's most entertaining open worlds, even if the gameplay doesn't quite reach the same standards.
Videogamer | 8/10

The Sixth Axis | 8/10

The Daily Dot | 8/10

Darkstation | 8/10

Easy Allies | 4/5

Horizon Zero Dawn feels like a franchise in the making. While not packed with narrative high points, it's still a compelling introduction to a world in turmoil that answers a lot of questions, but still gestures toward a more climactic future. Its primary element, squaring off against mechanized animals, is such a success, it makes up for the ongoing repetition of the game's activities. When we look into Horizon's future, we see a sequel that can take this world and make it into something remarkable.
The Guardian | 4/5

Destructoid | 7.5/10

Horizon Zero Dawn is a fascinating premise wrapped in a tortilla of tropes.
Stevivor | 7/10

Gamekult | 7/10

USGAMER | 2.5/5

Horizon Zero Dawn is disappointing. It has a story that I struggled to care about (complete with massive expository dumps—yay), a bland protagonist, and overtly repetitive and constraining missions that worked against its open world sensibilities. When Horizon Zero Dawn hit its rare strides—from its gloomy Cauldrons to traveling across its sprawling vistas—it only made me wish the rest of the game were as worthwhile.
The Verge | No Score, Recommended

Ars Technica | No Score, Buy It

Horizon is huge in every way that counts, and it should be celebrated for doing what too many games don't these days: telling an enthralling, time-consuming journey that's already complete on the disc—and one we'll remember for years to come.
Eurogamer | No Score

Kinda Funny | No Score, Recommended

VG247 | No Score, Recommended

Horizon Zero Dawn is a meaty but player-friendly open world epic with a solid action combat heart, unique setting and ravishing scenery. It is The Witcher 3 of post-post-apocalyptic robo-dino adventures; it is the sort of thing Ubisoft will wish you had never seen if it dares to release another time-sucking, glitch-filled Assassin's Creed. It is the promise of open world games gloriously fulfilled. I don't know what else to tell you.
Kotaku | No Score, Recommended

Kotaku AUS | No Score | Impressions 1 | Impressions 2

Gamersyde | No Score
 
#47
So, with the embargo over I can also share my reviews. They're on the large Dutch videogame sites Gamer.nl and InsideGamer (and by extension on NU.nl, the largest newssite in the Netherlands, as they republish our articles).

We're also on Metacritic so I thought it was worth it to mention the reviews here in this thread and to translate the conclusions and sum up some of my feelings for the non-Dutch speaking folks here.

My Gamer.nl review (9.5 out of 10)
Loosely translated conclusion: "It's not often that a game of this calibre lives up to all expectations. Horizon Zero Dawn starts slowly, but transforms in a huge action adventure. We haven't been obsessed with a virtual world this much since The Witcher 3. Horizon impresses in each facet imaginable."

My InsideGamer review (9.5 out of 10 again, obviously)
Loosely translated conclusion: "Is it the surprise that the game is so much more than a survival trip through the wild, or the brilliantly realised ecosystem with the numerous 'robot animals' that make Horizon Zero Dawn such a great experience? It's probably the combination of the two, just like the influences from all sorts of games and movies from the past years are perfectly implemented to form a new classic. 2017 begins very strongly for PlayStation 4-gamers and for all other players this is the number one reason to finally buy a PS4."

My main pros and cons:

Pros:
- Fantastically realised world
- Big variation in robots and their behaviour
- Lots of attacking options
- Interesting story involving the connection between faith and science
- Graphically stunning

Cons:

- Some stiff acting in places
- Quality of side missions feels pretty random
- Game starts a bit on the slow side


So, as you can see I'm very very very impressed with this game. Before I started I actually lost a fair share of hype because I was looking forward to the Switch and Zelda so much the last couple of months. But Horizon completely knocked me out in a good way. I'm very curious to read what other media think of it and if I'm more positive than most reviewers (I've written this post just before the embargo ended so I could post this quickly). If that's the case, I still don't care. I love this game!

If there are any questions I'd be happy to try and answer them.
 
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