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Horizon Zero Dawn Spoiler-free Impressions (for real this time)

Spoiler thread is over here

OBVIOUSLY don't read the spoilers

about 10-12 hours in. Fuck this game is amazing!!!! Guerilla's really done it. A fantastic fantastic AAA+ open world. dayummmnnn

Here's where I am in the game
got to meridian; decided to double back and do some side quests - just cleared the 1st cauldron.
Man, Guerilla is killing this. Graphics is unbelievable and I've set the combat to be one notch above normal and it get really tricky sometimes. There's a lot of variety here and some of the gameplay mechanics to fight the creatures are great. Love the trickblaster (name escapes me). Some difficult combat but I'm loving it. Everytime I die, I grin and do it all over again.

Amazing visuals that continually stun. There's so much diversity too.
Riding into Meridian and seeing that grand canyonesque landscape - and then the tropical foilage in the city and farmlands
But seriously, the area I just completely - the
cauldron
was so ZOMG. They even had time to do all this? Shittt!

Game is huggge.

Also, having photomode. Hnnngh. I've done a few but I'm not posting as some of the areas are quite spoilerific. Love the rendering on the faces when people are having close up conversations. So beautiful.


The lighting in the open world is also amazing, with volumetric cloud/godrays at night? And rain.

AND there's a lot more story than you'd think in this game. So many sidequests and errands to do too.
Will just drop a couple of tidbits here...

- This game is, technically, what Witcher 3 promised to be (at least on consoles). Remember those early gifs of Witcher 3, full of life, animated foliage, sparkles of dust in the air? Remember how that was disappointingly downgraded and the end result looked nerfed? Well, here's your Witcher 3 graphics, ladies and gentlemen.

- I have never liked Guerilla's games. But here they took their best assets - technical sophistication, world building and atmosphere, and found their ideal playground - open world games of course. Even if gameplay is obviously derived from other similar games in the genre, Guerilla has the advantage by simply delivering a majestic, beautiful sci fi world that beckons you to explore it. This is where the studio should focus on from now on. I can't wait to put the game back on again, and this comes from your regular Guerilla naysayer.
The early part of this game kinda feels like a fully realized vision of the small section of TLOU where you play as Ellie hunting the deer and exploring a beautiful natural world. I'm loving it. Except you're more agile, equipped, and you have a lot you can do in the world.

The game reminds me a lot of Red Dead Redemption right now.
Ubi games don't hold my attention long. Not since AC2. I was worried the same would happen here.

This game has my attention. It's got collectible resources and enemies strewn throughout the environment, but it doesn't feel bloated with pointless collectibles and objectives (so far).

The main story is engaging enough to keep me wanting to know more. The main objectives anchor the open world. The interactions with the environment have a practical purpose just like in TLOU and RDR. You need to confront enemies and harvest resources to get better gear, weapons, and items, which are extremely beneficial to defeating more advanced foes.
I honestly expected the story would be a phoned-in endeavor, a serviceable plot that takes itself way more seriously than can be believed to spin the action of the game into motion.

But the voice acting and script and narrative are all actually quite well done. I have empathy for Aloy's situation.

The controls are great.

The HUD is a little crowded (and very useful) but you can COMPLETELY customize it so that is awesome.

I love this world. It's well thought out and the graphics are Uncharted 4 caliber in nearly everything except the facial animations.
Wow this one sets a great impression right from the start. It's beautiful, it controls great, the story is interesting right from the get go. It has all the polish you would expect from a naughty dog game, I am shocked I care about the characters and world so much already.

I'm going to talk about some gameplay systems from the first few hours.

I finally got loose in the first part of the world and there are a bunch of plants to get which can serve as healing items or stuff to make potions. Basically crafting seems very in depth, and if you ever need a resource you can create a custom side mission and the game will direct you to where you can find it. Really neat and it helped guide me to robots to get shards to make arrows, which I quickly ran out when I tried to take on a semi big robot. So weapon parts and mods you find on robots, healing stuff you find in plants. You don't have to get overwhelmed by it, there seems to be enough to get what you need quick and move on.

I got a few side quests, there are random quests to find as you roam around, standard open world stuff. Haven't really completed one yet I have been distracted by just hunting which I love. The robots feel like animals in packs, there is this natural feel to it all how they react and interact with each other. Sneaking by them is thrilling, getting caught creates all sorts of chaos as you either escape or engage. I have fought three types so far, one is a more difficult one with a surprising attack. I managed to kill one only to have another come from behind and totally wreck me. I have had to run away before I can get resources for a kill only to see another robot go to the dead body and gather the resources for itself. So it's all really cool and dynamic.

Combat is nice and fluid and feels kind of like new TR. you can unlock specific skills that slow down time, get stealth kills, gather more resources; standard skill tree stuff but a lot of these skills seem super useful. Your melee attacks work great when being charged, dodging is fast and fluid. I still don't have traps, should get there soon. I am playing on very hard so I am being cautious, so I focused more on stealth and it seems a bit too easy. All three of the types I have met so far can be insta killed by stealth which is as easy as hiding in a patch of tall grass, throwing a rock to lure them close then just stealth kill them. I assume that strategy won't be viable for long, but it has helped me to stock up on arrows. If you want better resources you need to shoot components off the robots so there is a little strategy there.

Graphically it's gorgeous on a normal ps4. I don't see any performance issues at all, no slow down, nothing. The music so far is really great and dynamic as it shits from quiet to action quickly. The animations are ok but not uncharted tier but the art design of the world is as good as anything I have seen.

Ok going to play more hopefully I can have some more impressions on how good the content the game offers is as so far I have just been messing around on my own.
On TR, I said it's similar because it's the closest thing I can approximate what I played yesterday to. There is an open area, obviously horizon has bigger areas than TR. as you explore there are a bunch of floating not distracting icons saying you can gather this herb. You collect various resources to make healing items, build better gear, make different kinds of ammo. You hide in tall grass and can do stealth kills, lure enemies and you use a bow and arrow (and other weapons that are unlike anything in TR) that has a slow mo activation. Climbing is uncharted like, it's more automatic as you don't even have to press X to go from ledge to ledge.

But instead of humans and a few angry wild animals in horizon you fight robots that all have different attacks, patterns, and weaknesses. Also the quest structure is a lot more witcher than TR. also it's not as collect heavy, ROTR has like a million things to collect, like shoot 10 hidden birds and stuff like that; so far there is none of that in horizon.

So it has a TR feel to it but the combat is mostly it's own thing.
I got my copy today and have sunk a couple hours into the game. Here are some early impressions. Also, I'm playing on hard mode and on a PS4 pro.

-The intro is well done and has me curious about why Aloy is an outcast and why the world came to the state that it's currently in.
-Her model is insanely beautiful, but you can definitely tell that more effort goes into to certain characters. It's completely understandable because of how many characters are probably in the game
-The facial animations are not naughty dog level, but I don't believe any other game really comes close. It's looks good enough and the voice acting is better than expected.
-The graphic are incredible. It's like uncharted 4 level graphics but on a bigger scale. The lighting is beautiful and natural feeling and the pop in is almost completely unnoticeable even with the amount of insane looking foliage.
-Combat is really fun. Enemies hit really hard and can take out half your life in one hit. The first trap gun you get is really satisfying and fun to use. So far combat is my favorite part of the game.
-the music is subtle but very beautiful. Overall very impressed with audio/visual elements.

I will update more later tomorrow when I get a chance rot okay more. I can also answer any question people might have.
After about 9 hours of farting around doing side quests and collecting mats to build bigger pouches n shit, the world is finally opening up from its initial starting point (which is already pretty big)

I stopped right when
you get the ability to program and then ride the dinobots for quicker travel since the fast travel system requires a certain item to use.

Minor complaints -

- I don't give a fuck about what's going on. There's way more dialogue trees than I expected and more often than not I'm hammering the X button to get through them. So far the story really hasn't grabbed me, but then again I feel like I haven't really gotten deep into it yet. Still got the gist though.

- The game needs a lock on when you go toe to toe with your spear. More often than not the camera gets a bit messy in these situations. The bow is fucking sweet and ideal for most situations though, same with the tripwire and trap system

- some of the facial expressions look pretty derpy with some wooden movement to go along with them

8.3434313521/10
But it's very fun to play. It feels great, I like the quest system, skills and leveling. I like the loot and crafting and seeking out certain types of animals and Bots for parts or skins or bones. All of the side quests have been worth playing because they reward you well and lead to interesting characters. It looks absolutely stunning and the music is very subtle and beautiful (Skyrim, Oblivion, Witcher, Willow shit with occasional electronic stuff thrown in).

Just making sure y'all dont think now Im just gonna shit on the game. It's a great game. It just aint the second coming. At all.
Been doing a lot of sidequests.

They don't feel samey like a lot of open world games do, all the ones I've done so far have been different and very fun.

It was mentioned in one of the impressions that that particular user doesn't care whats going on. Let me explain this a bit more from my point of view. So far, the story seems Meh. It's there, but I don't feel like I've been given a huge reason to care unless it leads to some silly twist which from the time i've played I might be able to guess what it is.

The dialogue option is really nice, and feels Mass Effect, minus the reactions as in so far if you choose this over that it won't play a major role later. The facial animation looks super odd, as characters tend to jerk a bit around and like one of the other user said they look "dopey"

I'll say this about the intro, it was hard for me to get attached to it because of the animation during chat, and i didn't feel there was much syncing between characters going around like there is after the intro.

Game is massive, and possible the best Graphics i've seen to date. Didn't think something could top Uncharted 4, and this might have, thats taking into account that it's also an open world game. IDK what kind of Wizards Sony keeps hiring but my god.

The crafting System - I Love it. You can do it on the fly, and craft things in the middle of combat. Its quick and easy.

Like others have said, the game drastically needs a lock-on feature, and I feel the running speed should be increased along with dodging because that can become annoying during combat.


It feels like a good Mix of Witcher, Far Cry, Uncharted, and Tomb Raider if I'm honest.
Sorry I'm quite in the thread but I'm at work, can't post, and only now at lunch am I able to say a little.

Horizon wasn't a hugely hyped game for me. It looked great and the premises was very interesting to me. That said having played for 4 hours and still in the "intro" area, I'll admit I'm loving it.

Yes the ambient soundtrack and music is wonderful. There was one moment where I was out exploring, turned around a corner and saw a huge heard of beast. It made me stop and sort of have a "oh crap" moment. That's not to say the encounters have been super hard as of yet but strength in numbers, it was still impressive to see as I dived to hide in a bush.

One thing that really sell me on open world's is just a sense of place and environmental feeling and build up. Red Dead was huge on this for me, as was Witcher 3. I don't know yet if Horizon has hit me quite as strong as those two, but it's giving me those similar feels already and hoping the end of the intro area seals the deal and when the game truly opens up.

Anyways, just some more minor thoughts for now. I really just have to play more this weekend!
 

Smellycat

Member
finally!

Looking forward to more impressions. This game is on my list after BOTW
and FFXV, Bloodborne, Ratchet and Clank, Infamous Second Son, Witcher 3
 
I bailed out of the spoiler thread but I did get a chance to watch the intro video and the portion immediately after.

As someone who has been worried about the story and writing in Horizon for a long time (was always hyped for the gameplay), it's safe to say I really don't feel worried anymore. It looked pretty damn good.
 

RoboPlato

I'd be in the dick
Positive comments on the story are encouraging. Everything else looks great but I figured the story would be relatively average. Obviously OP is still early so I hope that keeps up for the whole time.
 
More from Lamp
The early part of this game kinda feels like a fully realized vision of the small section of TLOU where you play as Ellie hunting the deer and exploring a beautiful natural world. I'm loving it. Except you're more agile, equipped, and you have a lot you can do in the world.

The game reminds me a lot of Red Dead Redemption right now.
 

Zakalwe

Banned
...but how's the open world. Like, is the exploration rewarding? Is there enough to discover aside from Ubi style filler content?

This is my main concern, the action gameplay looks really great, I'm just hoping the world surrounding it is interesting enough.
 
...but how's the open world. Like, is the exploration rewarding? Is there enough to discover aside from Ubi style filler content?

This is my main concern, the action gameplay looks really great, I'm just hoping the world surrounding it is interesting enough.

Yes, there are caves, large dungeons, and lots of lore to discover.
 

VanWinkle

Member
Does the world feel large? I just peeked at the stream and it looks like the person already has pretty much the whole map uncovered which kind of worries me, but I don't know how long he's played.
 
I've said this before, among all the UbiZelda comparisons, what really reminded me of this game was Red Dead Redemption.

The early part of this game kinda feels like a fully realized vision of the small section of TLOU where you play as Ellie hunting the deer and exploring a beautiful natural world. I'm loving it. Except you're more agile, equipped, and you have a lot you can do in the world.

The game reminds me a lot of Red Dead Redemption right now.

I need this now.
 

mugwhump

Member
What's that white meter that shows up when she shoots her bow?

Also that shellshock effect where the sounds gets hazy
 
I'm still on media blackout so avoiding anything specific, but at this point I'm confident the gameplay will be great and the world and exploration will be meaningful and satisfying. Mission variety, gameplay depth and story and probably my biggest concerns, but either way I'm getting this and I'll find this stuff out on my own!
 

SgtCobra

Member
For everyone giving impressions: first and foremost thanks for your time and effort.

Secondly, please try to be as objective as possible and don't let the hype get to you haha.

How long is the game doe.
Edit: it seems that was bullshit, apologies.
 

Permanently A

Junior Member
How is the combat
vs other humans
? As interesting as fighting the mechs?

And does Aloy still chatter incessantly? Can that be turrned off?
 

Blobbers

Member
I'm kinda wary of gaffer impressions after that one time a gaffer got The Order 1886 early, but a lot of this sounds pretty cool
 

Zakalwe

Banned
Secondly, please try to be as objective as possible and don't let the hype get to you haha.


Too late...
 

The Lamp

Member
What's that white meter that shows up when she shoots her bow?

Also that shellshock effect where the sounds gets hazy

There's a meter at the top that is kind of like a compass. Below it is a sound meter: an eye that has lines around it that increase with the noise you make.

As you draw the bow, it gets tighter and your arrows will do more damage than if you were to quickly fire.

Not sure what you mean by the shellshock effect. You mean when you're being attacked?
 

The Lamp

Member
How is the combat
vs other humans
? As interesting as fighting the mechs?

And does Aloy still chatter incessantly? Can that be turrned off?

Yes she still chatters, but in moments where she's approaching a pivotal objective. It's like she's thinking out loud. But now that I'm in free roam just doing the routine gameplay, she's not really chattering to herself.
 

Heshinsi

"playing" dumb? unpossible
I'm kinda wary of gaffer impressions after that one time a gaffer got The Order 1886 early, but a lot of this sounds pretty cool

Yeah but at this point, we've got multiple GAF impressions that are similar, we've got reviewers posting on twitter that they're excited, and we had an extremely positive preview event a few weeks back. The Order 1886 had none of those things going for it.
 
Yes she still chatters, but in moments where she's approaching a pivotal objective. It's like she's thinking out loud. But now that I'm in free roam just doing the routine gameplay, she's not really chattering to herself.

How has the voice acting and facial animation held up as you progressed?
 
Yeah but at this point, we've got multiple GAF impressions that are similar, we've got reviewers posting on twitter that they're excited, and we had an extremely positive preview event a few weeks back. The Order 1886 had none of those things going for it.

true enough

the order had game sites saying don't pre order it 2 months before it came out
 
For everyone giving impressions: first and foremost thanks for your time and effort.

Secondly, please try to be as objective as possible and don't let the hype get to you haha.


Some reviewer said it took him/her 25 hours to complete the game at 54% or something like that?

Wait, so he completed the game? Source?
 
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