Earlier this week a selected few retailers in South America and Middle-East broke the street date of Horizon Zero Dawn i.e. they started to sell a legit retail copy of the game early (a full two week early). This action of the retailers can be best described as a big blunder and we have started to see the consequence of it. Players who got access to the legit copy of the game early are now sharing their impression on Neogaf, Reddit, and other social media platforms.
There is a dedicated thread on Neogaf related to the Early Impressions of Horizon Zero Dawn, and the good thing is that it has been marked as Spoilers Free by the moderator. Most of the impressions are positive, and many elements of the game are getting compared with The Last of Us, Red Dead Redemption, Uncharted 4, The Witcher 3, and Rise of the Tomb Raider.
Below we have listed the most popular Horizon Zero Dawn early impression on Neogaf (you can read them on any issue, all the details are spoiler free):
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 in 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’s controls are 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 guiding 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 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 instantly 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 shifts 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 have some more impressions on how good the content of the game offers is as so far and I have just been messing around on my own.
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 of 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.
Horizon Zero Dawn is scheduled to launch on February 28.