Horizon: Zero Dawn Early Player Impressions: Great Combat Gameplay, Crafting A Big Part, Control Scheme

At Brasil Game Show and PAX West 2016, Sony and Guerrilla Games for the very first time made available the playable demo of Horizon: Zero Dawn for general public, and as a result of it, the impressions from the hands-on session has made its way onto the internet from those attendees of the event. The first impression came from Neogaf user FelipeMGM, in a series of the post he revealed the control scheme of the game and many other details. You can check out FelipeMGM’s impression below.

Horizon: Zero Dawn

“The demo starts with Aloy at a higher ground with a vista to some robotic creatures. There are watchers, the one used as a mount and also a shielded creature that kinda looks like a turret on the fields, and also some natural wildlife like some rabbits and boars. The demo was basically an open area where you could fuck around for some time.

First of all, wow at the visuals and also the animations, both from Aloy and the creatures. They are not only good to look at, but also very fluid while playing. My biggest concern with Horizon was always the fear of having a junky gameplay as other open world RPG have, but I’m so relieved now. The bow and the spear are great and work as a nice combo for the combat. The focus ability is also a big part of it since the creatures have weak spots as we already seen. In a couple of minutes of combat, I had already felt really comfortable with the mechanics.

Shooting an enemy from a distance, then watching it rush at my position and then dashing away from its rush and then hitting with the melee spear felt so good.

Stealth gameplay was also good, but sometimes AI felt a bit dumb by not seeing me, but that happens in most games. A big thumbs up for the AI was when I took control of the mount and then watchers came and attacked it, the AI vs AI encounters were awesome to see, again thanks to the great animations.

The mounting felt great, but when going too fast I did notice some texture popping. Also, the game has a climbing system that reminded me a lot of Uncharted climbing.

One thing I think is a safe bet though is that crafting has a big part in this game since there are resources all around the scenario and creatures.

The area is not so big, it had a river, some bridges an old house. It felt alive because of the creatures and wildlife but was short of many interesting exploring focused places, but again, it’s clearly a demo focused on combat and movement, not exploration.

Bow and arrow were L2 and R2 with L1 for the weapon wheel, melee was R1, a circle was the dash jump, the square was crouch/stealth and d-pad you had items like for example health stuff was D-pad up.

The game just felt and looked really good and more than ever I feel like Sony and Guerrilla have a big hitter on their hands with Horizon.”

Neogaf user Cubas chipped in and confirmed the report from Felipe as legit and added few more words from his side:

“Also played it today at BGS. I agree with Felipe. The visuals are great and the gameplay is pretty good. The only reason I’m not fully convinced yet is that the demo was simply a sandbox. No quests, no story. Don’t get me wrong, the mechanics are good, but not good enough to make the game worth playing if the quests are shit.”

Going by this impression, it seems like Guerrilla Games has managed to create a good core gameplay and stunning visuals and graphics. There are few complaints but we expect the development team to address it before the official launch of the game.

Horizon: Zero Dawn is scheduled to launch on February 28 for PlayStation 4.