Horizon zero dawn

About game

Horizon Zero Dawn is an action role-playing game developed by Guerrilla Games and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. The plot follows Aloy, a hunter in a world overrun by machines, who sets out to uncover her past. The player uses ranged weapons, a spear, and stealth to combat mechanical creatures and other enemy forces. A skill tree provides the player with new abilities and bonuses. The player can explore the open world to discover locations and take on side quests. It was released for the PlayStation 4 in 2017, and will be released for Microsoft Windowsin mid-2020.

Horizon Zero Dawn is Guerrilla Games’ first intellectual property since Killzone in 2004 and its first role-playing game. Development began in 2011 after the completion of Killzone 3, with director Mathijs de Jonge considering it the riskiest idea pitched at the time. The game engine, Decima, was developed for Killzone Shadow Fall and altered for Horizon Zero Dawn. Being set in a post-apocalyptic setting, anthropologists were consulted to authenticate the world’s decay over a millennium. The soundtrack was led by composer Joris de Man, featuring contributions from The Flight.

Horizon Zero Dawn was praised by critics for its open world, story, visuals, combat, characterisation, and the performance of voice actress Ashly Burch; however, the dialogue, melee combat, and character models received some criticism. The game won numerous awards and sold over 10 million copies by February 2019, making it one of the best-selling PlayStation 4 games. An expansion, The Frozen Wilds, was released in November 2017. A sequel, Horizon Forbidden West, will be released for the PlayStation 5.

Game Play

Horizon Zero Dawn is an action role-playing game played from a third-person view. Players take control of Aloy, a hunter who ventures through a post-apocalyptic land ruled by robotic creatures. Aloy can kill enemies in a variety of ways – setting traps such as tripwires using the Tripcaster, shooting them with arrows, using explosives, and a spear. Machine components, including electricity and the metal they are composed of, are vital to Aloy’s survival; she can loot their remains for crafting resources. Ammo, resource satchels, pouches, quivers, resistance, antidotes, health potions, and traps can all be crafted. Weapons have modification slots for dealing more damage. Aloy wears a Focus, a small head piece that scans machines to determine their susceptibilities, identify their location, their level, and the nature of loot they will drop. One machine, the Stalker, can enable cloaking technology to avert the gaze of Aloy’s Focus scan. Machines attack with defensive and offensive measures, and in either case react to a perceived threat by charging at it with brute force or projectiles. Exhibiting the behaviour of wild animals, some machines are inclined to move in herds, and others, with the ability to fly, do so in flocks. Unless hacked with the Override Tool, or sufficiently hit with corruption arrows, machines do not exert aggressive force against each other. Aloy also engages in battle with human enemies, such as bandits and the Eclipse cult.

Aloy can dodge, sprint, slide, or roll to evade her enemies’ advances. Hiding in foliage to ambush nearby enemies can ensure immediate takedowns. Swimming may reach enemies stealthily or places otherwise unreachable on foot. She is able to hack a selection of machines with the Override Tool, some of which can be turned into makeshift mounts. Explorable ruins called Cauldrons unlock additional machines to override. Three categories occur in the skill tree: “Prowler” concerns stealth, “Brave” improves combat, and “Forager” increases healing and gathering capabilities. To level up, Aloy attains experience points from individual kills and completing quests. Upgrades in each category result in more adept use of the skills learned, with “Prowler” leading to silent takedowns, “Brave” to aiming a bow in slow motion, and “Forager” to an enlarged medicine pouch. The Frozen Wilds added “Traveller”, which unlocks the ability to jump off a mount to attack enemies. The game has a seamless open world with a day-night cycle and dynamic weather system.

The map is composed of forest, jungle, desert, and snowy mountain regions. Mountainous terrain is traversed with the employment of parkour, and aided by the use of zip-lines. Corruption Zones constitute areas that heighten difficulty and are populated by corrupted machines that behave with more aggression. To uncover more of the map, Aloy must scale large giraffe-like machines known as Tallnecks. Twenty-five robotic creature designs are present in the game.Save points and fast travel can be accessed by interacting with campfires, once discovered. The quest structure unfolds to accommodate the exploration of tribes, while the main story covers the entire world. Side quests involve Aloy completing tasks, like gathering materials, coming to the aid of individuals in danger of being killed, solving mysteries, assuming control of bandit camps, eliminating criminals and more difficult machines, accomplishing various challenges at any of the five Hunting Grounds, and obtaining an ancient armour that makes Aloy almost impervious to damage. A dialogue wheel is used to communicate with non-player characters. Collectibles include vantages that offer visual information of the Old World, metal flowers that contain poetry, and old relics, such as ancient mugs and tribal artefacts.

Synopsis

Setting

The story is set in the 31st century, in a world where humans live in scattered tribal-like populations with limited access to technology. Their technologically advanced predecessors are remembered as the “Old Ones”. Large robotic creatures, known as “machines”, dominate the Earth. For the most part, they peacefully coexist with humans, who occasionally hunt them for parts. However, a phenomenon known as the “Derangement” has caused machines to become more aggressive towards humans, and larger and deadlier machines have begun to appear. There are three tribes that are prominently featured: the Nora, the Carja, and the Oseram. The Nora are fierce hunter-gatherers who live in the mountains and worship nature as the “All-Mother”. The Carja are desert-dwelling city builders who worship the Sun. The Oseram are tinkerers known for their metalworking, brewing, and arguing.

The Frozen Wilds

Aloy travels to The Cut, the home of the Banuk Tribe after hearing word of dangerous machines appearing and a mountain belching smoke. She learns from local chieftain Aratak (Richard Neil) that the Banuk have been attempting to battle a Daemon on the mountain, “Thunder’s Drum”, which is apparently the cause of the machines in the area attacking the Banuk. However, their first attack had been a failure, and their shaman, Ourea, had disappeared afterwards. Aloy searches for Ourea, coming across strange robotic towers which corrupt any nearby machines. She finds Ourea (Necar Zadegan) in an Old World facility that had been converted into a Banuk shrine, and is housing an artificial intelligence called the Spirit, which she believes is a machine spirit. Aloy is able to establish communications with the Spirit, which warns Ourea that the Daemon is blocking its transmissions before being cut off. Aloy and Ourea agree to work together to save the Spirit. Aloy must first oust Aratak and replace him as chieftain, since he refuses to let Ourea go to Thunder’s Drum. It is revealed that Ourea and Aratak are siblings.

Aloy challenges Aratak, but daemonic machines ambush them in the final stretch of the challenge. They team up to fight off the machines, and impressed by Aloy’s skills, Aratak concedes leadership to her. Aloy, Ourea, and Aratak head for Thunder’s Drum. They infiltrate the Old World facility built inside the mountain where Aloy discovers that the Spirit is actually CYAN (Laurel Lefkow), an AI designed to prevent the Yellowstone Caldera from erupting. Traveling further inside, they discover that the Daemon has already overtaken much of the facility, but CYAN suggests using lava from the caldera to destroy the infected areas while preserving the facility. It is also revealed that the Daemon is in fact HEPHAESTUS (Stefan Ashton Frank), another of GAIA’s subsystems that manufactures machines. The group fights through HEPHAESTUS’ defenses and Ourea sacrifices herself to override CYAN’s core, allowing it to transfer to an auxiliary data center and initiate destruction of the facility. Aloy and Aratak escape narrowly. Aloy returns to the Banuk Shrine, where CYAN has transferred herself to, and CYAN provides additional information about the Old World but warns that HEPHAESTUS is still active somewhere, and will continue to build machines designed specifically to kill humans, which is why it tried to seize control of CYAN and its facilities. Aratak thanks Aloy for all of the help she has provided to the Banuk, and Aloy puts him back in charge of his people before parting ways.

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