Horizon Zero Dawn – A Delightful Surprise! 

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First off, I have to set the scene. Imagine coming home from a draining day at work, turning on your PS4 only to have a WTF moment when you see Horizon Zero Dawn already purchased and ready to go. Hot damn! The better half of Custodi Exitus surprised me with the game as a gift and I couldn’t be more grateful. Not only at the really thoughtful gesture but the game is freakin good too! Double win.

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After seeing previews for nearly a year…I had almost gotten to the point where I wasn’t sure if this game was going to be a dud. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I am so glad that this game is panning out to be one of my new favorites. I have been disappointed with some of the games and beta releases that have come out recently. *cough Ghost Recon: Wildlands* So finding a game that feels worth the money is satisfying.

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I only have about two days into the game but here are my first impressions. If you stop reading here, just get the fucking game. Robots. Crafting. Upgrading gear. Do it. Get it.

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Things that Make this Game a Must Buy:
It’s partly a role playing game! What? I did not expect that. I am a huge fan of Fallout and Skyrim. Partly because of the RPG elements. The dialogue options remind me of Mass Effect. With the Paragon and Renegade options. You can choose how you want your character to interact. Want to hit someone in the head with a rock? Sure. Want to take the high road when an NPC is giving you lip. Yeah you can choose that too. I had no idea that there would be an RPG element to this game and goddamn I am loving it. Oh, and the dialogue is actually interesting. I find myself invested in watching the cut scenes and finding out more about the main characters backstory. Even characters you barely talk to still elicit an emotional response when they die because they set it up so well. There are some shocking points in the game where they kill people you wouldn’t think would die. I was impressed. You have no choice but to route for the underdog Aloy. Although, I do wish there was an option to just backslap some of the NPC’s that snarl at you because Aloy is an outcast. You’re lucky, bitches. I have an itchy spear hand and you look like you could use a stabbing.

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That brings me to the story! So far I am sold. I love it. I don’t want to give away a lot or spoil anything for people but you get pretty invested in the characters from the get go. You start out the game playing as an outcast tribe member named Aloy. You begin the game as a child and get to go through the tutorial with her and her outcast father. The earlier story reminds me of the trailer I saw for the new God of War, where he is training his son in the woods. But this elongated training time in the beginning really makes you feel the connection between Aloy and her caretaker/father. The Last of Us was probably the most recent game I can say felt similar to me with character bonding.

I haven’t even gotten that far but the scenery is gorgeous. I think this is one of the prettiest games I have seen on PS4 yet. As I was playing the game I kept on thinking, “Oh God, if only Skyrim looked this good on console.” It would be heaven. But the more I play the game, I start to think that this game isn’t anything that far below my beloved.

The crafting, modifying, hunting all feel useful and it’s a good way to get money fast. The hunting reminds me of Farcry Primal in the best possible way.

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I have to say I never really cared about playing a male or female character but this game feels like it’s made for the ladiessss.  Ten years ago you wouldn’t have seen many games that were so femalecentric come out and this mainstream. I don’t need to always have a female protagonist but I do feel more connected to the character when you have that option. Oh, and I am sensing that there might be some options for romantic relationships in the game too. So I can’t wait to see how that plays out.

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Ok that’s enough swooning over this game. I just unlocked the ability to ride a robot horse. I am psyched to get further into the game and long story short, I can say this is a must buy.

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Have you played Horizon Zero Dawn? What did you think? Hit us up on Twitter  @custodiexitus to talk about this game or any other ones!



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