Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds Gureilla Games

EMBRACING THE FROZEN WILDS OF HORIZON ZERO DAWN

A CUT Above the rest.

by Felipe Parada

It's no secret that Horizon Zero Dawn is an open world masterpiece that stands out in a genre that is bombarded with the post apocalyptic earth setting. So when Sony Interactive Entertainment made the announcement for The Frozen Wilds, my excitement was warranted. This game is rich with history and lore that is just waiting to be explored and the DLC expansion; The Frozen Lands provides us the opportunity to revisit the 31st century post apocalyptic version of Earth. Just like how Horizon Zero Dawn was a refreshing change of pace for the open world genre, The Frozen Wilds adds to an already stellar gaming experience.

 

The one thing I love about this game is the fact that this game was made by people excited to be working on it, and that excitement was  spread throughout the entire game. You can feel it from the depths of the cauldrons, to the lush forests of Meridian and all the way to the barren desert of Sunfall. Now The Frozen Wilds takes us on a journey to the snow capped mountains of The Cut region just North of the Grave-Hoard where a new tribe called the Banuk is fighting for its very survival.

There's something about the Frozen Wilds’ mountains are especially striking. Blizzards fall heavy as the snow trickles down the trees and blow in the wind. Aloy engages the lands differently as well with every footstep she takes and every arrow she fires. Depending on the depth of the snow Aloy's running animation changes adding weight of her every movement. This new mechanic adds a bit of strategy when it comes to the new, more agile, machines that Alloy engages.

Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds Gureilla Games

There is no shortage of machines hunting you down in The Cut.

The size of the map itself, assuming that each unit step is equal to a foot, is around 20,000-21,000 feet or about 4 miles. Now it is much smaller that the original size of Horizon Zero Dawn but that doesn't mean that you'll be able to get from one end to the other relatively easy. The Cut is dangerous and will easily make quick and easy work out of Aloy if you are not careful. The mysteries of the Cut are a driving force in Horizon Zero Dawn and will keep pushing you forward testing you along the way. 

There is no shortage of challenges in The Frozen Wilds and you WILL use you're entire arsenal to take down the bigger and badder machines thrown at you. The new machines come in the name of the Scorcher (wolf-like animal), and the Frost/Fire Claw (a gigantic bear) and you will get to know them relatively quick. The Scorcher is the very first enemy you encounter on your way to the new Banuk village and boy what an introduction it is. There are very few games that present you with a very tough challenge at the start of a mission, unless you are Dark Souls. But the one good thing is that the game does give you much stronger weapons to acquire to make the battles easier.

The combat formula in The Frozen Wilds remains the same: You stock up on supplies to take down a foe, you fight that enemy, then you harvest its metal insides and use those parts to craft new weapons and armor and more supplies for taking on the next giant machine you come across. It's a tried-and-true formula that doesn't really get old, even 80+ hours in. The sense of crafting for survival makes you want to go out an take down one more machine to make sure you stay fully stocked for the next encounter. Every time you come across one of these hulking machines you begin to think "How fast can I take him down?" So you begin to learn and memorize their patterns, figuring out their weakness and lay down some traps. This is where the game really shines even though the combat may feel like a tedious chore to some but to others its really a testament to good combat mechanics. 

If you feel that the combat mechanics can be a bit repetitive don't worry because the story in The Frozen Wilds sees Aloy partner up with the Banuk tribe in The Cut to learn the truth behind more top-secret science facilities. The Frozen Wilds doesn't stray from the core game play; Aloy must perform favors, prove herself in combat, pass a variety of hunting trials and assemble allies to learn a few details about why the world is covered in robotic dinosaurs. It may seem repetitive but why fix something when its not broken? 

The beauty that is The Cut Region

Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds Gureilla Games

If you are looking for an excuse to get back into Horizon Zero Dawn now is as good of a time as any. The Frozen Wilds doesn't give you anything drastically new but it does give you the best of what Horizon has to offer and that is a good reason to make the trip to The Cut. Just in time for Game of the Year nominations, Horizon Zero Dawn has proven that gambling on an original idea can pay off in ways that are unheard of in today's market. A great story, tight combat and amazing open world that need to be experienced first hand. If you haven't taken the journey into Horizon Zero Dawn yet, you are missing out on a game that is clearly Game of the Year.

RATING:

Horizon Zero Dawn is one of those games that transcend what it means to experience a game. So it shoudl be no surprise that i rate this game as a MUST PLAY!

Did you get a chance to play Horizon Zero Dawn? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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