PSX 2016: Hands on with Horizon: Zero Dawn


At this year’s Playstation Experience, I was also able to get my hands on many different games. One of them being Horizon: Zero Dawn which I have been looking forward to since it was announced. Talk about a gorgeous looking game! Youtube videos does not do this game enough justice. My number one question going into the demo was does this game play as great as it looks? and before long into my hands on experience, I had my answer: Yes, yes, and more yes!

Let me first say that I can’t speak on the context of the story or why this female protagonist, Aloy, is hunting down robotic beasts but damn, it felt good doing it. The controls are tight and instinctive. I found that the game was really easy to pick up and a lot of the game mechanics felt natural. I quickly activated the weapon wheel, figured out which weapon does what, and how to use them. I also tested the waters (literally) by having Aloy swim in the lake, hunt a rabbit for its meat, and craft up new materials such as arrows for my bow. All of it just felt good.


Horizon: Zero Dawn has a variety of primitive inspired weapons. You can use melee weapons for attacking up close and finishing off enemies when they are trapped or on low health. You can also used ranged weapons such as the bow and a sling shot type of weapon (my favorite) that can fling ice and fire bombs at enemies. I particularly admired how natural it felt to move around and dodge when necessary. I also felt the game was extremely fair and balanced as to how the enemies approached, charged, and attacked. There were plenty of ways to get out of a sticky situation by rolling, running, or using the variety of weapons. Maneuvering and using the ranged weapons felt spot on, and whatever I felt like doing, I did it. Whether it was shooting at enemies with my bow at a long distance or trapping an enemy to hot wire it and use as a makeshift vehicle, I felt like I was in charge.


I have no reservations or worries when it comes to the controls of this game, the overall feel, and the fun factor when hunting enemies. I had a blast and felt a rush of adrenaline each time an enemy sensed my presence and started charging at me. The music and sound effects definitely played a part in making it feel intense and gratifying.

My only real concern was that hunting these robots in a small area was all the demo really showed me. Obviously, Guerrilla Games wasn’t planning on giving the story away but I couldn’t help but think “This feels amazing but why am I doing this?” This will all be explained soon enough and the great thing is that even if the story is only somewhat decent, I think the mechanics, controls, and combat could be what really stands out in this game and is what is praised among gamers. Now, all we need is for it to release on time! Horizon: Zero Dawn cannot come soon enough!

What do you think about Horizon: Zero Dawn? Are you excited for its release? Tell us below!

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Erica has been fond of gaming since she was 5 years old. Growing up in the 80s and 90s, she was privileged to have experienced the NES, SNES, TurboGrafx 16, Sega Saturn, Dreamcast, N64, amongst many other consoles. Do not mistake her classic upbringing for unawareness of today’s generation of gaming. She is up to date with gaming news, the gaming community, as well as the social aspects of gaming. She is fascinated with men and women and how they each view and treat gaming, and above all she keeps gaming in check for what it is meant to be: for fun. So if you want some down to earth commentary and opinions, look no further than Ericutz4thewin.
  • Jbumi

    I’ve been a huge RPG fan for ages, & this game looks great (both literally & from a story/gameplay perspective). I just read that this & Torment are releasing on the same day (2-28-17)!! My poor wallet fainted!!!!