So if you guys did not get a chance to check out our stream of Horizon Zero Dawn last night or today, I have now gotten to play three hours of the game and I thought I would share my initial thoughts about the game thus far. I will do my best to keep this a spoiler-free as humanly possible so bare with me.
The first thing I should not about the game is that it is beautiful. Actually, beautiful might be an understatement in all honesty. This, to me, is the best looking game I have seen this console generation. The environments are lush and are not static, (meaning, if you are walking through tall grass, it actually responds to your movement, the grass blows in the breeze, you actually get pushed by water currents and so on), and the character models are done incredibly and with great detail (when talking to an NPC I noticed that there were actual wrinkles and dimples when they were talking). I cannot overstate how beautiful this game looks. What helps you to truly appreciate the game is the incredible photo mode that the game has to offer.
Moving over to the gameplay aspect, I find that the game has a lot to offer even early in the game. It gives you the ability to study enemies and find their vulnerabilities before jumping into a fight and there are multiple ways you can approach any battle. You start the game with your bow and spear which allows for stealth attacks from a distance or jumping right into the action. What I found most fascinating was that when attacking a machine with the spear, you can knock off the armor on their body or limbs depending on where you struck. All of these subtle nuances are blended together to bring a combat system that has a lot of depth but is fairly easy to master at the same time.
The only gripe I had, and this is a very minor one at that, is that the introduction to the game felt a bit too much like a guided tutorial. You can tell that they tried integrating all the lore without shoving it in your face, but it still felt a bit forced to me. It also felt a bit long, as it took about an hour before the game finally opens up a bit. Do not let this discourage you however because once the game opens up it becomes a special experience.
All in all, I have only just scratched the surface of what this game has to offer, but it has already made a big impression on me as I look forward to getting into all the game has to offer. I will be writing a full review of the game once I feel I have a full grasp on the game which may be in a few days, so bear with me.