Horizon: Zero Dawn reviews are pouring in over a week before release - here's what they're saying

By Melvyn Tan on Feb 20, 2017

PS4 exclusive Horizon: Zero Dawn is due to release in Februrary 28, which is slightly over a week from now. And yet, a wave of full-fledged reviews for the open world action RPG have already emerged. I can imagine excited gamers to be practicing the art of drawing money from the wallets in a flash already, assuming they haven't pre-ordered yet.

Anyway, it seems that Sony are eager to let you know how good this exclusive of theirs is early and create an extra burst of hype in the process. And according to most critics - and based on the majority of the reviews rounded up here - it is indeed a good game. But how good is "good", exactly? Well, read our review round-up to find out.

Ars Technica - Sony has yet to announce any DLC plans for the game, and there are portions and parts where I could see Guerrilla inserting more towns or quests. But, frankly, you may not need them. Horizon is huge in every way that counts, and it should be celebrated for doing what too many games don't these days: telling an enthralling, time-consuming journey that's already complete on the disc—and one we'll remember for years to come.

EngadgetMaybe that's what I love about Horizon. It's familiar and new at the same time, but it's infinitely relatable. Though I've never run across a giant metal stegosaurus in my own life, I know how it feels to wonder who I am and what I'm doing on this planet. I'd bet everyone knows how that feels. Maybe even giant robot dinosaurs. Maybe.

EurogamerHorizon: Zero Dawn is a work of considerable finesse and technical bravado, but it falls into the trap of past Guerrilla games in being all too forgettable. For all its skin-deep dynamism it lacks spark; somewhat like the robotic dinosaurs that stalk its arrestingly beautiful open world, this is a mimic that's all dazzle, steel and neon yet can feel like it's operating without a heart of its own.

Forbes - It is a slightly disappointing that in many ways, Horizon does feel like a lot of other open world games rather than being some crazy breakout new experience, but there is enough here between its story and robo-monster hunting gameplay that makes it unique. If you’re overloaded on open world games, I don’t blame you, but Horizon is one of the better entries in the crowded genre, and it’s kind of cool to witness the birth of what’s probably going to be a pretty key franchise for PlayStation in the coming years. No, Horizon probably isn’t as monumental of an experience as playing Uncharted or God of War for the first time, but it’s well-made, engaging and probably worth your time.

Game Informer - None of Horizon's faults stopped me from sinking 55 hours into the game, or walking away supremely satisfied with the experience. Horizon may not be a revolution for the open-world genre, but it is a highly polished and compelling adventure that proves Guerrilla is more than a single franchise.

GameSpot - This is first departure from the Killzone series for developer Guerrilla Games, and though you might think the team took a risk by stepping out of its FPS comfort zone to create a third-person open-world action game, you'd never know it was their first rodeo. For every minor imperfection, there's an element of greatness that recharges your desire to keep fighting and exploring Zero Dawn's beautiful and perilous world. Guerrilla Games has delivered one of the best open-world games of this generation, and redefined its team's reputation in the process.

The Guardian - It makes for an unexpectedly contradictory proposition. On the one hand Horizon: Zero Dawn is an ambitious technological showpiece for Sony’s new PlayStation Pro platform and a visual benchmark for this console generation. And yet its underlying hunter/gathering gameplay mechanics and zonal map architecture have barely evolved from their obvious origins in the long-established franchises Far Cry and Tomb Raider.

On that basis alone Horizon: Zero Dawn falls short of the seminal status to which it so clearly aspires but it’s still an immensely playable – and likeable – romp with a core combat mechanic worth the price of purchase alone. And given a Marvel-style post-credits sequence suggests a sequel is very much in the works, Guerrilla will be given another shot at genuine greatness. Provided, of course, a real-world apocalypse doesn’t Trump their imagined one in the meantime.

Melvyn Tan
About the Author
Freelancer for Gamehubs since 2015, who enjoys various forms of entertainment including gaming (naturally). Was a devout servant of the Imperium, until he won a free Tau battlesuit.
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