Hori­zon Zero Dawn

A storm’s brew­ing in this en­tic­ing RPG

Games Master - - Feature -

Hunt­ing down ro­bot di­nosaurs in a gor­geous open-world RPG is as close to a slam dunk as we can imag­ine, and ev­ery­thing we see of Guer­rilla’s sand­box sug­gests the de­vel­oper is do­ing the idea justice. A re­cent re­veal shows that there’s a lot more va­ri­ety in this post-apoca­lypse than just the lush forestry that’s been on dis­play so far. Guer­rilla is de­scrib­ing th­ese new ar­eas as ‘eco­topes’, each in­hab­ited with their own res­i­dent ma­chines to dis­cover, and promis­ing scorch­ing deserts, vi­brant jun­gles, and snow-cov­ered moun­tains to ex­plore. De­spite the beau­ti­ful scenery, you might want to pack a brolly, as art di­rec­tor Jan-Bart Van Beek ex­plains an­other key fea­ture: “There is a very dy­namic weather sys­tem. You get the types of weather that be­long to cer­tain eco­topes and that of course has an in­flu­ence on the game­play. It can re­duce visibility, make cer­tain things harder, cer­tain things might be eas­ier.” One mo­ment has a herd of robots pelt­ing away from a chas­ing Aloy as rain lashes down. An­other sees her sur­vey­ing a group of ma­chines in a desert canyon as they be­come en­gulfed in a cloud of dust. Add to this the prom­ise of ex­tra-crisp 4K graph­ics with sump­tu­ous HDR on PS4 Pro, and Un­charted 4’s time as Best Look­ing Con­sole Game seems per­ilously close to com­ing to an end.

Oh my Mr Snap­maw, what scar­ily sharp teeth you have. Noth­ing that a swift smack around the gob with a big stick won’t fix.

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