The other day, I was inspired by the words of an evil friend:”Oh, you still have a backlog – we all do. You’re just not giving it control over your life anymore.”
With these wise words in mind, and fueled by the free caffeine of the raging Canadian Coffee Chain Wars, I evicted Fallout 4 from my PS4 and started playing Horizon Zero Dawn tonight (the first game I’ve touched in weeks). Yeah: Fallout 4, Final Fantasy IV, ReCore, they are all still in progress. I don’t care, they can wait. I’m not motivated to play them right now, and I want to play a game on launch day for once. Horizon has been hyped for a while now and I was expecting great things. I didn’t check any reviews beforehand, so disappointment was a high probability. I know no one asked this but, what did I think? Well, for one, my avatar picture is different now…
Fancy Plastic Statues
I have ZERO willpower, and usually preorder CEs of games if they come with neat plastic figures. I know, I’m part of the problem. Anyway, I’m also usually disappointed by subpar quality. This one had the usual bad smell when I opened the package, but this figure is hands down the best quality I’ve ever seen. The details are perfect, the paint is flawless, and it feels like a premium statue. It truly represents this main character, Aloy, who I didn’t know much about, yet. It also came with the expected steel case and tiny artbook. Little things I really don’t care about, but I’ll proudly stick them on my shelf anyway.
Useless material goods aside, how did I feel about the game? Story is one of the most important to me when playing a game. I can almost always forgive other faults if an epic narrative pulls me in. I won’t go into spoilers, but chills were running down my spine after the opening scene. Let’s just say there’s an emotional father/daughter relationship introduced that got me right in the feels. As I started Aloy’s journey and began learning more about her, something happened to me that hasn’t happened since I played Final Fantasy XIII: I instantly felt a special connection with an inspiring female protagonist.
Again tip-toeing around spoilers, Aloy is an outcast and shunned by the people around her. As the ignorant people started treating her like less than nothing, I could almost feel the rage and sorrow she was starting to bottle up. This is something I can 100% relate to while I was growing up. There is one particular scene early on, where the response system is introduced, that brought familiar tears to my eyes and stirred fire in my heart. I seriously wanted to smash someone in the head with a certain rock, but I chose the slightly nicer option (the result was still satisfying). Aloy is also very protective of the friendlier people around her, and she would risk her very life to save strangers, even if they hate her. She seems very intuitive and empathetic in most of the scenes. Oh and she’s cracked me up a few times with her golden smartass comments. My favourite quote: “Good thing I’m shunned or I’d have to talk to these idiots.” Watch out Lightning Farron, I think you have serious competition for my obsessive fandom (I never thought I’d ever type that).
The gameplay is another selling point for me. I haven’t got too far yet (I’m about to got to the Proving area), but I’ve had a blast learning the controls. There is a heavy emphasis on stealth, but I’m so jacked up on coffee, I’ve just been smashing my way through all the wild robots. I suspect this “strategy” will get me killed later on, but for now it’s working for me. It is truly spectacular to watch Aloy dive bomb a spear into a deadly robot. There’s also a interesting crafting and ability system, that I’m still learning how to use. The graphics are amazing. This open world feels alive with the beautiful trees and skittering wildlife. I think I realized why other open world games (Fallout 4 I’m looking at you) failed to pull me in. I need to feel a special connection with the world, and this game has made one with me.
So yeah I love, love, love this game! It has made a spectacular first impression on me, and has reignited my interest in video games (and blogging) again. Will it hold my short attention span? Well, there is one thing that will kill this game for me: Zelda Breath of the Wild is coming out Friday. I highly doubt I’ll be able to keep two big games like this on the go, and Link’s next epic adventure will likely steal me away. Just bad timing unfortunately. I really hate that these two games are launched on the same week.