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Horizon: Zero Dawn, The game I’ve already played. Twice.

I picked up HZD a few weeks ago to keep busy between jobs. It was pretty fun at first, I was enjoying the story, the characters, and the world. Fighting the robots was interesting, being able to target weak points to gain an edge in combat, and the later bots requiring a bit more strategy and finesse to fight. My personal favorite is the crab robot, being able to shoot off its shell and loot it before it picks it back up. But it started to feel repetitive, and I hadn't even left the starting area yet.

Then I realized, I had played HZD before. Or at least, games like it. The more recent Assassin's Creed games were just like it. I had played several hours of Odyssey, which I had also grown bored of, as well as Origins. I love playing assassin characters in games, they are easily my favorite archetype. But damn if I'm not burnt out.

Take a side quest. Hide in the grass. Shoot guy with bow. Kill other guy from grass with stealth. Loot bodies. Craft better gear. Climb the tower. Clear the outpost. Get perk points. Go to area with tougher enemies. Rinse, repeat.

The gameplay loop, while satisfying, has been done to death. I don't want to loot another weapon with +6% damage out of a crate in the middle of the outpost I just cleared. Perk trees that give me an extra 2% damage, that I can take five times, or allow me to perform different take outs make me yawn.

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And it's a shame. I really do, or did, love these kinds of games. But when I tried to pick the game back up after starting my new job, I opened the menu to reread my quest list, then just closed the game cause I didn't want to deal with it. Which is a shame. Cause I want to explore the game. I want to continue through the story, uncover it's history and lore. It's a setting I find fascinating, post-apocalypse riddled with robots and a primitive society of techno-fearing tribals. It's such an amazing concept! But I don't want to slog through the game that I've already played. Twice.

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