Content of the article: "My follow up review for Horizon Zero Dawn – Enjoyment greatly improved in the 2nd half"
I recently wrote an initial review of Horizon Zero Dawn by comparing it to Spider-Man as an open world game and why I preferred the later to HZD. I was getting bored with HZD at that point and wanted to explain in my review why. At that point of the review, I had spent 25 hours in the game and just arrived in Meridian. By the advice of many, I went ahead and continued the game as many mentioned that the story picks up after. I have since finished HZD and actually got the platinum after 76 hours of gameplay and would like to follow-up on my initial review. In short, the story and gameplay elements did dramatically improve after Meridian and the game became more enjoyable for me.
Story: My biggest initial problem was the story which I find boring and the lackluster animation which made it worse. The story does dramatically improve after Meridian and the facial animations as well. I still found the story predictable but it is now more bearable. Aloy is a great protagonist but many of her allies are still kinda dull. There were some good allies in the later half like Talenah and Petra. I still got bored by all the text datapoints and fast forwarded a lot of the story animations after reading the text if the characters are just talking but story after Meridian was way better.
The Open World and Traversal – My initial problem was while the Open world was beautiful, traversal was kind of a pain, especially vertical traversal where you have to rely on the sometimes hard to find footholds. I was able to overcome this for the most part by just basically fast traveling everywhere. It made traversal less painful.
Collectibles – The collectibles didn’t turn out to be as bad as I initially thought, especially since they are marked on the map. The vantages can sometimes be a pain with the hard to find vertical ledges. I did use a guide to find the last metal flower and the power cells. I think if traversal was more enjoyable, I would have spent more effort exploring instead of using a guide to get the platinum.
Combat and enemies – My opinion hasn’t changed that is the absolute best feature of HZD. Especially after you get all the weapons and fill your skill tree, combat becomes such a joy. I love how challenging the enemies are and how there’s a lot of depth in how you take on the different machines and the devs put so much thought in how each machine has specific weaknesses that are so satisfying to find. This would be the main reason why I will play Horizon 2.
Side quests – I actually appreciated the side quests here, while the initial ones with the Nora I feel are kinda silly, they do serve enough variety in the end. And they were not overwhelming which is big. I enjoyed the Corrupt Zones and the Bandit Camps due to it being combat heavy and I was surprised how I enjoyed most of the Hunting Trials which I thought I would hate. I did feel the first 2 cauldrons were terrible and boring but they made the last 2 short so that was good.
In conclusion, the game dramatically improved during the second half for me. Before Meridian, I was going to give the game a 5. But now, it is a solid 7 for me with combat being an absolute 10. And I’m happy to have experienced the game in full. Glad everyone here encouraged me to finish the game.
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