Horizon Zero Dawn, developed by Guerilla Games and published by Sony exclusively for the Playstation 4, became lauded upon it’s release for its visuals, gameplay and story. After getting the very easy Platinum trophy for the original game, I walked away satisfied, and didn’t feel my time was wasted. The post-apocalyptic mecha-caveman aesthetic proved to be rather well-utilized, though the extremely stilted voice delivery for almost anyone not named “Aloy” grated after a while. This means that the story of the world’s past, with writing free of the traditionalist formality plaguing the present day dialogue, wound up being the more compelling thread to follow.
The Frozen Wilds, meanwhile, takes place during the late phases of the game’s plot, after you know what’s going on. Aloy essentially decides to venture into the remains of Yellowstone, now a snowy wasteland called “The Cut,” as the machines have suddenly become possessed and more aggressive, providing the excuse Guerilla needed to bump the threat level to the point where a player lower than level 30 might get mulched on sight.
On Aloy’s quest to resolve the crisis and personally murder every mildly threatening robot as though she’s a sentient chop shop, she can get some new weapon types, some new armor, a new skill tree, a spear upgrading system, and a few new enemy variants. Chief among them are “control towers,” which serve as a counter to the overpowering shield armor from the base game. They can also heal and buff the often powerful machines that surround it, so dealing with one is a top priority.
The story of this expansion, where Aloy chums around with the Banuk tribe is fairly predictable, especially given that you literally can’t do the quest until you know exactly what the game’s title means. It gets you reasonably engaged as a way to get you to most of the new map’s corners.
The same strengths and weaknesses from the base game show up in the exact same places here, with the exception that the sidequests, including one memorable encounter at a dam, are a bit better than before.
The new map looks rather impressive on the basic PS4 with amazing looking new effects like heavy snowfall, colorful hot springs, and deep snow drifts that get trampled as you fight across them. While I have bought a PS4 Pro literally about an hour before I wrote this, it hasn’t arrived yet and I can’t play on a console I don’t have in my hands yet.
In essence, if you liked Horizon Zero Dawn, here’s some more of that thing you like, with some added systems for the Ultra Hard New Game Plus run I’m probably going to do when I have my Pro. Decent value for the PS+ pricing ($15) at least.
Logan Graham is a senior studying media arts with a focus in games and animation at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Have you played this game? Let Logan know by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.