Sony has released a lot of compelling titles exclusive to the Playstation 4, and Horizon: Zero Dawn is one of my absolute favorites from 2017. From the jaw-dropping design, to the fascinating concept, and its lovable protagonist, Horizon: Zero Dawn took up most of my playing hours in the past year.
Here's an excerpt from my review posted on Rappler:
Aloy, breaker of clichés
Slowly there are more and more video games with female characters put front and center, but many of them seem to fit only certain types of molds. Aloy’s characterization feels natural, relatable, and heroic at the same time. She’s larger than life yet her soul and struggle will surely resonate with so many women and girls today. It felt like she wasn’t designed to please, to charm, or to save. It felt like she was designed to relate with, and to inspire.
Aloy starts out as an orphan kicked out of a matriarchal tribe for her unknown origins. Instead of backing down, she channels her resentment to do something productive. She becomes determined to figure out her past. To do this though, she has to earn the tribe’s respect (something she shouldn’t be doing in a perfect world) by training to become a skilled hunter.
From there, her quest becomes a long and arduous one, filled with twists and turns. It’s a rollercoaster ride that will sometimes leave you scratching your head and asking even more questions. But no matter how you see the ending, Aloy’s growth and maturity throughout the game will leave you feeling empowered and inspired. She is a character you will root for from beginning to end. The game truly is a riveting masterpiece.
Aloy represents everyone who has been cast down, and shunned by society for being different. Aloy’s journey is not just one where you must seek answers, it’s also a journey of learning how to stand up for yourself and rising above the hate and resentment.
While it has a few imperfections, it isn’t enough to draw you away from hours of fun exploration and action. And of all the PS exclusives I’ve played so far, Horizon: Zero Dawn is the most fulfilling.