An Innovative And Bold Thematic Setting
Open worlds are unquestionably the contemporary zeitgeist in gaming. As quantity becomes ever more attached to a game’s value, the open world formula has become the go-to platform for extending game time, offering replay value, and keeping players engaged for the longest time possible. But the popularity of the genre has also meant that we’re totally inundated with open world games and in real danger of over-saturation. Developers, somewhat understandably, seem intent on playing it safe; sticking to the molds of convention for the sake of a guaranteed bottom line level of interest. But what we need is a developer that takes the essence of the open world genre and mixes it with a fresh and interesting premise.
Enter Horizon Zero Dawn: a blend of highly polished gameplay with one of the most outlandish and exciting thematic settings ever seen in gaming.
On paper, a Skynet-esque post-apocalyptic world where robotic dinosaurs prey on neolithic tribespeople sounds like the nonsensical fantasy of a day-dreaming schoolboy, but that’s exactly what makes it so brilliant. Video gaming is about escapism. We’ve seen far too many video games focus on realism in recent times such as The Division, Mafia 3, and Grand Theft Auto. In bringing to life such a wondrous and imaginative environment, Guerilla has given Horizon Zero Dawn a point of difference. Sure, the game has open world tropes such as fetch quests, trials, collectibles etc. But when it’s all tied together with such a mysterious and bold thematic setting, one feels more impetus to explore its expanses and uncover every nook and cranny.