Horizon Zero Dawn
(Guerilla Games – PS4)
2017 Game of the Year Contenders
2017 is halfway over, but it’s already provided us with games worthy of the Game of the Year title. Let’s take a look at the best games the past six months have given us so far as we look forward to everything on the horizon.
After Killzone: Shadow Fall, PS4 owners got ready to wait a couple of years before the next entry of the futuristic shooter. Then, one day, the studio decided to announce that they were working on something completely new, something they’d never done before; an open-world action-RPG. Guerrilla had shown that they could make great shooters and that they knew their way around a GPU, but action-RPGs aren’t exactly easy. Many studios try, and a majority fail to create something truly memorable. Throw in something as complicated as an open world and you have a recipe for disaster… or, in the case of Horizon Zero Dawn, a game of the year.
Horizon Zero Dawn managed to tick all of the prerequisite action-RPG boxes and then some. Lush open world that left players staring in awe? Check. Challenging combat system open to a variety of playstyles? Check. Meaningful quests that weren’t all about collecting bits and pieces? Also check. Where Guerrilla went above and beyond was with Aloy, the game’s protagonist. She was strong, yet relatable. Eschewing the modern tougher than nails hero approach you see in most games, Aloy was more human than your typical action protagonist. We got to see the world, reclaimed by nature and overrun with mechanical menaces as it was, through her eyes, and it left a lasting impression that instantly had it mentioned as a game of the year contender for 2017.