Does Horizon Zero Dawn need DLC?

Horizon Zero Dawn

With Horizon Zero Dawn already selling over 2.6 million units in the first two weeks of release, it’s really no surprise that Guerilla Game’s is working on an expansion on this game to further the story. While DLC is common, I mean come on even LEGO games have them now. This raises the question that even though developers can make as much DLC as they want does the game, specifically Horizon Zero Dawn, need it?

SPOILER ALERT! There will be some minor or major spoilers in this blog so if you haven’t played and want to see how things go for yourself, then I suggest stop reading. If you’ve competed the game or just don’t care, read on.

If you’ve played and finished the game, you know that our main character Aloy is on the search for not only her mother, but also a way to stop Hades. Hades is your main bad guy in the game as he’s released into the world thinking that it isn’t perfected and that it needs to come to an end in order for GAIA to start all over again. Hades was basically the failsafe if GAIA messed up so bad the first time around that things would have to start again. The thing is, everything that was once GAIA is kind of destroyed so if Hades succeeds then the world is basically done for. Being the hero that Aloy is, she defeats Hades, or at least she thinks she does because she doesn’t know that he’s captured again by Sylens, and basically finds her mother. This is a great ending, it takes all of the games questions and answers them and gives closure to Aloy. So why is there DLC on the way?

This is one of those games that I felt had so much closure and a little twist at the end that I would really hate to see more DLC for it. The ending was perfect and alluded to a sequel that doesn’t have to involve Aloy. At the end of the game I felt that her journey was completed. She did what she wanted to by bringing people together and finding out what happened to her mother and how she was created. As much as she was a great character, I just felt like her story didn’t need to be continued. Aloy’s story had that closure that not a lot of game characters get. She’s young enough that there could be 5 or 6 of these games to see her character develop from a young adult into actual adulthood, but there’s no need for it. Her story was perfect and should be left at that.

Saying that, that doesn’t mean that I’m not open to a sequel for this game. With Sylens capturing Hades at the end of the game, it’s pretty obvious that the Horizon story is far from over. That being said though, I would like to play as a new character the next time around only to keep this franchise from falling into the same faults as Mass Effect and Uncharted. It’s a proven fact that using the same character over and over again gets the player attached to that particular character and not want to see a change. It works for some games as God of War keeps pumping out game after game with you playing as Kratos, but some games don’t want that. I really feel that Aloy’s story is over and would like to see the next game take place in another part of the world with someone as unique as Aloy.

I like to think of this game as one of those rare complete package games. This means that it doesn’t need DLC, but it does need a sequel. I would rather have Guerilla Games work on the sequel that this game deserves rather than waste their time with DLC after DLC after DLC. Although, when you think about how the game ended then jumped back to a point in time before the game ending, you knew that there had to be DLC coming. It didn’t say it, but it alluded to it. That being said, I’m a sucker for DLC for some games and this will probably be one of them, it’s just my hope that after all of this DLC is released a second game gets the time it needs to be fully developed and with a new hero.

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Horizon Zero Dawn Review (PS4)

Horizon Zero Dawn

This was one of the E3 games that I seen and knew that I had to have day one. With games like this, I usually like to go in knowing as little as possible so that I can discover and explore on my own. Plus with this being a completely new IP, there wasn’t a lot to go on. There were a few trailers, a few that blew my mind and then one that made me question why I had pre-ordered the collectors edition. All in all though, I went through with my pre-order and was able to complete the game fully. Keep reading to see what I thought about it.

Horizon Zero Dawn takes place on earth in the far away future. There are machine based dinosaurs and everyone has gone back to a simpler way of living. Gone are the technologies of today and everyone seems to live an overall happy type of life. You’ll play as Aloy, a motherless outcast from the Nora tribe. Since she has no mother, she’ll be given to another outcast of the Nora tribe Rost. Rost will raise Aloy from an infant, give her a name, and then train her to be able to compete in the proving which will turn her into a Nora Brave and be an outcast no more. Things don’t exactly go as planned though as the once mostly docile dinosaur machines have turned hostile at every turn. This threatens the entire world as everyone knows it. It’s up to Aloy to not only put a stop to it, but to discover the mystery of Zero Dawn.

Ashly Burch is great…but… Ashly Burch is great. Her voice acting skill is undeniable as she’s voiced memorable characters like Tiny Tina from Borderlands and Chloe from Life is Strange, but there was something about this role that didn’t seem fitting. While not discrediting her as an actress in any way, Aloy just felt like a tribal version of Chloe. I don’t know if the two characters were too similar and voiced in the same way that made it seem off or if it was the way that Aloy just spoke like a rebellious teenager all the time that it just became cringe worthy when she spoke. Either way, the performance given kind of hindered on the game just a little bit.

The game starts off with this beautiful cinematic that just had the tears streaming as you see Rost struggle to give this motherless girl a name. You’ll also see Aloy struggle as a child as she’s not accepted because she’s an outcast and eventually make her into the strong woman that you’ll play her as. She’s the only one who can bring people together in order to take down these metal devils and basically save the world. The main story of this game is so twisty and turny that there is no way that this isn’t interesting. The main concept of this game and why things are they way they are is just mind blowing. I was shocked at how clever the main plot of the game was. It’s an amazingly crafted story that suffers just a little with the tedious side quests that seem to have no meaning and are basically fetch and come back quests and errands. These hinder on the main story a little and really just act as filler because if you just played the main story along with the important side quests than this game would have been a hell of a lot shorter. My final game time came in at just a couple minutes shy of 50 hours. That was basically doing everything the game had to offer including side quests, errands, and collectibles. At times this made the game feel like a little bit of a chore to play, but when it got down to just having the main story left, I couldn’t step away from the game.

Total Commander Shepard moment – Mild Spoilers There’s this part in the game, before the big battle, that if you recruit all of your allies and bring everyone together, which can or cannot happen depending on how you play, you’ll get a chance to go to each of their stations and have a brief chat with them before heading off to bed for the night. Sound familiar? Maybe because this totally borrows from each and every Mass Effect 1-3 moment before each boss battle, except for the part where you end up in bed with one of your squad mates. Unlike Commander Shepard, Aloy ends up in an empty bed.

The playability for this game is great and that’s because it borrows from other games like the new Tomb Raiders and Far Cry: Primal, but expands on them and does it in its own way. This game takes using a bow along with other not-gun weapons to a new level as well as crafting ammo, traps, and medicines. This is an interesting aspect of game play, but it also requires a lot of collecting and gathering. It also involves killing a bunch of random machines unless you want to spend your shards at a local merchant. All of the weapon types and combat scenarios felt extremely natural in game and I was more than comfortable using the bow. While this game had no bugs or glitches at all, an extremely rare thing with the recent amount of games I’ve played, there were a couple of downfalls. Each area is heavily populated with these dinosaur machines meaning that if you aren’t sneaking around in every single area, you’re extremely noticeable and open for attack. It’s nice to sneak around, but that doesn’t mean I want to do that the whole game. Sometimes I just want to be able to run from point A to point B and the game kind of punishes you for that as you’ll get attacked constantly. Without crafting fast travel packs or purchasing them, you’re then basically screwed. There’s also the fact that when you do need to buy something from a merchant, it’s kind of a pain to do so. For me, a constant commodity I was running out of was wire. I could never keep enough wire and there is no multiple purchase option. You have to hold down X over and over and over again until you get the desired amount of whatever it is that you’re buying. Those were just a couple of annoyances that I found.

What can I say about the graphics other than they are simply beautiful. Everything from the different areas of the world, to the characters in the game, to these huge machines that you’re taking down, they were perfect in each way. Each cinematic scene was well crafted and added to the game and the few facial animation downfalls that happened every once in a while, didn’t take away from any of this at all. It was still a very well crafted beautiful open world game. From the moment that I started the game to the moment I ended it, I was impressed with the graphics and the amount of work that went into them.

There are a total of 56 trophies for this game. Each and every one of them are easy to get and you’ll basically end up getting them as you play along throughout the game without having to worry about them. I can see that you would really only have to go back for a couple of them here and there, but other than that they should come naturally. While each of these worked for me without a problem, I know a buddy of mine, @TheAlbumWeb, was having a problem with the All Acquisition machines killed trophy. There seems to be a glitch with this trophy to where you can kill all of the acquisition machines but it won’t pop. Luckily he was able to get it after some time meaning that he was finally able to get the platinum trophy. A huge congratulations to him for that because I knew he spent way more time with the game than I did. While I’m not sure if this has actually been fixed or not, this is a trophy related problem and should be noted if you’re going for the platinum. You may or may not end up having a problem with this trophy and if it doesn’t get fixed, it kind of sucks.

While there is no multiplayer for this game, it was said that there would be some social aspects included in the game. I have no idea what this means because this was a strictly single player game. When I hear that there is going to be some type of social aspect I usually cringe because this means co-op or straight up multiplayer, but this hasn’t been added in at this time and I’m not sure it even needs it. There are some games that you just play by yourself and this is one of them. I don’t need someone tagging along while I try to hunt dinosaurs and I don’t need to play team death match with bows and arrows. The game is fine the way it is and the whole “social aspect” thing should be kept out of this game.

Overall I give this game a 4 out of 5.

What’s Great:
+ New and clever plot line that hasn’t been done before and was extremely interesting once you got to the core of it.
+ A new and exciting take on techniques used in other games and made better by this game.
+ Beautiful graphics that make the game and show was a game in 2017 should look like.
+ Smooth running game that had no major bugs or crashes during the full amount of time put into it.

What’s Not So Great:
Side quests and errands that hinder on the main game just a litte.
The constant need to be in stealth mode along with an unrewarding fast travel system and weird buying from a merchant problems.
Voice acting is a little off and sometimes there are problems with facial animations.
All Acquisition machines killed trophy glitched for some people.

While I was overly critical of this game at first, it was one of those games that got turned around and came out on top. The story is there and the main character is a quality one. Yes the voice acting is off, but that doesn’t discredit Aloy as a character. The only real problem I had with this game is the way too many fetch and come back quests and errands that had no real point and didn’t feel like they contributed to the overall game in any way. Other than that the game was an excellent original game that hasn’t been done before story wise even though it does borrow some other of the game mechanics from already established franchises. While this might not have been a day one buy for you and at the moment it has no replay value, I would still give this game a seal of approval. If you want to spend the full $60 on it you won’t regret it and if you want to wait until it goes on sale to save some cash you won’t regret it either. Saying that, it is a game that deserves to be played you just have to determine how much you want to spend on it.

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This Week in Trophies 03-12-2017 – 03-18-2017

This week was a battle with a very bad sinus infection as well as an overloaded work schedule thanks to an employee with “the flu.” It was a surprise that I was even able to make any time for gaming this week as it was basically an on-call type of week. Not so fun when you have to game like that, but I was able to do it resulting in my 75th platinum trophy. Keep reading to see how my gaming week turned out.

Horizon: Zero Dawn – 100%

This was a huge accomplishment for me this week. Not only was it my 75th platinum trophy, but it was also a deadline for me as I wanted to finish this game before Mass Effect: Andromeda came out. Somehow, I have no idea how, I was able to do this. I know I gave this game a little bit of crap last week, but you’ll have to wait a couple of weeks to see my full review of the game and see if my opinion of the game changed any.

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For Honor – 68%

Not only was I finally able to play multiplayer this week without being kicked out of every other game, but I’ve actually found that I’ve gotten good at this game. Even though I’m not sure how much I’ll actually get to play anymore, I’m still having an ok time playing and at this point, I really want to finish up the remanding trophies while waiting for the season and round based trophies to unlock. I might or might not be able to do this, but I did enjoy my time playing this week.

For Honor For HonorFor Honor

That was it for this week. Pretty decent with the whole sinus infection thing and basically feeling like crap for the majority of the week. Now for next week, I have a real hankering to start something new because I can with my upgraded hard drive, but I really want to save that for Tuesday when Mass Effect: Andromeda comes out. I plan on being fully immersed in that game starting on Tuesday but until then, all bets are off. I mean I could play games that I’ve already started, but what’s the fun in that? I’m going to try and be good by not starting anything I can’t finish, but no promises. I’ll let you know how things worked out next week.

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This Week in Trophies 03-05-2017 – 03-11-2017

With Mass Effect: Andromeda right around the corner, I’ve been trying my hardest to finish up as many games as possible because of the fact that I just didn’t have enough space on my system for everything. This is the reason why my backlog is so huge to begin with. Out of sight, out of mind and that’s how it’s been with most games. Little did I know that the news PS4 update would be coming out this week allowing everyone to finally use an external hard drive. So, while there is still a little bit of a rush to finish some games, I don’t have to worry about storage anymore. Even though I made progress in some games, it was basically an meh kind of week when it came to trophies.

Horizon: Zero Dawn – 47%

I’ve only been playing this game on my days off because this is the type of game that feels like there’s so much to do that if I only have an hour or two to play then it just isn’t worth it. That being said, I am enjoying the time that I’m playing, but I’m still not sure about the game itself. I’m about mid-way into the story and while it’s interesting, I think the side stuff is just meh. I think that when I finally finish the game I’ll be able to judge it a little bit better.

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Gems of War – 86%

With the newest updates came a bunch of trophies as my fellow Gems of War players already know so while I’ve been slowly working my way to getting 100% on the main game, I’ve also been working on these trophies as well. I was able to get one trophy from this game this week, but I did level up a bunch and I’m still trying to figure out how to get the other DLC trophies.

Gems of War

Annnddd…that was it for the week. Not really that impressive compared to my other weeks, but it is what it is. I’m pretty sure I would have gotten some trophies in For Honor, which I have been actively playing if I didn’t keep getting the same error message over and over again.

For Honor Error Message

I’m getting really tired of this error message and getting kicked from just about every single game, but I will continue to try and play this game this week as well as trying to finish up Horizon: Zero Dawn. I’ll also be playing some Gems of War as well. This of course will all depend on how I feel since I’m pretty sure a cold is coming on. This isn’t a -cough-Mass Effect just came out and I can’t work-cough- kind of sick, which I was in no way planning, but an actual cold because my favorite fellow employee came to work sick again. On a serious note though, this is cold and flu season, I understand that if you can’t work you don’t get paid, I really do, but please cover your damn mouth when you sneeze and cough so that you don’t spread your germs. Seriously, if you don’t get paid for not being at work, chances are your fellow co-workers don’t either. Back to gaming though, I’ll let you know how things turn out next week.

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This Week in Trophies 02-26-2017 – 03-04-2017

A busy week in gaming, this week with the release of Horizon: Zero Dawn with a few other games still sitting on my shelf and needing to be played as well. Not that I mind because when it comes to gaming it’s like my safe haven especially after the past few weeks of work that I’ve been having. I think it’s sad when you work in an environment where it feels like your back in high school. There’s a bunch of drama and different cliques and all I want to do is go in and do my work. Now onto the important things and the thing that you come to read about each week, the trophies.

For Honor – 57%

With the servers kind of working for this game now, I still get an error message every now and again while playing online, this game has become a little more fun to play. While there is a story, that I went back and completed on hard, no easy feat, it’s not the main thing in this game. This is basically a multiplayer game and it’s important that it actually works and not just works sometimes. This is still one of the things that needs to be fixed for this game, but other than that when it does work I enjoy it.

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Horizon: Zero Dawn – 31%

After what seemed like forever to get my hands on this game, I finally was able to play this week. So far I’m enjoying the mystery of the story and why Aloy is so important yet was an outcast of her tribe. You know a game is going to be good when in the first fifteen to twenty minutes in you’re wiping those lone tears that are straying from your eyes. Other than that, the map is just huge and while I’m enjoying the story and where it’s going I’m having a hard time with just the overload of enemies there seems to be in each area. I’m not sure if this hinders just a little on the main game since it feels like I’m constantly stopping to take on a group of machines or if it’s just something I have to get used to. I want to explore, but it’s kind of hard when everywhere you turn there’s a new enemy.

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Gems of War – 83%

If you’re a fellow Gems of War player then you know that a huge update was added to the game this week that came with a bunch of new DLC trophies that made me cringe because I was only missing two trophies for the whole game and now I’m missing five. Not a huge amount but still. There was the addition of events that had me a little confused along with a bunch of other stuff. Most if it I had done already, but there was some that was still missing. While I’m not devoting a lot of time to this game, It’s nice to play for an hour at a time.

Gems of War Gems of WarGems of War Gems of WarGems of War Gems of WarGems of War

That was it for this week as the race is on to at least try and finish Horizon: Zero Dawn before the release of Mass Effect: Andromeda. While I think this can be done, it just means that I have to devote a lot of time to it and time is something that I’m usually a little short on. That being said, I’ll continue to play Horizon: Zero Dawn in the upcoming week as well as For Honor as I clean up the trophies that I need before the last one unlocks so that I can hopefully get the platinum, and I’ll continue to occasionally play Gems of War. I’ll let you know how everything went next week.

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