Horizon Zero Dawn Hands-on at EGX 2016

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Horizon Zero Dawn Hands-on at EGX 2016

At EGX 2016 I was given the opportunity to play one of Sony’s biggest and ambitious upcoming games, Horizon Zero Dawn.

After a small 15-minute presentation a selection of journalists were taken to a secluded spot for a 15 minute trial of the game, which placed the player in a small area of the map that would be a part of the future game. A few areas and options (such as opening the map) were disabled from the alpha build.

Due to an agreement with Sony, I am unable to show you any footage or pictures of my hands-on experience, so, for the time being, I can only share my feelings towards the game itself and provide a general idea of how it plays.

From the demo we were given, we were put into a small section, which was shown off in the E3 2016 Gameplay trailer, with a distinctive type of enemy to fight, including a large crab-like mechanic creature, who provided ammunition crafting materials for your bow when his shell was shot at, and a stag-like creature, who you could hack and mount, in order to travel longer distances more efficiently, as well as aid you in battle at a moment’s notice.

During my hands on session I encountered several other creatures, and as a result I raised the question whether every species may be hackable in the future. Unfortunately, I never received an answer.

Personally, I believe it would be amazing if everything was hackable, based on a levelling system, however, your characters progression and development is yet to be revealed at this time. From my experience with the game, I feel like Horizon Zero Dawn will feature either a gradual progression or a typical RPG progression, in which you can choose what you want to level up and unlock.

In regards to the movement system and general controls, everything offered felt very fluid. I genuinely wanted to play more of the game and was saddened by the lack of time we were provided with the alpha demo, in comparison to the presentation we were shown beforehand, which included more conversations and combat orientated areas.

The demo seemed too empty at times but I don't think that was a bad thing, as it meant I was forced to ascend to higher plains and dare I say, explore my surroundings, to better grasp the scale of what this game could be, if it reaches its true potential.

The combat as a whole was amazing I must add, the seamless transition between weapons and the distance and trajectory of my long distance arrow sniper shots were spot on, and everything connected as it should be.

In short, my expectations for Horizon Zero Dawn are high, but moving forward I feel like there is a lot more I need to experience before I am able to lock down my final thoughts. 


For now, I will be approaching this game with a ‘wait and see’ attitude, so let’s hope that the future is bright for this new Sony IP.

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