Horizon Zero Dawn “Hands On” At PAX AUS 2016

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Before getting hands on with Horizon Zero Dawn, SONY treated us to watching a demo play through of a piece of the games storyline. Aloy, the games character, meets a villager running for his life, fleeing from what he describes is a demon. After a brief selecting of dialogue, Aloy heads toward the danger, finding that the demon is the equivalent of mechanised meat eating dinosaur. Within the demonstration we are shown crafting of traps, stealth hunting and the override feature in which Aloy can control some of the mechanised beasts and even mount and ride them. Finally, the SONY rep faced the demon and slayed it.

Aloy is equipped with her bow for ranged attacks and it also features a bladed type end in which to inflict melee damage and one hit stealth kills. You are also able to use tethers and crafted weapons such as fire head arrows, bombs and freeze bombs.

After the demo I hand a chance for hands on. The area was very restrictive but the build was impressive. I was able to try out some of Aloy’s stealth hunting to great effect. She moves swiftly and fluently and the surrounding world is stunning. The setting reminded me of Ninja Theory’s much under rated Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, with an overgrown post-apocalyptic world that has machinery roaming as the lands greatest predator. Combat is fluent and the overall mechanical design feels fantastic.

There were three classes of mech roaming, the aggressive Watchers and the more placid Broadheads and Graziers. Over the ten or so minutes of hands on time I experimented as much as I could with my mind envisioning things that may come in the full release. This game is extremely high on my watch list.

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