The Enigmatic World Of Horizon Franchaise

An Open World Unlike Any Other.

Horizon Zero Dawn

The Horizon Franchise indeed boasts highly praised action and exceptional graphics, comparable to, or in my opinion, even better than, the likes of Ghost of Tsushima and Red Dead Redemption 2. However, these are not the only aspects that set the Horizon series apart.

There is something in this game that kept me attached to it for hours and the community speaks the same about these aspects.

Key Takeaways

  • Horizon possesses a mysterious element that many games lack.
  • The game dedicates significant attention to both machines and tribes.
  • It stand out with uncommon elements like character development and a female protagonist.

A World Shrouded in Mystery

From the moment I started playing the game, my mind was flooded with questions: How did these machines come into existence? What happened to the past civilization? And most importantly, who is Aloy’s mother?

These compelling mysteries kept me hooked and eager to uncover the truth at every turn keeping me on the edge of my seats the whole time. They were finally revealed in ‘The Womb of Mountain’ and ‘Deep Secrets of Earth’ quests mainly through the holograms from the past.

Fortunately, this sense of mystery was not only present in Zero Dawn but was even further enhanced in Forbidden West.

Narrative Excellence

The mysteries come to light one by one, and everything begins to make sense. John Gonzalez deserves a great deal of praise for crafting such a remarkable tale. I had the impression that I was actually a member of the Horizon universe because of his superb narrative.

Gonzalez’s skill and commitment to crafting a remarkable experience are evident in the way the plot develops, exposing its secrets layer by layer.

*Spoiler Alert*

The most memorable was Elisabet Sobeck’s death; despite her brief screen time and holographic appearance, I was moved to tears when I saw her sacrifice her life to complete the Zero Dawn mission.

Dr. Elisabeth Sacrificing her life

Shattering Stereotypes

We don’t often come across a female protagonist who is as brilliantly written as Ashley Burch’s Aloy. Aloy is notable for her unwavering dedication and strong will in addition to her brains and physical abilities.

Throughout the game, she manages to save Earth on three separate occasions, each time overcoming nearly impossible odds.

Young Aloy

The Mechanized Marvels of Horizon

The machines are the most pivotal aspect of the Horizon world. Originally engineered by Ted Faro for military applications but went rogue leading to the Faro Plague that caused the 2066 apocalypse.

Faro Plague

The game features more than a hundred different kinds of machines, each carefully designed with minute details. These machines can be divided into two categories: the ones made by humans and the ones designed by Dr. Elisabet Sobeck’s artificial intelligence, GAIA, as part of Project Zero Dawn.

It is instantly clear that the two groups are very different from one another. With a variety of lethal armaments, the man-made machines are meant to be frightening and scary. By contrast, the machines built by GAIA are meant to preserve and restore Earth’s habitability and they appear like gentle natural animals.

In essence, while humans engineered machines to destroy life, GAIA designed machines to preserve and nurture it.

Tallneck made by GAIA
Death Bringer made by Humans

Character Development

In Zero Dawn, character development is somewhat limited due to Aloy’s solitary journey. However, in Forbidden West, she is surrounded by a team of friends she has gathered along the way. Here, she not only fights alongside them but also protects and mourns for them, as seen in her heartfelt reaction to Varl’s demise.

Aloy Mourning at Varls Grave

Other characters also undergo notable development. Beta changes dramatically from her early portrayal as a scared little child who gets shaken at the sound of zeniths. She showed bravery in the last battle and made a significant contribution to the win.

I really appreciated the moment when everyone stood together after the last battle, and Erend, like a close friend, put his hand on Aloy’s shoulder.

After the Final Battle

The Unique Tribes of Horizon

The Horizon world pays close attention to detail, going beyond just the complex machine designs. It also portrays various primitive tribes, each with its own unique culture and clothing.

What adds to the intrigue is that these tribes draw inspiration from real human history. The Tenakht, resembling Native Americans, are depicted due to their primitive characteristics. Similarly, the Quen echo the Mongols, reflecting their facial features and brutal tendencies. This attention to detail separates Horizon from other RPGS

Map with the Tribe Boundaries

Even in its conclusion, Forbidden West maintains its sense of mystery by ending the game at a point where the world’s future is most uncertain. I eagerly await the third installment, which I am sure will further enhance these unique aspects of the game.

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