One of the most popular sayings most of us have heard in our lives is “broaden your horizons.” To “broaden one’s horizons” means to expand one’s range of activities, interests, and knowledge. When I think of myself in this regard I think of how I have expanded my selection of friends, tastes in clothing, understanding of other cultures and more. All of these “expansions” have always benefited myself and others depending on what the interest is at hand.
Guerilla Games have broadened their horizons as well with, wait for it, Horizon: Zero Dawn, their new IP on the PS4. The developer is known especially for their first person shooter, Killzone on three Sony PlayStation consoles and overall the series has been a success. But just as I figured out that I needed to cultivate new friendships in my life, Guerilla Games made the decision to venture out of the shooter genre and into the world of action adventure with added RPG elements.
When you go outside of your comfort zone you begin to learn things about yourself that you never knew were there. GG (Guerilla Games) no doubt came to see that they make a darn good game outside of their shooter norm. The world has depth and history. The human population has been separated by tribes resulting from some unknown apocalypse. Not all the answers are given to the player at once but there are bread crumbs strewn about to help us piece together what may have happened. The “ruins” which are forbidden look like our modern day office buildings and what is dubbed as an “Ancient Bracelet” is a watch. It’s a nice touch seeing how the characters refer to our modern day devices and knick knacks as “ancient”.
Something to be applauded is the amount of diversity in this world. Many different races and both genders are represented well. They may not be referred to as African American, Caucasian, Indian, Hispanic, etc… but we can see the characteristics of many races in the world’s population. The main character deserves the title of main in so many different ways. Alloy’s personality, independence, resolve, compassion, passion, and confidence all make her one of the best female characters ever in a game. She is just an awesome character, period. But it is nice not seeing a female lead with an emphasis on body and sexuality.
Just about everything about Horizon is refreshing and unique. Zero Dawn is a delight to play and gives me hope that more developers will follow suit and broaden their horizons as well.