Horizon : Zero Dawn - The Frozen Wilds - Critique
When you think about it, Aloy came to the end of his Horizon Zero Dawn adventure too easily, and The Frozen Wilds is proof of that. This important extension is a splendid challenge of fifteen hours, enriched with clever side quests, a solid story, and with the best fights that we have experienced so far in the company of the heroine. .
Its storyline integrates with that of the main game, and can be played after completing the original adventure, so it's suitable for both those who want to complete everything, as well as those who have never completed the quests of the history. You can then travel to a new and gigantic area - which is added to the main map, as soon as you install this DLC (even if the objective does not immediately appear in your quest log) - and therefore risk yourself with courage or stupidity in dangerous places if you are not at least level 30. In these places you will explore the mysteries surrounding a nomadic tribe, the Banuk - which are already at the heart of one of the most memorable side quests by Zero Dawn. The Frozen Wilds will nevertheless dig even deeper into the fascinating complexity of their structure and spirituality.
Specifically, this DLC takes a look at the fascinating idea of gods and demons, and how the apocalypse has befallen this world, now populated by dinosaur-like robots. Although its story sometimes turns strange with evolutionary jargon that's hard to understand - speak French, damn it! - when it comes to its conclusion, I was able to ask myself interesting (and no less provocative) questions about the place of faith in such a brutal world.
For his part, Aloy remains the endearing and warm character that we have already met previously. At this point in the story, she's strong and competent enough to find her place when the situation calls for it, and her personality fits that role well. She's also the voice of reason, and whenever The Frozen Wilds falls for the sill, Aloy is there to point it out with his scathing jokes, worn by actress Ashly Burch in their original version.
She fits quite well with the other characters, the most interesting of which, like the most eccentric, appear in the many side quests that run through this expansion. These adventures are among the best that I have been given to do, with a special emphasis on platform phases like an Uncharted or a Tomb Raider, with its sinister cliffs, its breathtaking battles , and his particularly funny jokes.
These quests are worth it on a practical level, as you're going to want to keep upgrading your character (if you're not already level 50) in order to get more powerful weapons and gear. Although they are all from Zero Dawn, the monsters wandering in The Frozen Wilds are not here for fun. If you're not careful, expect to face a formidable opponent. Guerrilla justifies the boost in the difficulty by the arrival of a "demonic" force having infiltrated the internal systems of the robots. Fighting a demonic Thunderjaw is thus much more frightening than fighting its usual counterpart. It is nevertheless just as tall and imposing, while also proving to be more deadly, reinstating the fear that you may have abandoned until then.
These fights are the funniest I have had in Horizon. Between levels 40 and 50 in Zero Dawn, I could see that fighting, especially being equipped with the shield allowing Aloy to regenerate his protection, was a little too easy, but The Forzen Wilds gave me back the taste for risk. Even with the best gear, I was able to find myself overwhelmed by a group of demonic machines (the only reason I didn't die indefinitely was possession of an absurd number of healing potions and pieces of metal that I I was able to collect during my 40 hours of play on Zero Dawn), and a certain number of new machines in the bestiary allowed me to test my reflexes to avoid their attacks at the last second. I liked feeling like I was genuinely fighting for my own life, even with a skill tree at the max.
To make the fights more frantic, The Frozen Wilds introduces in its new zone a machine called Control Towers (in original version). It's a sprawling machine projecting energy in the form of purple pulses, which reduces your shield resistance, while healing nearby enemy machines. Getting around or destroying them takes concentration and time, creating extreme tension as you try to kill them before they tear you apart.
All of this gives a real sense of danger as soon as you start to explore the world. If Zero Dawn was akin to a stroll through Jurassic Park, The Frozen Wild is a bit like discovering The Lost World: indomitable and unregulated. Because even a Demonic Watcher proves that he can be a significant threat from the first few minutes of the campaign, I found myself jerked by certain noises in the thickets, or by nearby roars, especially during disturbing times. nocturnal.
It's also a good thing that The Frozen Wilds looks amazingly beautiful. Its snow-covered mountains, ravines and fields are dotted with frozen lakes, flown over by sublime blue-red sunsets. It might sound like anecdotal, but considering how much time you'll spend on it if you play to the end, it's important that the snow in Frozen Wilds is realistic and crisp under your feet. When Aloy comments on the cold, I feel like I can feel it too.
The other big point of divergence of Frozen Wilds, compared to Zero Dawn, is the addition of a new branch in Aloy's skill tree, called “The Traveler” which emphasizes facilitated movements. when you're riding an overloaded machine, while getting the most out of your inventory. This tree, however, is not essential for the expansion, but rather for the long term of Horizon. Being able to scavenge resources off the back of a machine or grab 50% of the value of a resource or mod that you shell out is something that makes sense, and I'm happy to see Guerrilla has it. finally understood.