Review of Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds - nice frost

Author: Czarny Wilk
Date: 2017-11-09 14:30:00
The review was based on the PS4 version.

Horizon: Zero Dawn was by no means a revolutionary work. Guerrilla Games employees did not try to change the industry or forge new paths, instead - by carefully examining the competition - they took the best from it and packed it in a stunning setting. It was enough to create a production immediately hailed as one of the main candidates for the title of the game of the year.

It is not surprising then that the first story expansion did not look for new ideas to diversify the world dominated by mechanical dinosaurs. The Frozen Wilds is even more of the same, prepared in such a way as to provide a several-hour challenge to players who have already discovered the secrets of the New Dawn project.

For the frozen backwoods

The add-on has been directly integrated into the basic version of Zero Dawn . After its installation, the world map enlarges by a small, but filled to the brim with attractions area, located in the frosty north, just behind the Mound. There we get to know the customs of the Banuk tribe, we help him in solving local problems and - or rather above all - we fight the most powerful machines .

The Banukahs quickly turn out to be similar to the Burrow - maybe not so religious, but also distrustful of strangers and tradition-oriented. At the same time, they are more warlike than Aloy's countrymen, living according to the principle that survival is the most important virtue. As the red-haired protagonist is good at both, she quickly manages to gain enough reputation to learn about local problems.

The tasks are, unfortunately, not very absorbing, mainly due to the excessive recycling of ideas. The writers followed the line of least resistance by taking one of Horizon's leading themes , modifying it gently and presenting it to the world once again as the core storyline of The Frozen Wilds . In the course of several main missions, we can easily find an analogy to the conflict between Gaia and Hades, only fought at a smaller stakes. In Zero Dawn itself, the authors they may not have told a particularly touching story, but it was interesting and intriguing enough to encourage further play. Meanwhile, due to the aforementioned "tracing", the main thread of the enlargement failed to interest me in any way.

The stories from smaller orders are slightly better - but only slightly -. There, too, we will not see emotions or surprises similar to the third Witcher , but at least we have the opportunity to meet a few memorable characters. However, this is not enough to save the storyline of the game.

20% more seaweed

While in the narrative layer, repetition is a problem, in the case of gameplay, sticking to the marked paths works very well. The new mechanics in The Frozen Wilds mainly come down to the eight new skills that Aloy can acquire as part of increasing the experience limit to level sixty.

Most of these abilities are related to the machines we dominate - by investing a few points, we gain the ability to heal allied units, and by riding on mounts, we can perform an effective jump attack or collect resources without having to slide off the horse's back. Unfortunately, it is still impossible to ride the biggest beasts, so my dreams of sowing destruction while riding a mechanical tyrannosaurus remained unfulfilled. As a collector of all kinds of iron, I appreciated the possibility of increasing the capacity of the heroine's pocket by 20%, thanks to which I could reduce the frequency of courses to the closest traders.

Demonic mechanical dinosaurs

The extended range of skills does not significantly affect the gameplay itself, the foundations of which remain unchanged and are based primarily on fights with mechanical opponents. The country of Banuków is an extremely dangerous land in which we have to face particularly dangerous robots. The machines known from other areas appear here in a much more powerful, "demonic" form, and in addition, several new beasts await you to defeat - each one that will challenge even the most experienced hunters.

Although "my" Aloy was well-equipped and had already completed the base game with most of the side quests it contained, The Frozen Wilds still managed to get me to figure it out. Usually, the traps against larger opponents in clashes with new machines turned out to be ineffective, so I had to look for other tactics, and even let myself be persuaded to abandon my favorite types of weapons and test new ones.

Also, "old acquaintances" under the influence of the "demon" became much more annoying - although only in the context of strength and endurance, maintaining the old patterns of behavior, it was enough to force me to double my attention and remember what a nuisance even harassers can be . Dodging, keeping enemies at bay, and choosing the right weapons has become more essential than ever. A lot of problems can also be caused by special towers, which send an impulse to heal nearby enemies - without eliminating them, it turns out that you cannot defeat some of them.

Ice, cold and frost

The biggest attraction of The Frozen Wilds are the title frozen backwoods. Although in the basic version of the game it was hard to complain about the scarcity of snowy areas, the designers of Guerrilla Games studio made sure that the new area, despite the white presence almost everywhere, was filled with various attractions . Thanks to this, exploring on foot and ignoring the option of fast travel (I strongly recommend this approach to fun) remain a very pleasant experience.

Among the mountain peaks and the ubiquitous trees, we can find the cover lake shimmering with the colors of the rainbow or a network of active geysers, and the northern lights will make the night trips more attractive. Plunging into the snow, Aloy leaves deep troughs behind her, and goats and squirrels turn out to be the heroine's inseparable companions in forests and on mountain trails. Here and there are ruins of an ancient civilization, including an imposing dam.