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Published on September 5th, 2016 | by gareth


Horizon Zero Dawn: Hands On PAX West 2016

During our coverage of PAX West 2016, I got the chance to get some hands on time with Horizon Zero Dawn. The upcoming game was previewed to us in a theater where the combat system was shown off as well as the grand scope of the game where the central character fought a series of enemies. We saw a field of pack beasts which were needed for travel to a nearby community. Naturally this was not as easy as it sounded as the protectors had to be dealt with and were in a dazzling mix of arrows and a spear like weapon.

Once a mount was obtained, the player rode into a town and we could see the branching dialogue as players were free to select their responses and thus the direction of the narrative.

The final segment we saw was with a large creature which was responsible for corrupting other enemy units and increasing their hostility.

The combat was intense and combined attacking while on a mount, ducking and rolling, and analyzing the enemy to find a weakness One analysis revealed that enemy unit was susceptible to fire and as such, flaming arrows was used to weaken the unit. It did not go down easy as a barrage of stones and other deadly projectiles followed.

Once weakened, a core was exposed and the player was able to dispatch it and end the mission.

After the demo ended, it was time for us to get into the action and I quickly learned how much open areas there were to explore The navigation was easy enough and the directional pad was used to select items such as a flaming trap and healing options. I was able to grab items for crafting and loot from enemy units during my exploration.

I came across a heard which stampeded and I drew the attention of their protector units. I was able to dispatch them with a mix of arrows and impaling attacks and when my arrows ran out, I had to slide, hack, and slash my way to success. I got caught up in the diversity and size of the world and although the demo took some getting used to, the game shows great potential and I look forward to seeing the final game.


About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”. He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show. He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.

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