Finished this amazing game today… a few thoughts (only very minor spoilers)

First off: This was the best game I've played in ages. I would consider it even better than the Witcher 3 due to it holding my attention a little better.

Pros

  • The story was amazing. I absolutely loved hearing about the history behind the world and Aloy. It was really awesome to flesh out the background and get to know why things are the way they are.

  • The visuals are top shelf. I recently bought a PS4 and HZD is the first game I bought with it. My TV is a 2016 Vizio P65 with HDR and I have never seen a video game look so beautiful. It is REALLY amazing. I actually took back my PS4 slim to upgrade to the Pro just because I wanted it to look as good as it could. Can't really say enough about HDR gaming with upgraded visuals, just wow. HDR gaming is more noticeable than HDR in movies.

  • Side quests and errands were an awesome way to branch the story out, and (in my opinion) they weren't so abundant that they'd let you stray way off track. I found the Witcher 3 amazing as well, but I also had a hard time keeping focused on the story because I couldn't just walk past quests without picking them up. The weapon tutorial quests are a cool way to get to know the weapons, the machines, and earn a little XP as well.

  • The soundtrack, effects and voice acting are phenomenal. Every interaction is voice acted, and it makes a big difference, really makes the game world feel alive. The sound effects are absolutely phenomenal. The heavy weapons pounded through my subwoofer and thumped through my chest as I was blasting away. Such an immersive feeling. Really nothing negative to say about the sound work!

  • No hand holding, but subtle hints occasionally. The game doesn't specifically tell you how to do everything. It does throw you a few hints, but it's an awesome feeling to figure things out yourself. I loved scoping things out with the focus to find the weak points.

  • Combat is fantastic. Love the way the elements work. Overriding machines. Stealing heavy weapons for a temporary damage boost. Stealth, crits, strikes from above and below. The slow-mo. So much fun to take down machines from small to big. All of the massive machines feel like epic battles. Absolutely loved it. Weapons are all full of character and original too.

Cons

I said this was the best game I've played in ages, and it 100% was, but there were certainly a few things that could have used a little work.

  • First and most frustratingly: Quest progression bug. I don't know if there's more than the one I have, but I have a quest that I can't complete. It says "talk to Ravan". I do, he says his quest ending line, and the quest stays active. I can turn it in a dozen times, nothing changes. After googling, it's a common bug. Highly annoying for a completionist.

  • Overriding machines doesn't feel satisfying enough. Once or twice I overrode a glinthawk to help fight 4-5 others, and that was awesome, but not without issues. For one, your own machine isn't well identified aside from the blue light. I wish it had a little hud item of some kind too sort of like the yellow question mark or red exclamation. Maybe a green/blue circle or something. Further, the machines carry on their old behavior once overridden. If you override a patrolling machine, it'll attack/kill other machines around its path, but once theres nothing left, it'll stay there. I would imagine it was a balance issue, but I really wanted to override a glinthawk or stormbird and have it follow me around as a companion of sorts. Basically, to me, it reduced the importance of overriding machines. You can easily beat the entire game without overriding anything.

  • Tiny one here: Too much overlap between the non-blast Sling and other weapons. It does an excellent job applying an elemental effect, but I guess to me the overlap just made it lose its uniqueness. There's already a blast sling, and they look pretty well identical (at least the 3 bows look easily recognizable and different when you're holding them). The elemental effects the Shadow Sling apply are freeze, fire and electricity. The war bow already does two of those and the standard hunting bow does the other. Yes, it applies them more efficiently and drops a ground aoe, but I guess it still doesn't seem all that imaginative. I still used it, but I guess it's less inspiring to me. Small thing, like I said, the rest of the weapons were super cool and unique.

  • edit: Another con I just remembered: Inventory space. Upgrade your resource and mod storage to max ASAP, you will need it (really, upgrade everything to max asap, you need as much space as you can get). I found it highly annoying to constantly be full. It became part of my system that after every quest I'd sit at a vendor for a few minutes to sell all the blaze and whatnot I didn't need. It would have been nice if there was some way to know instantly if I'd ever need any turkey bones or fox skins anymore. I kept a lot of machine and animal parts around for quite a long time because I thought they might come in handy. Pro tip: They usually don't, if you've already bought the main weapons and items and upgrades.

Anyhow there's my two cents. Loved the game and would recommend EVERYONE with a PS4 gets and beats this one. Now I'm in search of the next one. Maybe Nier: Automata or FFVX. Any recommendations?

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