Horizon has been an absolute pleasure to play. Its engaging story, beautiful graphics/art, and fun combat was totally refreshing. It’s a game that I feel I’ll certainly be returning to, and I look forward to any DLC or expansions that could be released in the future.
Much of the positives have already been explored with this game, and I’d like to take a look at some of my personal constructive criticisms, including some ideas on how to remedy those issues.
Stealth is one of the most effective ways to play the majority of the game at the moment, and in itself, that’s not a flaw. The issue I have with stealth is that with Nora Silent Heavy Armor + Stealth Mods, stealth seems a little too good. Equipping stealth gear should certainly give a noticeable boon to sneak efficacy, but a player should never be at a point where two enemies are standing right next to each other where one can be killed without immediately drawing the attention of the other. I think tuning stealth a little would go a long way towards enhancing the gameplay experience.
- Retain current stealth effectiveness at 0/default rating, but reduce the effectiveness of + stealth gear/mods by around 10-15%
- Adjust Silent Strike, adding some (small) noise to the hit, just enough to attract the attention of really close enemies. This could even be isolated to just machines. I always thought it kind of immersion breaking to have two machines next to each other where I kill one (with the animation making a fairly loud noise) without the other one even alerted a little bit.
With rocks already being in the game, lure call and how it currently works seems a little out of place and even somewhat silly (only one guy is going to hear my whistle, really?). This skill also contributes to stealth being too convenient. I think altering this ability should be heavily considered.
- Adjust the skill so when using Lure Call, you are no longer able to attract just one enemy if others are also nearby. Draw attention of all nearby enemies within 180º of your field of vision (could work as a way to more easily re-position groups of enemies).
Enemy human AI
This is one that a lot of games struggle with, particularly in regards to stealth and taking out multiple enemies. The poor human AI is particularly noticeable when clearing out Bandit Camps.
- When a human enemy finds a corpse and calls out, actually have that calling out bring other nearby enemies to them, and have discovering the corpse put enemies in high alert mode and search around a little more than they currently do.
- Add ability to drag human corpses (not machines) to accommodate for the previous idea. It’d make a lot of sense to be able to drag dead human enemies into patches of tall grass.
- Adjust combat/difficulty of human enemies to make them more challenging. They seem a little too easy at times in straight combat, even when alerting an entire bandit camp on the highest difficulty.
Resources and inventory could use some work. Stack limitations for certain resources are glaringly arbitrary, and fully upgraded capacity still feels lacking with the wide variety of items we start getting midway through the game.
- Increase fully upgraded capacity
- Increase stack size of certain resources such as Blaze and Wire
- Add a storage box to store items in, Meridian would be a good location for this, perhaps at the Hunter’s Lodge.
Quick items are painful to use. I can’t recall how many times I’ve been in a fight scrolling through everything I have in order to find my health potion or an antidote.
- Convert current quick item system to use a wheel system, e.g. pressing the down button brings up a wheel with your items, and you can select the potion/item you want to use with the thumbstick. Would be much more fluid.
These are the biggest issues that stand out to me currently. There are a few other areas that I think could use some work, but these ones here are the ones that I think would make a great starting point and would help refine an otherwise wonderful game. Would love to hear other thoughts/opinions on these.
P.S. Also, bulk buy.