This game is seriously the full package

I'm about 25 hours in and this is the phrase I just keep coming back to with Horizon. It has just about EVERYTHING I long for in a game.

  • Tight, satisfying combat. Seriously, the combat in this game is just as good as anything you would find in a more linear action game. Aloy controls amazingly, the whole component system with the machines is genius (is there anything more satisfying than ripping a disc launcher off a thunder jaw, picking it up, and blasting the thing away with its own tech?), demanding real strategy and precision, and just the whole gameplay loop in general is fantastically well thought-out.

  • An awe-inspiring open world. This game has the best open world I've ever seen. The map is just perfectly designed – it's big enough to feel truly expansive, but tight enough to never get boring, and the variety of biomes is INCREDIBLE. Whether it be forest, snowy mountains, desert, or jungle, each biome is gorgeous and interesting to explore. And the game even has the COOLEST city I've seen in a game with Meridian, which feels like something out of Game of Thrones.

  • An engaging story. It's not on the level of a Naughty Dog game, but man, Horizon's story is SO much better than I was expecting. I'm at the point where you really start learning about what exactly happened to the old world and I'm amazed by how fascinated I am by all the history and lore. I'm actually reading all of the text documents, listening to every audio log, etc… This story is so much better than it ever needed to be, considering that I was expecting something merely passable.

  • Incredible visuals/sound. I don't need to explain this one much, you've all seen the game. But let's just take a second to appreciate how well the thing runs! It has near-flawless performance! Guerilla needs to be applauded for their technical clout here. The sound design is awesome and the music is great as well. 25 hours in and I'm still hearing new tracks playing as I explore.

  • A bunch of other stuff like RPG-lite systems that work well, side quests that amount to more than just "Go fetch me some chickens," interesting side activities, DUNGEONS, a reasonable number of collectibles, and good horse/mount controls!

All the best games I've played up to this point get some of these points right at the expense of others. Great open world, but bland story. Great story, but mediocre gameplay. Great gameplay, but uninspired visuals. Awesome visuals, but no exploration. Horizon does it all. Thank you, Guerilla! This is quickly becoming one of my favorite games.

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