We will examine Horizon Zero Dawn, an open world game with a post-apocalyptic scenario.
At first glance, they added deadly robots roaming around in contrast to a cool atmosphere. It might be a simple and interesting game for young people, but for someone like me who sees games as works of literature, I thought it was a ridiculous work.
I also had a hard time breaking my prejudices in the first few hours because of unsolved mysteries, but I saw that sometimes a good game chooses its gamer, just like a classic literary work chooses its reader. The slowly unraveling mysteries compared me to perhaps one of the most profound sci-fi stories in gaming history.
Now let’s take a closer look at the story of Horizon Zero Dawn, which has sold more than 10 million copies since its release, or rather what happened in the time before the time we experienced in the game. Because we need to know some of them to increase the enjoyment we get from the game.
The Story of Horizon Zero Dawn
Every great narrative tells of a great event, and in doing so takes its roots from ancient texts. So is Horizon Zero Dawn. It is based on the pattern of extinction, which is often mentioned in sacred texts and epics. He begins the story he tells hundreds of years after this extinction.
The game takes place in the year 3040. The world that passed as the old world and disappeared is nothing but the world we live on today.
Our extinction is due to the global warming problem and artificial intelligence studies, which no politicians today seriously address, and even if they did, they could not internalize and make the necessary arrangements.
In 2040, when the devastating effects of climate change began to affect humanity, they began to search for life on extraterrestrial planets with the joint initiative of major states. However, these efforts are coming to an end due to the economic crises in the world and the social problems caused by people being unemployed due to artificial intelligence, because sufficient resources cannot be allocated. We decide to solve the mold problem on our planet, and we start taking advantage of robots supported by artificial intelligence to solve global warming.
However, politicians, who are afraid of the development of artificial intelligence technology, say that robots should be limited to a certain level of consciousness and they are putting it into action. As such, it opens the way for states to produce slave artificial intelligence systems for themselves.
Soldiers in armies are being replaced by robots with artificial intelligence. There are even wars between countries where only robots collide. Everything is automatic.
In fact, the point we have reached today is quite close to this. Look, in the video below there is a robot with a gun at the end. For now, we may be throwing this viral video at each other as a joke, companies that manufactured robots may have issued statements over and over again, but the arrow went out of the bow.
Let’s go back to the story of our game. At this point, where we benefit greatly from artificial intelligence, entrepreneurs Ted Fargo and Dr. Elisabeth Sobeck‘s paths cross. Under the roof of Ted’s company, green robots begin to be produced that attempt to prevent global warming.
The success of green robots makes Ted Fargo’s star shine so brightly that his company becomes the world’s first company to reach a trillion dollar valuation. Of course Ted will catch the attention of the defense industry at some point. Along with the money offered and the prestige that comes, it also shifts the company’s production space to military affairs. Dr. Elisabeth Sobeck is dissatisfied with these developments and leaves the company.
Ted sells dozens of different weapons and robots with artificial intelligence to dozens of different countries. It builds self-replicating robots that feed on biofuel.
It will be expected. One day, communication with one of these self-replicating robotic units is cut off. When they are contacted again, they are seen not carrying out the given instructions. These robots, which have the ability to self-replicate and produce biofuel, achieve biofuel by consuming living things and begin to multiply uncontrollably.
Ted urgently needs the inventor of green robots, Dr. Elisabeth Sobeck and explains the situation to her. It still only considers the situation a communication failure. Dr. Elizabeth Sobeck is shocked by what she hears. He accuses Ted of not understanding the gravity of the situation. He goes up to the highest positions and tells that it is impossible to stop robots, that it is useless to fight them because they constantly copy themselves, while we fight them, artificial intelligence will learn our movements and start defeating us with a greater skill, if we do not take precautions, the world has 15 months left.
Managers think there must be a way to stop robots. Dr. Elisabeth Sobeck explains that it is indeed possible to stop it, but the communication network of robots is encrypted and it will take 30 to 60 years to break this password, so the remaining 15 months will not be enough.
She receives full authorization from the authorities for every alternative solution to the problem. On this he designs a project that will revive life when the world becomes habitable again, after humanity has been completely destroyed. He gives the responsibility of this project to an artificial intelligence called Gaia.
He freezes some embryos and hides them in underground warehouses, and when the planet becomes habitable again with the efforts of Gaia, he hopes that an era will begin when humans will once again rule the planet after this great extinction .
There are many components that Gaia has. One of them is, for example, Apollo. It is a library that contains all the accumulation of civilization up to that day and will give people the opportunity to pick up where they left off when they start living in the world again. Another is Hades, who was tasked with killing all microorganisms and allowing Gaia to start over if Gaia failed to restore the climate to normal.
The events that follow are striking. Dr. Elisabeth Sobeck dies just before the completion of the project. Ted Fargo desperately deletes Apollo, thinking that they are a bad generation and that leaving this legacy to the next generation will turn them into people like themselves. This is why we see primitive tribes next to robots.
Despite everything, Gaia cracks passwords and shuts down machines in 80 – 90 years. Within a few centuries, the earth will become a place where people can live. Humans are raised by artificial intelligence that learns basic ways of survival, but civilization has not progressed beyond primitive tribes since Ted Fargo wiped out Apollo.
The game starts here. In the year 3020, with a signal coming out of nowhere, Hades is activated for no reason and takes action to remove all life on the planet.
Realizing that there is a problem in this business, Gaia knows that everything is fine, so she first reveals Aloy to handle such situations. He blows up his reactor, even though he himself will be destroyed to destroy Hades. However, Hades manages to escape from this blast with a virus he produced.
This is how Aloy, a kind of copy of Dr. Elisabeth Sobeck, our main hero in the game, begins her battle against Hades. He discovers that people have a hand in this business.
General Evaluation of Horizon Zero Dawn
We don’t just want 4K graphics, HDR displays, real environments in a game anymore. We want good stories from the start. Of course, it would be nice if the technical aspects were also good. But we especially want good stories. Playing games is a therapy for us where we focus and spend hours. In any case, we want this experience to be pleasant.
Horizon Zero Dawn has one of the most compelling and enjoyable sci-fi stories I’ve experienced in a long time.
It’s just that we’re left with a lot of mysteries from the moment we enter the game and it takes a long time for some truths to come to light, making it a bit difficult and slow for the story to get you absorb. But when you take it inside, it envelops your whole being. Maybe such a problem wouldn’t exist if the background of the story is explained a little before entering the game.
Combat mechanics were criticized by some players, but maybe because I played it long after the game came out – I think it’s about updates – I didn’t have a problem with the combat mechanics.
Dialogues are selective and some are very long. As someone who knows the genre, I like long dialogues, but for Horizon Zero Dawn, it slowed down the pace in places and at some points does not serve the progression of the story.
The camera angle with the third person perspective was also a little close for me, I wish we could move it a little further from the settings, but other than that Horizon Zero Dawn is a very good game with a play time of almost 40 hours, the animals I have to hunt to carry more arrows, the plants I have to collect, and the in-depth story of it.
Released by Guerilla Games in 2017, the game is now free for Playstation Plus subscribers. There’s even a PC version out if you want.
Horizon Zero Dawn Review
Briefly My Opinion
Maybe Horizon Zero Dawn is slow to get the player in and convince the story, but when you succeed, you come across one of the most extraordinary sci-fi stories of recent years.