Horizon Zero Dawn - Postapocalyptic cavewoman vs Zoids


Tomb Raider (2013). I never played the reboot sequel.


Yeah. It’s probably a taste thing. I’m also probably doing a bad job of articulating solve versus play. Zelda and H:ZD are very similar at a glance, and yet so different. I sort of feel that HZD is the same but with more map icons and Zelda just lets you wander. However, when I bumble into a set piece in HZD, it is a situation I encounter and play through whereas in Zelda I need to figure out one of the 1 or 3 ways that the designers wanted their lock undone.

Yes earlier Zeldas are crazy linear puzzles. I don’t like them and that was why I was not interested in this one. Until all the hype about how it was different. And it is. But only so far. Now the puzzles are compressed micro puzzles (much to the aid of tools that expire now replacing linear gating) and sprinkled everywhere. Want to climb that mountain, solve it. Want to open that chest on the tower, solve it. Want to figure out why this tree looks odd, solve it. In HZD I felt like I was roaming and discovering a world. There were a jumping puzzles or lodges now and then as a break, but there is no break in Zelda. It’s just solving…everything.

But I also ran into side quests last night that were of the caliber of carrying 10 chickens hidden throughout town back to their coup and playing hide and seek with a little girl. So that and deciphering conspicuous stamina recharge spots on a mountain left me cold when contrasted to HZD stuff. But I’m early on, so maybe it will change.


The human encounters are not entirely dissimilar, as both games include stealth, bow combat, and climbing. HZD is a large open world as opposed to TRs more hub system, and the bulk of combat in HZD is against the machines and not people and there’s no direct analogue to TR there. HZD is much better written as well IMO with a far better story if that matters to you at all.


While I never played the Tomb Raider reboot, I found H:ZD to be a great experience in both gameplay mechanics and narrative. It would have been a very enjoyable action game or book/movie. I sort of got both. But I also went into it with zero hype, foreknowledge, or expectation.

Yes, other games will grab me throughout the year, but I am pretty sure that H:ZD will stand tall in my memory for a rather long time to come. But even me saying that might in itself rob you of the same impact.


It has similar (perhaps better) controls and the crafting and gathering elements are also similar, but it’s a huge world with a much more compelling story and backstory imo. Also gorgeous and I’m even more impressed with the visuals considering that they aren’t just levels loaded in, but have incredibly detailed environments.

There are a few minor annoyances, but it’s very impressive that they’ve come to this from making just fps games. It’s all so seamless and smooth it never really feels like you are fighting against the game and it just has an amazing flow from one thing to the next.


Well that’s one way to deal with Rockbreakers

This guy over at GAF has been making a lot of crazy GIFs.


Yeah I was going to make some distinction between the two…but Horizon is better than them both. It’s great in every way. Actually the only nit I have to pick is that you can’t save anywhere you want, only at campfires. So sometimes I die and lose a little bit of progress if I’m just roaming around. There’s campfires everywhere though so even that is a pretty small complaint.


Horizon is a much, much better game. I only ever felt the Tomb Raider reboot was just like you described. The story was pretty bad and the combat was only okay. The writing in Horizon is far better, and the combat sandbox offers so many more options. And Horizon feels like you’re in a real place. and not a series of shanty towns that only exist for you to have a firefight in.


40 hrs in, about level 40

  • 6 main missions left.
  • Need 1 more power cell.
  • I’ve done every side quest I’ve seen up to including all the hunter’s lodge stuff
  • I’ve completed all the hunter’s lodge challenges just haven’t gotten all blazing yet.
  • Completed all Cauldrons.
  • Completed all Longnecks.
  • Completed all bandit camps.
  • I just LOVE the combat in this game. It’s just so well done.
  • While heading to the next main missions I came across a town and 3 new side quests popped up. I think I’ll do a sweep through all the towns and try to hit any side quests I’m missing.
  • Weapon tutorials are getting a bit tedious and the xp reward is pretty small now for my level.
  • So so pretty on my ps4 pro.
  • Fish by shooting them instead of using a pole. Yes, this is the only way to fish!

Annoying things:

  • Only 4 weapon slots on the dial. It’s so tedious to have to swap weapons mid battle that I tend to use only the 4 I have currently equipped. Either make the icons smaller or move the ammo types to a sub menu off the circle or something.
  • Inventory management. Even with resources inventory upgraded to max I have to constantly sell crap to make room or just chunk it on the floor. I’m trying to pick up less plants and animal parts unless they are something other than white. I still need another fox skin but the damn things have dropped like 10 bones so far and no skins! It needs a sell junk button. It needs a stash in towns or at camp fires to dump crap in.

I’m about 6 hrs into Zelda on the switch but since getting Horizon It’s all I want to play. The main missions are so beefy and well done. I’m loving the story so far.

Does anybody else think Aloy looks more like a young Minnie Driver with red hair than Hannah Hoekstra?


Anyone know why the frame rate and look of this gif is way better than what I have in my game? Is this some kind of post-processing in a video editor? Or is this what HDR does? Or PS4 Pro increase frame rates?


HDR just affects the look of lighting and you wouldn’t notice it without an HDR capable display.

HDR =High Dynamic Range


Last night I managed to find time to play for a couple of hours. I was having a pretty intense cat and mouse fight with a Stalker. Lost track of where it was, so I started layout out some traps and trips to lead it in to, not realizing that while I may have lost track of the Stalker, it hadn’t lost track of me. Heard the whirling metallic sound that always means “uh oh” and instinctually rolled to the side just in time for the Stalker to sail right through where I was a second ago. To my left I hear a gasp followed by a “oh shit…”. I sprint to the other side of my traps and start plinking at the Stalker, which obliges me and walks right in to an explosive trap and an electric tripwire, stunning it. A few stabs at the immobile Stalker and it’s dead.

Finally able to take a breath, I look to my left and my wife is standing next to the couch, watching intently. “That looked intense… is it always like that?” I tell her that it’s been ramping up the intensity and that I was on my way to my first Cauldron next, which sounded like it was going to be interesting. She ended up sitting next to me on the couch and watched my entire trip to and run through the Cauldron. She has never done anything like that with a game before; just sat and happily watched for a long period of time. She got totally engrossed in it, like she was watching an action movie.


Is it typical of console games now for the character to change position on the screen so much?


That’s how it runs for me on the Pro, but I thought except being in 4K there wasn’t supposed to be much of a difference between the two. So I’m not sure.


There’s some amount of zoom in when you activate the slow mo/concentration mode and a skill that activates it when you jump. So I assume that’s what you are noticing.


Patch 1.10, amongst fixing a lot of smaller issues, is also adding the ability to hold X to buy multiple items at once.

Sounds like it’s out now.


Whoever is responsible for the world design needs more beers than I can afford to buy them. It’s actually insane how amazing it always looks and at the same time how you get no feeling at all that it’s constructed. The flow of the land is so natural it’s unreal.

I’d also point out that even when next to areas where the map cuts off, it also seems very logical and less artificial than any other game I can think of. Not to mention that scurrying around the edges of things is really not just doable, but again makes sense. There’s always little ledges and paths and things where if you think you can get there you actually can.

I’m still having a hard time wrapping my brain around how they managed to do so many things so amazingly well here.


I think the expansion is going to expand the East side of the map. I explored as many islands over there as I could and some of them say “go back” and others don’t, while you can still see more islands/land in the distance.


Stealth + Corruption Arrows (and mods for each) means being able to play “let’s you and him fight” whenever you want…


I don’t think I’ve seen that area yet.

I’ve pondered getting a ps4 pro before, and this might just push me over. Especially since I can get a damn good trade in value for my launch box and end up with more power and a much larger hard drive.

Regardless though, this has been a magnificent experience and really caught me off guard by how incredibly well made it all is.