If only one event was to be selected from the Sony E3 2015 conference, it is more the unlikely trio of Arlesian women Shenmue III/Final Fantasy VII Remake/The Last Guardian that would have a chance of winning the vote. And yet another outsider was also present during the same conference, and not the least of them: Horizon Zero Dawn Mobile has indeed forged a solid reputation in the space of a few months, to the point of stirring the envy of PlayStation 4 owners, who are ready to make it their game of the year 2017.
Let’s make it clear from the outset that the test was carried out on both “classic” PS4 and Pro. Images and raw Horizon Zero Dawn Mobile clips were taken directly from the Pro version, while the Gaming Live games were shot on the new version of the PlayStation 4 released last September. At the end of the test, we will briefly come back to the technical differences between the two versions.
Horizon Zero Dawn Scenario
Horizon Zero Dawn Mobile is a post-apocalyptic story told here by the Guerrilla Games team. Civilisation as we know it has died out on earth, leaving nature to take back its rights. But mankind survived and regrouped into different tribes in order to survive in the face of the new dominant species, machines whose appearance strongly evokes different animal species well known to earthlings. What was the reason for the disappearance of humans? Why did the machines take over? What secrets are hidden beneath the remains of a civilisation that now belongs to the past? In the role of Aloy, a very curious young hunter from the Nora tribe, you will try to find answers to all these questions, which are the pillars of the Horizon Zero Dawn Mobile scenario.
IT’S THE STORY OF SURVIVAL
It was expected on this point, and it did not disappoint us: Horizon Zero Dawn Mobile offers itself a successful main scenario, with a plot around the origin of the machines that keep us on tenterhooks until a sober, rich in answers and convincing conclusion. The main merit of this one is that it doesn’t leave us wanting more, while at the same time offering an opening for a second episode. But if the scenario is pleasant to follow, it loses a few feathers along the way because of narrative details: one thinks in particular of the more down-to-earth thread around the tribes, which without being devoid of interest proves to be less attractive than the one around the mysteries of the evolution of the earth. The alternation between these two narrative lines tends to dilute the key revelations and thus artificially prolong the suspense a little.
We will also think of these phases of revelations with audio logs, holograms and written documents, which are certainly interesting, but probably a little too long and inclined to break the rhythm of the adventure. Finally, the summary and limited facial animations of the characters in Horizon Zero Dawn Mobile do not always allow the emotions to be conveyed accurately, as shown by these sequences of a character’s disappearance which, at best, will leave you speechless, at worst, will make you smile embarrassed because of the scene’s lack of naturalness.
Horizon Zero Dawn Mobile Aloy
The only exception is the character of Aloy: curious but thoughtful, with a good repartee and an assertive character, our heroine perfectly embodies her role during an adventure that will seriously batter her. One of Horizon Zero Dawn Mobile greatest successes is to manage to evolve along with her main character. From an introduction – very simple and effective, by the way – which sees her discover the world in which she evolves and learn the rudiments of hunting, the young woman will progressively cross stages and borders, meeting tribes, machines, allies and enemies at the same pace as the player. The evolution is therefore natural and extremely pleasant since it provides a feeling of discovery and regular learning that has probably not been felt as strongly in an open world since Red Dead Redemption.
THIS MACHINE IN MY HEAD…
The most original part of Horizon Zero Dawn Mobile the soft remains undoubtedly the presence of the machines and a hunting dimension around them. Aloy benefits here from a flexible grip to go and hunt her opponents: she can squat and hide at leisure in the high grass, use a whole range of weapons from rattlesnakes to cable throwers, passing by the bow or the slingshot, but also make her climbing skills speak for themselves. However, this last point should be qualified, as the title only allows you to climb in certain predefined areas. However, it does offer a fairly flexible physique in the lady’s jumps – very similar to those of Lara Croft, by the way – which allows you to climb an area from time to time by slightly forcing the jumps, thus avoiding making the experience too frustrating. The stealth approach is most often to be preferred, as our heroine quickly loses her health points once attacked. Beyond stealth, good preparation is not to be neglected: placing traps, using elementary resistance potions and above all knowing the weak points of the machines will save you precious minutes in the fight to come.
DEAF MACHINE AND STORM
Horizon Zero Dawn Mobile Damage to machines will be greater if you focus on attacks with an effective element against the enemy in question or one of its weak points. Similarly, it is better to use ammunition with a higher tear statistic, as this determines the ability of your attack to detach the various elements that make up the machine. On modest enemies, the only advantage of this approach is to complete the fight as quickly as possible, but detaching certain parts can also make it possible to retrieve additional items useful for crafting, get your hands on a heavy weapon or render the opponent harmless: For example, detaching the discus thrower from a storm-mouth will then make it possible to use your own weapon against him, while destroying the legs of a rock-breaker will prevent him from taking refuge underground.
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