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RTTP/Opinion: Console Warring has deprived Horizon Zero Dawn, and its graphics, of richly deserved adulation.

Are you prepared to offer the game props for it's achievements?

  • Yes, exceptional game indeed.

  • Nah, I can't squeeze it out.

  • Other (pffff)


Results are only viewable after voting.

Whitecrow

Gold Member
Good opinion.

Mine is that the enviroments are not that great. Ps4 lacked the power to make the art shine. It was just ok looking.

Character details were better tho, but that's it.
 

M1chl

Currently Gif and Meme Champion
Sorry my dude. Game’s aesthetics do nothing for me. I tried it several times. Constantly fell asleep. Tsushima is so much more interesting and beautiful. I know it’s a massive success for Sony and the sequel is going to be really big, like real big, but I’m really not their target audience.
Tsushima is what you do when you have talent, Horizon* is what you do when you have money.

* and other Ubi-like open world, arguably Horizon is still the best at execution, but that really does nothing for me
 

Tschumi

Member
I have a hard time believing one of the most critically and commercial successful games of the last generation suffers from a "lack of due. . ."
I'll just pick your post to make this clarification:

I was basically saying a big portion of the player base (xbox fans) might be rubbishing the game out of hand purely because it's a PS exclusive (now pc)

So yeah if you're not in that group you'd probably not get my point. I'll add that clarification to the OP.
 

Bombolone

Gold Member
I had the pleasure of grabbing a ps4 late in gen, so I got to play Sonys' Exclusive offerings almost back to back.
Days Gone, GoT, HZD, they are such similar games mechanically. Theme and setting different sure, but you can just see the Studios shared knowledge, resources at play.
Makes the output safe and uninspired imo.
Crafting, hiding in tall grass, ambush one then freak out on the others, standard side quests.

I loved GoT. My only platinumed game, both single player and legends. Spent so much time on Ghosts I developed repetitive stress injury and had to put down the game. Also had to buy a new controller.
Even though it's my GOTY, Even I can admit/see the averageness of it. Graphics aside.

And that's seems to be where i place those games assassin creed, days, got, hzd, etc. 7.5/10 games. (GoT included)
These games either click with you or you are burnt out on the industry standard for AAA games of this type. Pretty isn't impressive (to me) anymore. Money and time make pretty games nowadays. The general talent pool/software out there has risen to a point where pretty isn't some herculean bar to hit.

HZD is a great looking game. GG has shown they are talented and capable.
On release I remember it being praised, justifiably, for its graphical output.

Precious thread title and preamble. This console war stuff will always be funny to me. I think the self righteous people don't see how similar they are to those lurkers they are so afraid of. On a forum. You post on for free. I digress.
Thank you OP for taking the time to write up and share something. You are appreciated and I know in my heart that there are far more people in this community that want and display everyday their love for this hobby and respect for their fellow community members.
Remember, don't let the few get to you... when they are making fun of your favorite plastic, toy, luxury boxes mass produced by big corporations to sell you subscriptions/mtx/nft/loot boxes/remakes/remasters/early access/limited edition/super limited ultra edition. You get the point.
Someone please, no, you will read and appreciate all I have written. I love you all
 

Nikana

Go Go Neo Rangers!
Its a good game but very clearly a first attempt in my eyes. Lots of great ideas with a lot of them under baked. I am looking forward to the sequel for the refinement.
 

Tschumi

Member
Its a good game but very clearly a first attempt in my eyes. Lots of great ideas with a lot of them under baked. I am looking forward to the sequel for the refinement.
Definitely get that first try vibe, i pin the side quests on that
 

Nikana

Go Go Neo Rangers!
Definitely get that first try vibe, i pin the side quests on that
I felt like the story was paced poorly as well. The intro is the right length for me but then the story didn't do anything for awhile before it just goes into maximum overdrive near the end. It wasn't a deal breaker by any means.
 

Guilty_AI

Member
I was basically saying a big portion of the player base (xbox fans) might be rubbishing the game out of hand purely because it's a PS exclusive (now pc)
This honestly can also be applied to a lot of xbox games. Theres no shortage of PS fans here diminishing games like FH5 or FS2020 for no apparent reason. Like in other thread someone straight up calling FH5 devs "lazy" because car models don't have as much micro details as GT sport (for one specific car at least :^P since these games usually have varied levels of details for different models).
Imagine shitting on the visuals of a game that looks like this:



Doesn't change the fact the game was very well received in general, same as HZD
 
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Tschumi

Member
This honestly can also be applied to a lot of xbox games. Theres no shortage of PS fans here diminishing games like FH5 or FS2020 for no apparent reason. Like in other thread someone straight up calling FH5 devs "lazy" because car models don't have as much micro details as GT sport (for one specific car at least :^P since these games usually have varied levels of details for different models).
Imagine shitting on the visuals of a game that looks like this:


I'm certainly with you that it goes both ways, I just thought maybe the forum has got to a place recently where an entreaty to try and bridge that divide might be topical
 

Topher

Gold Member
Personally, I loved Horizon Zero Dawn. Graphically it was astounding and it was a fun open world to explore. Wasn't the best game ever by any stretch, but the combat was awesome and the story wasn't bad. I think GG laid a solid foundation with the first game. I've already preordered Forbidden West. Really looking forward to jumping back into that world.

I was basically saying a big portion of the player base (xbox fans) might be rubbishing the game out of hand purely because it's a PS exclusive (now pc)

That is a given and yes, it applies to a number of PS fans as well. There are some who simply have a need to downplay games made by their favorite company's competition at every turn. I don't get it. I want every game to be great. I don't care who makes it and I don't care if it is exclusive or not.
 
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Dream-Knife

Member
I played it on PS4 pro at 1080p. It looked pretty good imo. Face animations are weird. The graphics are like cartooney but try to be realistic at the same time and it just looks really weird. Same issue TLOU2 and GOT has.
 

DenchDeckard

Gold Member
The game was good but I would honestly say strong 7/8 out of 10 for me. There was one awesome bit with the story that I genuinely went "oh shit" at and then the rest of it was just decent.

Looking forward to the sequel but I'm not in the same hype category that a lot of the mainstream press was about the original.

It's a good game, but not exceptional.
 

Guilty_AI

Member
I'm certainly with you that it goes both ways, I just thought maybe the forum has got to a place recently where an entreaty to try and bridge that divide might be topical
I think a good start would be not overblowing the quality of certain games rather than going back to praising them, i often find that does more harm than good.

I have suspicions one the reasons i tend to dislike a lot of ps games like TLoU or GoW - despite them not being bad games necessarely and me not being all that picky - is because how much PS fans keep praising them to tiresome degrees. If i go to a game that everyone keeps saying its ultra amazing only to find out its just about okayish, of course i'll feel disappointed with it.
 
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AGRacing

Member
I personally enjoyed the last game and found it fun. I was fascinated by the futuristic side quest dungeons and the lore behind that aspect. Less interested in some other side quests. I think the original had excellent graphics in person. A lot of its pop and crisp doesnt translate to youtube. Im finding that more and more with new games.

Being a major new PS4 Pro experience on my new HDR TV at the time definitely helped hold my interest. It really catered to the strengths of that particular TV at the time.

Horizon will be only the second game I will be able to swallow 89.99 CDN to play at launch. GT7 will be the 3rd. Ratchet was the 1st. I don't expect I'll be buying anything else this year before 1st sales or price drops. That includes new God of War.
 

Tschumi

Member
I think a good start would be not overblowing the quality of certain games rather than going back to praising them, i often find that does more harm than good.

I have suspicions one the reasons i tend to dislike a lot of ps games like TLoU or GoW - despite them not being bad games necessarely and me not being all that picky - is because how much PS fans keep praising them to tiresome degrees. If i go to a game expecting something ultra amazing only to find out its just okayish, of course i'll feel disappointed with it.
yeah.. i've not been able to play more than an hour of either of those titles lol, and HZD was in the same batch for me... the games that i've been able to really play on my PS have been... soulsborne... persona... i dunno, a different brand of experience to these 'epics'...

anyway, my op is a huge wall of text but i do have a ton of caveats through out, talking about the game's limitations, what i'm trying to get at is that in certain ways - body of work, earnest attention to detail, determination to make things work in new ways - the game really deserves some praise. eh guess my title was too declarative to communicate these caveats
 

rolandss

Member
I had the pleasure of grabbing a ps4 late in gen, so I got to play Sonys' Exclusive offerings almost back to back.
Days Gone, GoT, HZD, they are such similar games mechanically. Theme and setting different sure, but you can just see the Studios shared knowledge, resources at play.
Makes the output safe and uninspired imo.
Crafting, hiding in tall grass, ambush one then freak out on the others, standard side quests.
Agree with this take completely. Once you got over the pretty graphics and Killzone robots attacking the crowd from Burning Man festival, the core game was pretty bland and repetitive to me, I couldn’t complete it.

Ghost of Tsushima on the other hand was open world done right. It doesn’t have Horizon’s graphical polish but it is a far greater game, and it was my game of the PS4 generation. I played the living hell out of it. Where I disagree with you is that game is not a 7.5. It’s a solid 9/10.
 

STARSBarry

Gold Member
It's one of the better Ubisoft clone games I will give it that. They literally gave towers legs to walk about on, thats like so far removed from what BoTW did when it just copy pasted Ubisoft towers and got 10/10's because the physics system worked or something.

It's a real looker especially if you have a PC which can max it all out at 120 FPS or so. However as far as the "game" attached to it, I mean... its alright... but alot of the activities do feel like they are strait up lifted from Assassin's Creed 2... and 3... and Black Flag etc.
 
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Hugare

Member
Incredibly gorgeous game that I found so, so boring. Still finished it tho 'cause games are expensive and again, it was beautiful.

Things that I didnt like:

- Aloy is probably the worse main character in a AAA that I've seen in a long time. She has no charisma at all. Ashly Burch is an amazing VO, but she cant save the character from being mediocre with that script.
She doesnt develop at all during her journey. She finds stuff about her origins, but she as a character doesnt change.
And she has no flaws, having that good girl atitude all the way, like a female Superman.

- Not able to ignore encounters on the open world. Sometimes I wanted an invisible cloak to wander around, go sightseeing, see robots fighti each other and etc.

- World feels empty. There are some major cities, but the real open world is barren, with some enemy settlements to destroy and nothing else. No small villages like in the witcher or group of people hunting robots.

- Gameplay feels good, but taking down robots feels like work sometimes. You have to desconstruct them piece by piece in order to do some real damage, and during a 20h+ open world game, I just want to shoot some of them and get on with it.

- Story is good, but the script ... I dont know man, conversations are wooden. Doesnt feel natural. Didnt feel shit for anyone. Not even one emotional beat landed with me.
 
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Tschumi

Member
Agree with this take completely. Once you got over the pretty graphics and Killzone robots attacking the crowd from Burning Man festival, the core game was pretty bland and repetitive to me, I couldn’t complete it.

Ghost of Tsushima on the other hand was open world done right. It doesn’t have Horizon’s graphical polish but it is a far greater game, and it was my game of the PS4 generation. I played the living hell out of it. Where I disagree with you is that game is not a 7.5. It’s a solid 9/10.
I've got GoT, director's cut for my PS5, it'll probably come after this... at the moment i'm finding the technological limits of the open world to be more striking than HZD (probably because HZD has shown me more variety in landscapes so far) and they feel a generation behind the character models, but i love some parts, i'm not decided on it.

it has got the same slightly uncanny facial stylings of HZD too... actually these are a pretty good few games for pinpointing the intersection of abition and technology in that generation for some developers...
 

BigTnaples

Todd Howard's Secret GAF Account
Game is fucking incredible. Technically, graphically, narrative, world building, gameplay, pacing, length. Insane how good this game is. Room for improvement? Certainly. But in every way that matters the game is a masterpiece.
 

Tschumi

Member
Incredibly gorgeous game that I found so, so boring. Still finished it tho 'cause games are expensive and again, it was beautiful.

Things that I didnt like:

- Aloy is probably the worse main character in a AAA that I've seen in a long time. She has no charisma at all. Ashly Burch is an amazing VO, but she cant save the character from being mediocre with that script.
She doesnt develop at all during her journey. She finds stuff about her origins, but she as a character doesnt change.
And she has no flaws, having that good girl atitude all the way, like a female Superman.

- Not able to ignore encounters on the open world. Sometimes I wanted an invisible cloak to wander around, go sightseeing, see robots fighti each other and etc.

- World feels empty. There are some major cities, but the real open world is barren, with some enemy settlements to destroy and nothing else. No small villages like in the witcher or group of people hunting robots.

- Gameplay feels good, but taking down robots feels like work sometimes. You have to desconstruct them piece by piece in order to do some real damage, and during a 20h+ open world game, I just want to shoot some of them and get on with it.

- Story is good, but the script ... I dont know man, conversations are wooden. Doesnt feel natural. Didnt feel shit for anyone. Not even one emotional beat landed with me.
with this thirtieth statement that the gameplay doesn't live up to the tech i've decided to make clear in the OP that i'm not praising the gameplay :messenger_grinning_sweat:
 
It looks like a game that, if I had a PlayStation, I’d probably get on sale for $30 or less. No console warring though I just don’t think an open world game will ever be a system seller for me, and they’re rarely day one purchases. I’ll get Halo Infinite when it’s lower in price for instance.

I think the last open world game I got day one was BotW, but there was no way I was gonna get a Switch for it; I played it on WiiU. I’ll be getting Elden Ring but that’s for the Souls gameplay, which I hope isn’t Tarnished (heh) by the open world design.
 

Punished Miku

Gold Member
I personally enjoyed the last game and found it fun. I was fascinated by the futuristic side quest dungeons and the lore behind that aspect. Less interested in some other side quests. I think the original had excellent graphics in person. A lot of its pop and crisp doesnt translate to youtube. Im finding that more and more with new games.

Being a major new PS4 Pro experience on my new HDR TV at the time definitely helped hold my interest. It really catered to the strengths of that particular TV at the time.

Horizon will be only the second game I will be able to swallow 89.99 CDN to play at launch. GT7 will be the 3rd. Ratchet was the 1st. I don't expect I'll be buying anything else this year before 1st sales or price drops. That includes new God of War.
You can get Horizon on PS4 and the upgrade is free. Supposedly.
 

Ozriel

Member
There are many, many games that did not get enough accolades for their visuals. Stuff like A Plagues Tale, for example.


Horizon Zero Dawn is NOT one of them. The game is excellent visually, and that was widely noted. No idea why OP went with that title. Had to check I wasn’t on Forbes gaming.
 

Tschumi

Member
Its the other way around. I found it to be VERY overhyped due to being an exclusive. Thoughts confirmed once I played on PC. Good game and all but folks acting like these games are head and shoulders above third party AAA games...

Graphics are great, but so are in Ubisoft games of the same style. The game brings nothing new to the table other than the setting and robot dinosours. Melee combat is stiff as fuck and so are character animations and voice acting. Water looks like jam and I can go on.

I enjoyed the game, because is a harmless AAA open world one with a good story... but it is not the second coming of Christ.
a lotta peeps have made this point about it being a ubisoft style game

i don't really share that take... i detest ubisoft games, i've been unable to play more than 30 minutes post-intro sequence on any of their games since farcry 2... that includes Black Flag...

I think the reaons I can get into HZD is because the game is focused more on Aloy, and her story/navigation of the map, rather than being focused on "c'yhea, chuck out how huge our map is brah" a la ubisoft.. Also, navigating the map in ubisoft games is such a doddle, ur fucking usain bolt in odyssey (lot of money i'll never get back), in HZD i do have a sense of threat from some of the bigger dinosaurs roaming the place
 

tassletine

Member
I remember it looking superficially superb but interactivity with the game world was lacking.
The robots fights were fun but the rest of the world felt unrealistic and a bit dead -- I think they overcompensated for that by making everything way too colourful -- which only made it feel more uncanny.
Having a tribal/grunge aesthetic, where every character looked clean or like they had their own personal stylist, really didn't help.
And on the other hand, since you mention it, Last of Us was praised because it DID take into account the weather, setting and lifestyle the characters would be living. Horizon just looks like a bunch of action figures in comparison.
 

Fbh

Member
I really enjoyed the game, and yeah I think the visuals are fantastic and still look great. On last gen consoles the only open world game that can keep up IMO is Red Dead 2.
And yeah it wasn't just the raw graphics, it's the enemy designs, the costumes, the way the different towns and tribes look like. The setting is really interesting and one of the most unique new worlds we got in gaming last gen.

The game itself is fun too. It does follow the Ubisoft template and falls into many of the same shortcoming (particularly regarding exploration and the world often feeling like static background), but unlike Ubisoft games it doesn't feel like it was made in a factory. I thought the combat was a lot of fun, the main mission were great and the story was surprisingly engaging.

If the sequels continues to polish the combat, improved the sidequests and makes the world a bit more interactive it could be really amazing.
 

Bombolone

Gold Member
Agree with this take completely. Once you got over the pretty graphics and Killzone robots attacking the crowd from Burning Man festival, the core game was pretty bland and repetitive to me, I couldn’t complete it.

Ghost of Tsushima on the other hand was open world done right. It doesn’t have Horizon’s graphical polish but it is a far greater game, and it was my game of the PS4 generation. I played the living hell out of it. Where I disagree with you is that game is not a 7.5. It’s a solid 9/10.
Oh for sure. It is my 9/10 game but I can totally see my bias in that and objectively see how someone could rate it as a 7/10 average game.
That was the scene that solidified my love for the game and Jin & company. The facial motion capture, dialog, context and subtlety of it all. My favorite scene in the game. Sucker Punch did a phenomenal job with Jin as a character. I appreciate it even more considering every protagonist is basically a super hero these days.

I guess I was trying to show to those that take this hobby (100%luxury) a little to seriously, that you can love and appreciate something without having everyone on board. And that's OK.
I think if more people could wrap their head around that, we wouldn't have such a toxic view on console wars.
I can go online and find any number of memes/jabs of products, sports teams and like. The Wendy's Twitter account is proof of this. That Antonio Brown incident... funny (I hope he does get professional help)

I don't want to derail any further.
I think conversations like this, however brief, are a great, organic way of strengthening the community.
Again, awesome thread OP, good stuff.
 

ZywyPL

Gold Member
Ok and? Games are about way more than just prety visuals, which get old/outdated fast as there's always a new benchmark lurking behind the corner.

That being said tho, the dinobots surely don't get enough praise for their design, GG did an absolutely fantastic job there.
 

rofif

Gold Member
Oh for sure. It is my 9/10 game but I can totally see my bias in that and objectively see how someone could rate it as a 7/10 average game.
That was the scene that solidified my love for the game and Jin & company. The facial motion capture, dialog, context and subtlety of it all. My favorite scene in the game. Sucker Punch did a phenomenal job with Jin as a character. I appreciate it even more considering every protagonist is basically a super hero these days.

I guess I was trying to show to those that take this hobby (100%luxury) a little to seriously, that you can love and appreciate something without having everyone on board. And that's OK.
I think if more people could wrap their head around that, we wouldn't have such a toxic view on console wars.
I can go online and find any number of memes/jabs of products, sports teams and like. The Wendy's Twitter account is proof of this. That Antonio Brown incident... funny (I hope he does get professional help)

I don't want to derail any further.
I think conversations like this, however brief, are a great, organic way of strengthening the community.
Again, awesome thread OP, good stuff.
I've not played it yet but everything I see from this game looks extremally bland and stiff. Like not stoic samurai stiff... but boring and badly animated.
I will get to it one day and probably eat my words. I do love 2nd son
 

MrA

Member
Cross gen therefore bad for some reason, doesn't matter if the game looks amazing (which horizon does) the fact that lowly last gen owning peons can play ot hampers my enjoyment for some reason
 

tommib

Member
I've not played it yet but everything I see from this game looks extremally bland and stiff. Like not stoic samurai stiff... but boring and badly animated.
I will get to it one day and probably eat my words. I do love 2nd son
I think you’ll like it, man. It’s such a chill and zen game. Very beautiful. I was super sceptical as well because of this AAA template but man Tsushima can be quite something. Combat is great. Horse riding is great. 0 loading times on PS5. Satisfying progression. Tell us about it after.
 

rofif

Gold Member
I think you’ll like it, man. It’s such a chill and zen game. Very beautiful. I was super sceptical as well because of this AAA template but man Tsushima can be quite something. Combat is great. Horse riding is great. 0 loading times on PS5. Satisfying progression. Tell us about it after.
I am all about palying very slow, photo mode, night, headphones.
I will 100% get the ps5 version. I missed the xmas discount so I will need to wait. THe phyiscal ps5 is not on discount too often
 

Magic Carpet

Gold Member
I collected all the stuff in the Astro Bot pack in game.
Looking for last 4 golden bolts in Rift Apart.
Need something else to play on my shiny new PS5.
Aloy and all the side quests and collectibles will do nicely.
 
The poll options seem hella biased. I’ve personally heard more good about the game than bad from word of mouth. Perhaps you’re just not talking to the right people to hear the praise you desire.
 

Jigsaah

Gold Member
People downplay HZD's graphics? LOL are they blind? I mean, facial animations leave a bit to be desired but the environment, the animations, attention to detail...it's all there. I'd say the last time I was blown away by facial animations like this was Battlefield 4's campaign or even further back...Mass Effect 1.
 
When people gush about HZD's graphics, they're really complementing the game's art direction and design, which is admittedly quite impressive. It exists in that half-cartoony/half-realistic space that a lot of great comic artists also inhabit. Technically, the game is also impressive in some ways, but nothing earth-shattering.

Every other aspect of the game gets progressively worse until you get to the story and the characters, which are really pretty damn awful, especially some of the explanations and backstory towards the end - though I think by then most people really aren't paying attention anymore. I implore anyone who thinks this game has a great story to go back and really listen to all the logs and holograms chronicling the end of the world, the so-called experts entrusted with rebuilding the world, the lady savior of the world, the big bad guy - and how laughable all that shit is. It's like a step above fan fiction. Netflix execs would read it and go 'Sorry, this isn't believable'.
 

TonyK

Member
I played it just right after Zelda Breath of the Wild and I didn't like it so much. For me, after the initial graphic showcase, soon becomes boring and repetitive. World is "dead", with no interaction or physics. Also, lighting was so artificial that, for me, it looked too fake.

I think if Zelda was never released, Horizon would be perceived as better, but after Zelda is only a pretty, but dead, open world game.
 
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Fredrik

Gold Member
Yeah it’s great. But it’s the Nintendo fans who were downplaying it’s greatness, not Xbox fans, it clashed big time with Zelda Breath of the Wild at launch, generated all kinds of comparisons:
 
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