Horizon Zero Dawn Frozen Wilds Review

The icy north beckons

Horizon Zero Dawn - Frozen Wilds Review - The SpreadAU  (7)

Horizon Zero Dawn Frozen Wilds Review

Horizon Zero Dawn - Frozen Wilds Review - The SpreadAU (5)
Get ready to be snowed in with gameplay

Guerilla Games is set to take gamers back to the world of Horizon Zero Dawn with the release of the Frozen Wilds DLC. Set in an icy wintery north, Frozen Wilds expands the world of Horizon with a large added chunk of overworld in an area called The Cut with plenty of quests and side quests – The story here is running concurrent with the main plotline of Zero Dawn and also offers some additional insight into characters you would have encountered on your original playthrough. Frozen Wilds is also available in the complete edition where new gamers will experience the DLC in a more integrated experience and also arguably more rounded as new gamers will play the Frozen Wilds and then complete the game as an overarching experience (although that said, the added ultra weapons found in the Cut will make definitely make the main game areas much easier).

Horizon Zero Dawn - Frozen Wilds Review - The SpreadAU (4)
Frozen Wild impressively features deformable snow – that even animals can deform.

Mechanically, Frozen Wilds plays like Horizon – the base game is unchanged for the most parts (there are new skills which add the ability to dismantle items for base currency and also mount skills) but in the Cut –the game introduces a couple of new enemies, new weapons, outfits, skills and also currency in the form of harvestable bluegleam which can be used for Banuk exclusive merchant purchases.

Horizon Zero Dawn - Frozen Wilds Review - The SpreadAU (3)This review was played with Aloy (lvl 50, very hard) and even with Aloy being a tough cookie, the Frozen wilds is a challenging playthrough with plenty of tough as nails combat scenario in which your skills and arsenal will be put to the test. In the Cut, Scorchers – a wolf like beast whose mobility allows it to advance on Aloy very quickly and is best handled from afar. In certain combat scenarios, the game throws a barrage of critters in arena styled fights where the skills you’ve learnt in playing Horizon will be put to good use. It’s challenging in a good way. Like the Thunderjaw before, that first encounter will be one to remember but unlike the thunderjaw, some of the later creatures can be quite difficult to take down as they do not drop a heavy weapon which helps with their demise. Encounters are thrilling and late game dinobots a challenge. Best buy supplies and health packs.

The plot of the Frozen Wilds involves a Banuk Shaman named Ourea, a Chieftain called Aratak and a mysterious corruption happening in the land not dissimilar to what is happening in corrupt zones in the main lands. It is a self contained extended quest that will have Aloy traveling the span of the Cut to discover the mysteries contained within.

Horizon Zero Dawn - Frozen Wilds Review - The SpreadAU (1)
Dialogue sequences have much better mocap and mid shots now that add variety to the conversations.

Guerilla games has expanded the narrative talking head dialogue sequences in the Frozen wilds, the camera no longer focuses on just expressive faces and can be mid/far shots allowing for expressive gesticulating by the characters and Aloy. One early NPC features a very familiar voice gamers who’ve played Naughty Dog’s Uncharted would have heard before. Amusing. Performances in game is generally very well done and the games visuals looks incredible like Zero Dawn before it.

The new Frozen Wilds DLC is a challenging well priced package that adds about 10-15 hours to the core game; and completionists will have a great time exploring this new lands and vistas and taking on all the side quests in the cut. With incredible visuals; deform-able deep snow and glittering snow storms, the Frozen Wilds is chilly and filled with incredible adventure. As an expansion and in the complete addition, The Frozen Wilds adds a nice meaty chunk of content and that combined with the base game makes the Complete addition an easy stocking filler recommendation.

Horizon Zero Dawn - Frozen Wilds Review - The SpreadAU (2)
The ice world in the Cut is detailed and varied
Horizon Zero Dawn - Frozen Wilds Review - The SpreadAU
The Frozen wild DLC has an area about 1/4 the size of the main map.

For existing HZD gamer, the one thing amiss to the DLC is a sense of completion although the DLC offers a sort of extended story denouement– once you’ve wrapped up the DLC missions – admittedly it’s a personal marker (you do get a trophy) that you’ve finished the DLC. There’s no tangible credits or closure like you would experience finishing the main quest. But its not about the destination, the journey there is well worth popping back into the incredible world of Horizon Zero Dawn. With incredible graphics, challenging gameplay, an interesting well acted adventure all contributing to giving fans of Horizon, more game and more challenge.

Tips: buy lots of weaponry resources, use your ropecaster, be prepared to run and roll a lot.

9/10

Review Code supplied by Sony

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