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What Made Horizon Zero Dawn So Good?

Very few games have achieved the level of respect Horizon Zero Dawn (HZD) did in such little time, considering it was the first game in the franchise. And so here are 7 reasons explaining why it's such a good game.
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The Story

The plot of HZD is driven forward by the present-day anxieties of climate change and habitat destruction. It takes place way down in the future where humans have to start civilisation from scratch, but on a planet that was destroyed by us. 
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Feminism

The game revolves around female characters and they aren't shown to be helpless, nor sexualised, nor anything other than human. The character of Aloy is well thought out and is a refreshing take on action RPGs. 
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The level of bonding you develop with Aloy and her upbringing is mostly due to how emotionally intelligent she is. She's a robust feminist negotiator and communicator with zero tolerance for prejudicial BS. 

Emotional Intelligence

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The Robots

While the world of Horizon Zero Dawn has some interesting fauna, most of it is dotted by futuristic robots that are based on actual living creatures. All of them are hostile initially, but some of them can be ‘overridden' to turn them to your side.

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Graphics & soundtrack

The game looks drop dead gorgeous. It's difficult to imagine such jaw dropping visuals running on a 2014-spec PS4! And its PC port is even better looking in some regards. Oh, and the soundtrack is guaranteed to give you goosebumps!
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Combat

In an age where guns are the main weapons in most AAA titles, the weapons in this game boil down to a bow and arrow, rocks, and some slings. And it's a total blast to take down enemies as there's an element of skill required to master these. 
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Depth of Quests

The game's rich and varied quests offer plenty for fans of third-person action-adventure games. Its difficulty ramps steadily but fairly, and it paces its introduction of new monsters with great care. 
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