I recently had the chance to get some hands-on time with Horizon: Zero Dawn early in the first morning of PAX. Having not heard all that much about the game so far, I didn’t really have many expectations going into the booth–I mostly had a go because it looked like it’d be busy later on in the afternoon and I’m not a fan of queueing.

First off, I and a crowd of other onlookers watched an employee demo a takedown of some giant robot dinosaur thing, before getting a go ourselves on the much smaller televisions positioned on the perimeter of the booth.

As I said–I didn’t have many expectations going into the demo. Those expectations were met. Don’t get me wrong, Horizon: Zero Dawn is graphically beautiful, particularly considering that it’s still a demo–it’s colourful, vibrant, and full of life. Robotic life, but life nonetheless. Aloy is a unique and likeable protagonist, although I’m a bit jealous of her perfect, blemish-free skin.

But the Horizon: Zero Dawn demo just didn’t bring anything to the table that really drew me in. Movement and combat felt a little bit sluggish and slow, as though I was fighting with Aloy to make her go where I wanted. There seemed to be a bit of delayed response in my inputs and what actually happened on screen. Aiming with the bow was a little bit better, I felt like I could aim where I wanted to most of the time even while moving. That said, the gyro aiming in Splatoon has ruined me for normal twin-stick aiming and I can’t help but wish it was an option in Horizon: Zero Dawn. Hopefully it comes when the game is released.

There wasn’t much story or anything introduced in the demo but the employee conducting the hands-off playthrough kept talking about its importance so that could be a drawcard on release but until then, I can’t see much that’s making me want to go out and buy Horizon: Zero Dawn when it comes out. Not even possibly the most “game-y” video game title in years. Hopefully I’m very wrong.

Horizon: Zero Dawn releases in Australia on the 1st of March, 2017.

About The Author

Matt has been playing video games and listening to music for too long. He accidentally started a website and now has to pretend that he’s got an idea as to what he’s doing. He neglects the games he’s meant to be reviewing and instead plays Dota 2 and Football Manager. Shameless Nintendo fanboy. Direct your complaints to @mattmcleod27.