Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds
If you haven’t had the opportunity yet to play Horizon Zero Dawn, you need to stop reading this article, head to your nearest retailer, and grab a copy. If not for a few heavy hitters from Nintendo, you’d likely be playing the Game of the Year; if you want my opinion on the matter, it stands a chance to win, regardless of what has been released so far this year! To extend the game play experience, the developers have released a large DLC expansion for the game title The Frozen Wilds, which adds a whole new biome for Aloy to explore, and quests to complete.
The first thing to note here is that The Frozen Wilds is not meant to be post game content, and the developers are suggesting players be roughly level 30 before attempting to enter the new biome and complete the quests there. As a way of policing those who try to enter under leveled, the game actually puts a mini-boss ahead of the only entrance to the north, and beating it while NOT level 30 is nearly impossible. Trust me, I’ve tried. For those who have beaten the game, and are maxed out in their levels, there is no reason to fret. Although this was not my situation, I’ve heard from friends that the DLC is still plenty challenging and exciting.
The Frozen Wilds is much more of the same thing you’ve already played, and that’s not a criticism, but rather, a compliment. Few games have grabbed my attention this year like Horizon Zero Dawn did, and to get more of that experience is fantastic! The game seamlessly fits into the original experience, and without the official tag of DLC, you might never know it was an expansion. Of course, there are a number of additions as any good DLC would have, including a few new weapons, new skills, and new armour suites to wear. None of these are so powerful as to make the rest of the game’s weapons obsolete, but also not so weak as to make them ineffective. In my honest opinion, the new skills and weapons are perfectly balanced, no matter what part of the story/game you are at.
In the expansion, Aloy is once again on the outside looking in, but this time with the northern Banuk tribe. The story is interesting enough to keep you going, but the real draw for me here was the new, snowy environment, as well as the improved visuals over the original experience. A few of the muddier character animations that plagued the original title seem to be gone now, and everything here seems to have received an extra bit of polish.
Overall, The Frozen Wilds is worthwhile expansion that will draw you back into the world of Horizon quickly; although you might be shaking off a bit of rust as it’s been a while since the game first launched, it won’t take long to get back into the swing of things, and enjoy life as Aloy in the frozen north. As an entirely new biome, there are tons of new and interesting things to find and discover, and new characters to interact with.